5 remained a virtual invalid until her
5 C12/09/04OutlineEdgar Allen Poe (1809-1849)American poet, a master of the horror tale, credited with practicallyinventing the detective story.Edgar Allan Poe was born on January 19, 1809 in Boston, Massachusetts, toparents who were itinerant actors. His father David Poe Jr. died probablyin 1810 and his mother Elizabeth Hopkins Poe in 1811. Edgar was taken intothe home of a Richmond merchant John Allan and brought up partly in England(1815-20), where he attended Manor School at Stoke Newington.
Never legallyadopted, Poe took Allan’s name for his middle name.Poe attended the University of Virginia (1826), but was expelled for notpaying his gambling debts. This led to a quarrel with Allan, who laterdisowned him. In 1827 Poe joined the U.S. Army as a common soldier underassumed name and age.
In 1830 Poe entered West Point and was dishonorablydischarged next year, for intentional neglect of his duties.Little is known about his life in this time, but in 1833 he lived inBaltimore with his father’s sister. After winning a prize of $50 for theshort story “MS Found in a Bottle,” he started a career as a staff memberof various magazines, among others the Southern Literary Messenger inRichmond (1835-37), Burton’s Gentleman’s Magazine in Philadelphia (1839-40), and Graham’s Magazine (1842-43). During these years he wrote some ofhis best-known stories.In 1836 Poe married his 13-year-old cousin Virginia Clemm.
She burst ablood vessel in 1842, and remained a virtual invalid until her death fromtuberculosis five years later. After the death of his wife, Poe began tolose his struggle with drinking and drugs. He addressed the famous poem”Annabel Lee” (1849) to her.Poe’s first collection, Tales of the Grotesque and Arabesque, appeared in1840.
It contained one of his most famous works, “The Fall of the House ofUsher.” During the early 1840s Poe’s best-selling work was TheConchologist’s First Book (1839). The dark poem of lost love, “The Raven,”brought Poe national fame, when it appeared in 1845.
The Murders in the RueMorgue(1841) and The Purloined Letter are among Poe’s most famous detectivestories. Poe was also one of the most prolific literary journalists inAmerican history.Poe suffered from bouts of depression and madness, and he attempted suicidein 1848. In September the following year he disappeared for three daysafter a drink at a birthday party and on his way to visit his new fiancein Richmond.
He turned up in a delirious condition in Baltimore gutter anddied on October 7, 1849.TitleThe Cask of AmontilladoTheme”The Cask of Amontillado” is a powerful tale of revenge. Montresor, thesinister narrator of this tale, pledges revenge upon Fortunato for aninsult.SettingThe story begins around dusk, one evening during the carnival season in anunnamed European city. The location quickly changes from the lightheartedactivites associated with such a festival to the damp, dark catacombs underMontressor’s palazzo which helps to establish the sinister atmosphere ofthe story.Plot”The Cask of Amontillado” is a tale based on revenge. Montressor isdetermined tomurder Fortunato in the beginning of the story.
Heapproaches Fortunato and tellshim that he has doubts about histaste because, he does not think that theAmontilladowine tastes as good as people say it does. Making Fortunato furious, Montressor tells him that his friend Luchresi will help taste the wine.Fortunato insists that Luchresi does not know a thing about fine wineand he insist that Montressortake him to his wine cellar so hecan taste the wine for himself.
Montressor is internallysatisfied that Fortunato takes his bait and they venture into the Montressor’s tomb-like wine cellar. As the two charactersfind their way through thedark catacombs, Montressor asksFortunato if he wants to turn back. Each timeMontressorasks, Fortunato ironically tells him that he wants to go on to find thewine cellar. The men reach a small crypt, deep in the catacombs andMontressorproceeds to shackle Fortunato to a stone.Montressor then builds a stone wall thatencloses Fortunatoinside the crypt. Thinking Montressor is playing a practical joke,Fortunato laughs hysterically as Montressor builds the wall. Realizing thatMontressor’s actions are not part of a joke,Fortunato panics.
As Montressor finishes the wall, he throws a torchthrough and opening in the wall and walks away.CharactersAlthough several characters are mentioned in this story, the true focuslies upon Montresor , the diabolical narrator of this tale of horror, whopledges revenge upon Fortunato for an insult. When the two meet during thecarnival season, there is a warm greeting with excessive shaking of handswhich Montresor attributes to the fact that Fortunato had been drinking.
Montresor also appears to be “happy” to see Fortunato since he is planningto murder him. Fortunato’s clown or jester’s costume appears to beappropriate not only for the carnival season but also for the fact thatMontresor intends to make a “fool” out of him.OpinionI liked the story even when it was hard to understand, but after readig ittwice I enjoyed how Poe used the characters to interest the reader more andmore. It is a story that talks about vengance but in a subtle way.
Thestory is also told from Montresor’s point of view, which intensifies theeffect of moral shock and horror, and this makes the story moreinteresting.