Gothic Horror Analysis

1130 Words 5 Pages
Panic and fear are part of the rush of being scared, something that is surprisingly enticing. Why is fear so ingrained in our society today? Darkness, chills, strange noises in the night, these are the things that bad dreams are made of. Horror is so captivating that we surround ourselves with it, now with monster movies, and suspenseful t.v. to the original gothic horror tales. Among some of the best gothic horror writers was Edgar Allen Poe who with thorough setting choices set the perfect atmosphere of many of his stories, including “The Cask of Amontillado”. In this story particularly Poe uses the imagery provided by the setting to enhance the atmosphere of fear and panic in the same ways that we see authors and movie makers’ use today. …show more content…
This phrase provides us with multiple obvious images as well as more subtle images. Plainly speaking the phrase breaks down to “cask” meaning a barrel for storing and amontillado, a type of alcohol or wine. Literally speaking the narrator is mentioning a barrel of wine, which for some reason is enough to excite Fortunato enough for him to willingly walk toward his death. In this image, amontillado is providing the power of will for both of the main characters in the story. Martin Tropp discusses the how the power of will affects the characters, saying that every character possesses a “beast within” that has an insatiable desire for ruthless will (Tropp p. 110). Tropp’s idea of something that, under any circumstances, causes a person to willingly do unwise things sums up both of the characters. This barrel of wine fuels the worst of Montresor and Fortunato, turning them into two people totally consumed with an ulterior motive. Tropp goes on to use the story of “Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde” to explain how a ruthless will contributes to fear, saying “The equation behind the particular terrors of Jekyll and Hyde is that freedom and anonymity can turn a hypocrite into a beast whose crimes become literally unspeakable.” (Tropp p. 111). This statement is the same for Poe’s characters, the wine acting as a ruthless will, transforms the characters into these primal creatures that are now free to do as they please, one of which plans to murder the other. Imagery in the story alone, now gives the audience the idea of two men reduced to their most basic

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