Revenge is considered part of human nature because it is a survival instinct. Humans are inclined to commit acts of savagery because people are delicate beings. The Oxford English Dictionary defines revenge as, “the action of hurting or harming someone in return for an injury or wrong suffered.” Two good examples involve Montresor from the Cask of Amontillado and the unknown narrator from the Tell- Tale Heart. Montresor murders a fellow wine connoisseur because he insulted Montresor in a manner that could not be exonerated. The narrator of the Tell-Tale Heart enacts revenge by murdering an old man for provoking the narrator’s worst fears in the form of a “ vulture eye”. In both of these works by Edgar Allen Poe, the need for revenge consumed their internal fears and insecurities to perform those cruel acts. In the end though, both of the people discussed showed signs of remorse that in a way formed the character.
Montresor was a man who knew his vintage Italian wine along with other men. One of them was a virtuoso in wine, who was named Fortunato. Fortunato often jested and mocked Montresor in ways that were dismissible. But when Fortunato turned to insult Montresor, he followed his family motto. “Nemo me impune lacessit. (No one can harm me unpunished)” Montresor’s family motto suggests vengeance is a common and acceptable way to serve vengeance. The concept for revenge is also analyzed in another scenario. The unknown narrator from the Tell-Tale Heart begins the story pleading his sanity. The narrator confesses the murder of the old man by saying he was not mad when the horrible deed was committed. The reason for
this cruelty was the old man’s filmy blue eye, which is exemplified in the following. “Whenever it fell upon me, my blood ran cold; and so by degrees --very gradually --I made up my mind to take the life of the old man, and thus rid myself of the eye forever.” Fear was so strong and present in the narrator’s mind that he vowed to get rid of the horrible eye that caused great pain. The narrator was truly afraid as he tries to justify the reason he killed the man. This only demonstrates that he tried to get even with the old man for giving the narrator a fright whenever he saw the old man.
Montresor did not need to go to great lengths to murder Fortunato. He knew Fortunato had a key weakness that Montresor could exploit. On the night of Carnival, in the midst of drunkenness and merrymaking, Montresor could be seen approaching Fortunato. Montresor lied to Fortunato that he had...