However, while the madman may try to circumvent death, it is actually the experience of dying that he fears, and despite his best intentions, death comes anyway. “The Cask of Admontillado” features the madman Montressor who seeks relief from his tormentor, and plans the perfect crime, “to punish with impunity” (274). Montressor painstakingly formulates the plan to rid himself of Fortunato, his tactless and unsuspecting friend. The fact that the crime is detailed meticulously in “Cask” is odd considering the narrator’s obsession with planning the perfect crime and his equal obsession with the absence of detection. Does the anxious tone in the confession-like story indicate that Montressor falls victim to his own perfect crime and awaits execution?
His superego is telling him all the things that could go wrong, but his ego is telling Montresor to go through with getting revenge by murdering Fortunato. Kevin J. Hayes states in his book The Annotated Poe, that the motivation for Montresor to murder Fortunato was Poe’s own desire to get revenge on a former friend, Thomas Dunn English (Hayes 351). Montresor, like Edgar Allan Poe, felt like he has been wronged and needed to punish that person. Fortunato shows up wearing a motley, similar to a joker’s attire. Scott Peoples says in the book “Social and psychological Disorder in the Works of Edgar Allan Poe” that his belief is that Montresor is committing this murder out of an act of jealousy.
The first sentence in the story proves this statement: “TRUE! – NERVOUS – VERY, VERY DREADFUL nervous I had been and am; but why will you say I am mad?” (Charter 1127). The narrator himself questions the audience before telling the incident that has occurred. In this story, the murder plot is not planned and takes place all of the sudden when the insane man decides to kill the fragile old man who is on the alert
Hearken! and observe how healthily-how calmly I can tell you the whole story,” (Poe 121). This is when the ... ... middle of paper ... ...a committed a murder and its wrong. The way the protagonist comfortably talks of the old man’s murder clearly shows his insanity in the story. The narrator started the story by protesting his sanity, but in the end, it is evident that, he is truly insane through his actions.
The narrator uses this pun to embody all the symptoms of psychological disturbance both in the projection of his evilness and the discord of his physiognomy. To begin with, the narrator of "The Tell-Tale Heart" projects his wickedness onto the old man which raises the primary question: Is it the "Evil Eye" of the old man which vexes the narrator or his/her own "I" that he /she fears to encounter? The narrator declares at the very beginning that "the eye of a vulture_ a pale blue eye, with a film over it" (Poe 317) is the main reason why he/she murders the old man. In that eye which "chille[s] the very marrow in [his/her] bones" ( Poe 319) resides the superb power of evilness which is actually hidden in the narrator's veiled psyche. Robinson In his article "Poe's 'The Tell Tale Heart'" re-conceptualizes the link between the "eye" and the "I" saying that "it's the narrator's evil 'I' that makes him see the evil eye in the old man"(377).
What do you think of when you hear the name “Edgar Allan Poe?” The words dark, creepy, and even scary may come to mind. The Cask of Amontillado shows how far a vengeful narrator is willing to go to restore his honor and dignity, all the while creating a creepy atmosphere with a mix of both symbolism and irony. It’s no wonder Poe was considered a great master of horror. In The Cask of Amontillado, Montresor, our narrator, is driven into getting revenge on Fortunato, the man who ventured insult unto him. It doesn’t say exactly what he did, but Montresor was set on punishing Fortunato with “impunity” and allowed us to believe that the crime was horrible enough to be punishable by death.
Through his writing, Poe directly attributes the narrator’s guilt to his inability to admit his illness and offers his obsession with imaginary events - The eye’s ability to see inside his soul and the sound of a beating heart- as plausible causes for the madness that plagues him. After reading the story, the audience is left wondering whether the guilt created the madness, or vice versa. The story opens with the narrator explaining his sanity after murdering his companion. By immediately presenting the reader with the textbook definition of an unreliable narrator, Poe attempts to distort his audience’s perceptions from the beginning. This point is further emphasized by his focus on the perceived nexus of madness; the eye.
Edgar Allan Poe’s short story “The Cask of Amontillado” is a dark and foreboding tale about a man’s insatiable appetite for revenge, and his descent into madness. The story itself is a very macabre tale, no doubt, but is there a deeper, darker meaning? Looking at the symbols and references in the story and with the tragedy that surrounded the author for most his life, it would not be too far a stretch. What this tale could really be representing, is a small insight at what Poe saw in the worst of people. Deceit, murder, simple mindedness, hate, and untrustworthiness; all very primal feelings, with the exception of murder, reside in each and every individual.
Insanity is something that people keep private to the point of complete mental breakdown. Edgar Allen Poe’s “The Tell Tale Heart” shows this in the narrator’s frantic recollection of the night he murdered a old man, sleeping in his house. The narrator of the story is certainly conflicted with his own sanity as he tries to justify the killing. The sanity of the narrator in “The Tell Tale Heart” is a main conflict of the story. The narrator’s justification of the murder is an obvious window in his insanity.