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Comparing The Portrayals Of The Villains From Tell Tale Heart And The Speckled Band

1682 words - 7 pages

Comparing the Portrayals of the Villains from Tell-Tale Heart and The Speckled Band

The two villains in “Tell-Tail Heart” and “The Speckled Band” both
have similarities and differences in their portrayals of murder,
conveyed in the stories. They have disparities between motives and
methods of murder, although there is a resemblance in the masterminds
of murder.

The villain in “The Speckled Band”, Dr. Grimsby Roylott was married to
Mrs. Stoner in India who is prosperous with her wealth, but she had
died in a train crash and bequeathed the sum of £1000 to Dr. Roylott.
This money was enough to fulfil the family’s needs as they moved into
an old ancestral house in Stoke Moran. Roylott unfortunately in dismay
fears that the family will deteriorate into financial decline as his
step- daughters will be leading their lives through marriage. It was
an unmanageable situation for Dr. Roylott to elucidate this matter. He
was inconceivable to murder his step daughter, Julia Stoner with his
knowledge of deadly snakes in an ambitious attempt to stop her,
despite the fact that his motive was reason enough to keep him
focused. Dr. Roylott had planned to target his next victim, Helen
Stoner. It was only then that Sherlock Holmes intervened and impeded
his plan.

Edgar Allan Poe delineates a murderer’s mind thoroughly as it is the
murderer who relates the story to us. He commits a murder of an
innocent man, but does not take the blame that he is mad, as
throughout the story he attempts to deny it. His motive was to rid of
the innocent man’s “vulture eye” which was the concentration, because
he believes justification of society’s morals is his right. The
murderer finds contentment stalking the man for days and committing
the murder, but loses his diligence when revealing the corpse to the
officers he confronted.

Edgar Allan Poe creates a stereotypical villain in “Tell – Tale
Heart”, because the killer always stalks the man in the “dead of the
night”, especially when he is asleep. The realisation of this is that
the victim is left vulnerable; a perfect scenario for the villain to
assassinate. The killer is “patient” too, which would symbolise him
deadly because a stereotypical murderer assassinates and scrutinises
his victim without knowing his presence. The villain proves that he is
bloodthirsty as he “dismembers” the corpse, by cutting off the “head,
arms and legs”. This directly devises images of disgust as the corpse
is mutilated, which would portray the slaughterer’s villainy
temperament. He believes: “what you mistake for madness is but over –
acuteness of the senses?”. We are unsure of his sanity, because he
amazingly adjudicates his rights when we know his actions are
unreasonable in society.

Dr. Grimsby Roylott is an antagonistic person, who constantly finds
disgust of...

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