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“Browning’s “”My Last Duchess”” vs. Poe’s “”The Cask of Amontillado””” Essay

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Updated: May 6th, 2021

My Last Duchess

The speaker is a lover of arts. He appreciates the appearance of the picture calling it a wonder. He, however, is skeptical of its appearance suggesting that the picture looks as though the Duchess is still alive. This tends to suggest that he does not regret the death of the Duchess. Moreover, it exposes his hatred for the Duchess who is dead. He is possessive having drawn a curtain to the picture so that only he can see it. While the beauty of the picture is so nice he would want to show off, his selfishness prompts him to draw a curtain over the picture.

The speaker tends to hate the Duchess; he says his presence never made her happy. She was delighted by other things. The speaker is angry with the Duchess’s easily impressed demeanor. He says her heart was made glad too soon. The speaker is jealous saying her looks went everywhere. The speaker feels unappreciated and unattended to by the Duchess. He says she concentrated on other things like the mule she rode and the bough of cherries. He has a proud demeanor saying he would not stoop as low as the Duchess did.

The speaker is dictatorial because he did give commands which were unappreciated by the Duchess as the commands stopped her smiles. He, however, never stops commanding often wanting to exercise control over the Duchess. He is regretful of the dowry he did pay and thinks the Duchess was just pretentious. These revelations evoke feelings of hatred for the speaker. It creates a feeling that the death of the Duchess was a relief to her person. The speaker must have imprisoned her in some way. Her freedom was curtailed, and she had to impress. The pride and non-remorseful demeanor of the speaker evoke the feeling of disgust. This is further exacerbated by the speaker’s selfishness always wanting attention.

The Cask of Amontillado

Montresor is one vengeful man from the onset. He narrates his singular mission to avenge an insult on his person. He is a proud man who will never allow insults to pass by. He even completes his narrative by asserting that, for over half a century, nobody has insulted him. It is this fact that makes him feel vindicated by his action of burying Fortunato alive.

Montresor is a bright schemer. He is disappointed by his friend having insulted him. He thinks carefully about how he can have his revenge. By taking advantage of Fortunato’s weakness for the amontillado he not only comes out as bright but is opportunistic. He would not tackle the issue head-on but would hit from below the belt. He is pretentious. As they travel to get the supposed amontillado he pretends to care for Fortunato. At first, he expresses concern over wasting his friend’s time yet he can as well use the services of Luchresi. He afterward opines that the cold Fortunato is suffering from could be fatal. Fortunato, however, soldiers on very unsuspectingly. Further, Montresor pretends to be appreciative of Fortunato’s position in society. He insists that he is important to society and seizes to be responsible for the former’s demise. Fortunato is determined, and despite the sorry state of his friend, he tags him along to his demise.

However, Fortunato is presented as being merciless. How he incessantly buries his friend alive is inhumane. He soldiers on with the process of filling the masonry with his stuff up to the eleventh tier and leaves only after satisfied that indeed his friend is history.

These revelations of the person of Montresor evoke feelings of hatred and disgust for him. The feeling generally is that Montresor overstretched his revenge. He went overboard in his mission. His highly pretentious nature evokes a lot of mistrust, which contributes to the feeling of hatred and disgust in his person.

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"Browning's ""My Last Duchess"" vs. Poe's ""The Cask of Amontillado""." IvyPanda, 6 May 2021, ivypanda.com/essays/brownings-my-last-duchess-vs-poes-the-cask-of-amontillado/.

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IvyPanda. "Browning's ""My Last Duchess"" vs. Poe's ""The Cask of Amontillado""." May 6, 2021. https://ivypanda.com/essays/brownings-my-last-duchess-vs-poes-the-cask-of-amontillado/.

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IvyPanda. 2021. "Browning's ""My Last Duchess"" vs. Poe's ""The Cask of Amontillado""." May 6, 2021. https://ivypanda.com/essays/brownings-my-last-duchess-vs-poes-the-cask-of-amontillado/.

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IvyPanda. (2021) '"Browning's ""My Last Duchess"" vs. Poe's ""The Cask of Amontillado"""'. 6 May.

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