Hop Frog as a Love Story
"Hop Frog", by Edgar Allan Poe, is a short story in which the title character, after enduring much abuse by the king, gets revenge in the end. Hop Frog is not only the king's jester, but is also a handicapped dwarf. The king perpetually berates Hop Frog and plays practical jokes on his poor jester. At one point, king and his seven ministers summon Hop Frog before them so that he may give them ideas for an upcoming masquerade. The king forces him to drink wine (which Hop Frog always has an adverse reaction to drinking) and becomes very upset at him. Hop Frog is saved only by the intercession of Trippetta, a woman from Hop Frog's own land and his only true friend. Trippetta succeeds, but only after suffering great humiliation at the hands of the king. Nevertheless, Hop Frog gives the eight an idea for their masquerade disguises. After tarring them, covering them with flax, and chaining them together, they have the rough appearance of eight orangutans, and Hop Frog leads them into the masquerade. Here his vengeance plot unfolds, as he hoists the into the air and sets them on fire. He then makes his escape, probably with Trippetta and the two are never seen again. But this story is not just about escape from oppression. Instead, it is a love story, because Hop Frog’s entire course of action was inspired only by his love for Trippetta.
Hop Frog had suffered through years of torment at the hands of the king. To begin with, Hop Frog was kidnapped from his own land and sent as a captive to the king. Hop Frog was made to suffer verbal abuse for his physical shortcomings and sufferings.
For example, he was given the insulting nickname of "Hop Frog", though ...through the distortions of his legs, [he] could move only with great pain and difficulty. Later, when the king summons Hop Frog before him, he forced the dwarf to drink wine, even though Ò...he knew Hop Frog was not fond of wine, for it excited the poor cripple almost to madness. Bearing this in mind, the cruelty of the king is obvious, because he Ò...took pleasure in forcing Hop Frog to drink. After enduring such constant abuse and torment for what appears to have been quite some time, surely anyone would expect Hop Frog to snap. But the cruelty inflicted on him does not cause this to happen. It was only after the king had shoved Trippetta and had thrown wine in her face that Hop Frog decided to end the cruelty.
After Hop Frog and Trippetta had been captured and sent to the king, Ò...a close intimacy developed between the two little captives. Trippetta also used her influence to benefit Hop Frog whenever she could. Close ties soon developed, and the two became Òsworn friends'. It is little wonder, then, that the mistreatment of Trippetta infuriated him to the point that he finally snapped. His teeth began grating so loudly that everyone in the room could hear it. We also see a change in his demeanor, as he makes the change...