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The Cask Of Amontillado, By Edgar Allan Poe And The Goose Girl, By Shannon Hale

1189 words - 5 pages

Montresor in Edgar Allan Poe’s “The Cask of Amontillado” and the chambermaid in Jacob and Wilhelm Grimm’s “The Goose Girl” both personify the dark side of human nature. In “The Cask of Amontillado,” Montresor, the vile narrator, tells the story of how he ruthlessly murdered his victim, Fortunato, fifty years ago. In “The Goose Girl,” the treacherous chambermaid forces the princess to trade places with her in order to marry a prince from a distant land. Montresor uses manipulation to accomplish his revenge; unlike the chambermaid who primarily uses coercion and deception. Montresor was successful in committing the perfect revenge whereas the chambermaid was exposed and punished for her deception. Both stories use different methods to teach different lessons. It is through Montresor’s victim, Fortunato, whose weaknesses illustrate the dangers of addiction, pride, and insensitivity, whereas the chambermaid exemplifies the perils of deceitfulness. Even though Montresor and the chambermaid are distinct in many ways, both characters are opportunistic, deceitful, and sadistic in nature.
The first resemblance between the two characters is that they are both opportunistic. In Poe’s “The Cask of Amontillado,” Montresor takes advantage of the fact that Fortunato is inebriated at the carnival. He uses this opportunity to lure Fortunato to his palazzo to carry out his devious plan. Montresor also knows that Fortunato is addicted to wine. He cunningly baits Fortunato by telling him he has some Amontillado and he also gets him even more drunk in route to the catacombs. Near the end of the story, Montresor states “I had scarcely laid the first tier of masonry when I discovered that the intoxication of Fortunato had in a great measure worn off” (Poe XXX). Montresor noticed a difference in Fortunato when he sobered up, one can speculate that Fortunato would not have been as vulnerable if he was not intoxicated. Similarly, In the Brothers Grimm “The Goose Girl” the chambermaid epitomizes an opportunistic antagonist. In the story, the queen sends off her daughter to marry a prince in a distant kingdom and picks a chambermaid to ride with the princess. One can gather that the queen must have trusted the chambermaid to choose her in the journey. As soon as the princess orders the chambermaid to “get some water from the brook,” (J. Grimm, W. Grimm 405) the chambermaid became disobedient and told the princess to “get off your horse yourself, and lie down near the water and drink. I won’t be your servant.” (J. Grimm, W. Grimm 405) Soon after, the chambermaid noticed when the princess lost her cloth of protection, and took control by forcing the princess to trade identities with her. Both Montresor and the chambermaid are opportunistic in the way they seize the opportunity to carry out their malevolent plan when their victim is defenseless.
Another comparison between Montresor and the chambermaid is that they are both deceitful characters. In Poe’s “The Cask of...

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