Psychological Perspective In Edgar Allan Poe's The Cask Of Amontillado

1077 Words 5 Pages
Sophia Frank
AP English
Ms. Macfie
25 August 2015
“The Cask of Amontillado”- Psychological Perspective
Psychology is defined as the science and study of the mind and behavior and the way a person or group thinks. Therefore, when a reader assesses a piece of literature from the psychological perspective they are essentially focusing on the nature of the characters, their behavior, and their mindsets and how these things affect the storyline. When evaluating a work from this vantage point it is crucial for the reader to consider not only the characters themselves, but also the author 's own personal influences and mindset. A prime example of the psychological perspective at work is renowned poet, Edgar Allan Poe 's short story, “The Cask of
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Edgar Allan Poe was well known, beginning in his late twenties, for his vicious and unrelenting book reviews. Poe would not only insult a literary work, but the authors themselves as well as the establishment for which they wrote. These lashing remarks were likely met with anger from those at whom they were directed (Poe’s Life). This is possible to have been one of the influences behind, “The Cask of Amontillado.” Montresor’s character who is filled with raging anger and an obsession with the Latin phrase, “Nemo me impune lacessit,” meaning, “No one cuts me with impunity” may be modeled after one of the many people Poe scorned with his critiques. Although Rufus Griswold, one of Poe’s most popular targets did not retaliate until after Poe’s death, his vengeance was likely not the first in a long …show more content…
During Montresor’s initial meeting with Fortunato after the formulating of his plan he is exceptionally warm and friendly toward the man he plans to kill. By acting in a kind and inviting manner Montresor eliminates any chance of Fortunato finding out his scheme before it is carried out. More so, Montresor uses the still popular tool of reverse psychology on his house attendants, Montresor, “...had given them explicit orders not to stir from the house. These orders were sufficient, I well knew, to ensure their immediate disappearance, one and all, as soon as my back was turned” (Poe). The practice of telling someone to do the exact opposite of one’s wishes in knowing they will do the other is still a commonplace today. A greater mindtrick still may be the mentioning by Montresor to his victim of a cough that does not exist. Montresor warns Fortunato of a dreaded potassium nitrate problem throughout the story, a problem which likely exists only in the mind and plans of Montresor. However, the devious man makes his way inside of his egotistical companion’s mind and directly following the question, “How long have you had that cough?” The doomed Fortunato sputters out, “Ugh! ugh! ugh!...”

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