The Cask Of Amontillado, By Edgar Allan Poe

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“Men have called me mad; but the question is not yet settled, whether madness is or is not the loftiest intelligence–whether much that is glorious whether all that is profound–does not spring from disease of thought–from moods of mind exalted at the expense of the general intellect” (Poe 513). Influential author of the 19th century, Edgar Allan Poe, is renowned for his dark, ghastly representations of emotionally haunted, and mentally insane characters; However, the very man who wrote of such psychological wonders relied on his personal experiences and inner most darkest thoughts to do so. He knew this too, he believed his madness contributed to his intelligence and was the very inspiration for his eerie poems. The reason behind his rather …show more content…
Poe loved to explore the strong sensation of terror, the fear of the unknown. He often depicts the nightmarish stories of nervous, obsessive, and rather insane characters, many of whom are involved in death, either their own or those who wish to cause it upon another. In “The Cask of Amontillado,” the main character Montresor is very cold and merciless. The story takes place in a creepy catacomb, where the “walls had been lined with human remains (Poe 194). Montresor in search of revenge on Fortunato, secretly and strategically plans his demise. He lures him into the crypts and traps him down there by building a wall. This is just one example of a short story written by Poe that revolves around the themes of murder and torture. Another well-known story “The Tell-Tale Heart,” is also a convincing example of the psychological ideas Poe explored and most likely possessed himself. In this story, the narrator claims he is not mad, and even views his hypersensitivity as proof of his sanity, when in reality it is a symptom of his madness. “How, then am I mad? Hearken! and observe how healthily–how calmly I can tell you the whole story” (Poe 121). He then goes on to tell his whole murderous plan, not realizing what his confession will cause him. The main character in this story suffered from schizophrenia. He says in the beginning of his tale that “ [he] heard all things in the heaven and in the earth. [He] heard many things in hell” (Poe 121). The character is unable to distinguish between real and imagined sounds, which makes you wonder if Poe also struggled with a warped sense of reality. This distorted sense of reality could have been a defense mechanism Poe developed as a young child. Defense mechanisms are a product of our unconscious mind

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