Compare And Contrast The Cask Of Amontillado And The Tell Tale Heart

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Edgar Allen Poe Essay

“If still you think me mad, you will think so no longer when I describe the wise precautions I took for the concealment of the body.” (Poe, TTH 49). Edgar Allen Poe’s short stories The Cask of Amontillado and The Tell Tale Heart show us a terrifying world of madness and murder. The sensory details to the narrator 's thoughts provide the audience with a display of mental instability and madness. From envy to obsession, these stories show equal amounts of a specific mental delusion, urging the narrator to commit an unthinkable crime. Although it is evident that Montresor of The Cask of Amontillado is insane, the narrator of The Tell Tale Heart displays a madness of much greater magnitude.

For instance, in the opening
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His deed is finished- the corpse is hidden under the floorboards and no drop of blood has been spilled, when suddenly three police officers show up at the door in suspicion of foul play. The narrator courteously and enthusiastically brought the officers all around the house and asked them to sit down, an eerie scene of dramatic irony. He is incredibly confident in his clever and perfect triumph but not long after, he felt himself growing pale and heard an increasing ringing that was not within his ears. The narrator is now crazed, pacing the floor, speaking rapidly, and flinging his chair, yet he says that the officers are still chatting pleasantly, which they obviously would not be. He then confesses. “Villains! . . . dissemble no more! I admit the deed!-tear up the planks!-here, here!-it is the beating of his hideous heart!” (Poe TTH 52). Even after he dismembers the body, the narrator imagines the beating of his own heart as that of the old man’s. Therefore, he is indeed not able to reason or control his raging imagination- making him a …show more content…
His inability to distinguish between what is real and what he imagines shows that he is not mentally stable. And although he takes on the role of a storyteller quite well, calmly telling the tale, it is still blatantly apparent that his murderous crime is something only a madman would do. Ultimately, he is the agent of his own downfall. But perhaps the narrator is indeed not mad. Perhaps his senses were heightened, he was in a superior state and could reasonably decide to kill the old man. Would anyone in their right mind commit such a crime as

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