Sloan Davis EH223 Rita Treutel 12-4-10 “The Cask of Amontillado” > “Annabell Lee” Edgar Allan Poe is arguably the best romantic writer we have ever seen. I believe “Annabell Lee” and “The Cask of Amontillado” are perfect examples of Romantic Literature. “The Cask of Amontillado” and “Annabell Lee” both possess romantic subject matter, attitudescomma and techniques commabut “The Cask of Amontillado” has been called the “perfect short story” by a number of critics of the years, and I would undoubtedly agree. The Cask of Amontillado” begins with a strong characterization and mood continuing throughout the entire story. It stresses strong grotesque and gothic themes of terror and even encounters the universal fear of the unknown, making the story appealing to virtually everyone. Montresor makes a very interesting comment in the beginning of the story, “…. and he did not perceive that my smile now was at the thought of immolation. ” From the beginningcomma Montresor had grotesque thoughts of what he wanted Fortunto’s fate to be.
Montresor committed premeditated murder. “Annabell Lee,” also has romantic subject matter but it is an interest in the past. Even though both works by Poe have romantic subject matter “The Cask of Amontillado” draws the reader in with every sentence packed full of romanticism that never even gives the reader a chance to put the story down. In both works, Poe does a wonderful job of not focusing on details of location. He tells the reader just enough to get them hooked and leaves the reader hanging without details. The Cask of Amontillado” automatically gives the reader a vague view of the situation. Poe begins with, “The thousand injuries of Fortunato I had borne as I best could, but when he ventured upon insult I vowed revenge. ” What are the “thousand injuries” that Montresor is talking about that Poe never reveals throughout the story? In the second line, “You, who so well know the nature of my soul…,” we are once again given vague details. Who knows Montresor so well that they know his soul?
Is Montresor retelling this story after it has taken place? If so, to whom would he share such a dark secret? These questions are ones that make this story so captivating. The sense of mystery invites readers to dive deeper in the world that Poe has created. Poe also gives the same sense of mystery in “Annabell Lee” by giving no specific time and setting; just a vague visual in the first two lines, “It was many and many a year ago, In a kingdom by the sea.. ,” once again raising questions that have no answer.
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I believe the sense of mystery is emmensely stronger in “The Cask of Amontillado,” further proving itself as the “perfect short story. ” In the poem, “Annabell Lee,” Poe digs deep into emotions, rather than reasoning. In the poem He his love for Annabell Lee was so strong that it made the angels jealous of their love. In the fifth stanza, my favorite line of the poem, “And neither the angels in heaven above, nor the demons down under the sea, can ever dissever my soul from the soul of the beautiful Annabell Lee. The stress on emotion is so beautifully written, and Poe does an amazing job of making the reader feel, relate and understand the love for Annabell Lee. “The Cask of Amontillado” also has strong emotion. Montresor vows to get revenge for the wrongs that Fortunato did to him, whether it was all in Montresor’s head or it is reality. I find it very interesting in the last paragraph of the “The Cask,” Montresor says his heart grew sick after the deed was complete, is he feeling remorseful or simply sad that it is over and he received no more pleasure from his revengeful act.
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