Good Research Paper About The Theme Of Jealousy In Poe’s “Cask Of Amontillado” And Browning’s “My Last Duchess”
New WowEssays Premium Database!
Find the biggest directory of over
1 million paper examples!
Jealousy is a universal feeling that every human being regardless of gender, culture and religion have experienced. While this emotion can be a sign of love, excessive jealousy is unhealthy and dangerous. When man is overpowered by this emotion, his rationale is clouded. Since it is a universal experience, jealousy is a favorite subject of many poets, playwrights and authors. Two of the famous artists who tackles the theme of jealousy in their works are Edgar Allan Poe and Robert Browning. Both literary masterpieces explore the dark side of the human mind as triggered by their intense jealousy. The “Cask of Amontillado” is a gothic story where Poe narrates the jealousy of Montressor over the good fortune and material possession of Fortunato. On the other hand, Browning’s “My Last Duchess” chronicles the jealous rage of the Duke over the men who laid eyes on his wife. Although the two works of literature discuss different forms of jealousy, they have the same conclusion. Poe’s short story and Browning’s poem both shows that extreme jealousy is a powerful emotion that can be monstrous and provoke become a ruthless murderer.
In the “Cask of Amontillado,” the villain in the character of Montressor resented against Fortunato’s social and economic status. Hence, the name Fortunato which means “fortunate” and “blessed” in the English language is an obvious indicator that the main character comes from a well-off family. This economic standing have caused Montressor to feel insecurity and plan for Fortunato’s destruction. Montressor says that, “He had a weak point --this Fortunato --although in other regards he was a man to be respected and even feared.” (Cask of Amontillado) This statement gives an overview of the reason behind the villains jealousy. He affirms that Fortunato is a respected man; he is a figure of power that some people fear him. However, Montressor’s jealousy fueled his cunning spirit that he was able to discover the weakness of his “friend.” His jealous character have made him become wise and successful in achieving his end by deceiving Fortunato. He knows very well that the man is a drunkard and this weakness made it easy for him to fulfill his plan without any suspicion or defiance from Fortunato.
On their way to the vaults, Fortunato tells Montressor that he forgot his family’s arms and concludes that he is not a member of the Masons.
“I looked at him in surprise. He repeated the movement --a grotesque one.
"You do not comprehend?" he said.
"Not I," I replied.
"Then you are not of the brotherhood." (Cask of Amontillado)
This scene clearly suggests the high status of Fortunato’s family in the society. It implies that an ordinary man like Montressor could not recognize a hand gesture that only the elite would understand. Fortunato’s frankness in commenting about Montressor’s social status is another insult that intensified the latter’s jealousy. At the end of the story, such jealousy have made him a merciless killer where he plastered Fortunato alive.
While Poe exposes man’s resentment over someone else’s success, Browning tackles a man’s suspicions over the unfaithfulness of his wife. At the onset of the poem the Duke tells the messenger whom he calls “Sir” about the flirtatious character of his wife. He says:
“Sir, 'twas not Her husband's presence only, called that spot Of joy into the Duchess' cheek” (My Last Duchess, lines 13-15)
This passage serves as a prologue that suggests the danger of jealousy. The Duke describes the friendly smile of his late wife and equates the smile as a sign of flirting. He maliciously emphasizes that she had smiled the same in front of many men- which should never be the case because according to his irrational principle, that kind of smile should only be addressed to him- the Duchess legal husband. He even names it as a “spot of joy”- a negative phrase that reflects his utter disapproval about the friendliness of his wife. A man whose reason was not controlled by extreme jealousy would understand that is is sound and modest for a Duchess to appear as friendly as possible. Additionally, a rational man should keep this matter (accusations about a wife’s infidelity) private. It is also unethical to speak ill about his wife’s behavior in front of a man whom he met for the very first time.
The Duke tells the emissary that the late duchess blushed in front of several men. In this part, his jealousy have caused to act beyond the bounds of reason. He irrationally believe that blushing is a decision; a choice that his wife have made with much pleasure. Without the spirit of jealousy, the Duke could have understand that blushing is a bodily gesture that one can not control. Science would attest that blushing is a non-verbal language that contains a number of meanings. Timidity, discomfort, excitement, and anxiety can all cause blushing. But for a jealous person like the Duke, blushing has one meaning- flirting.
The Duke’s heightened jealousy made it difficult for him to distinguish reality from illusion. This is evident in the scene where he imagines the Duchess’ painting session with Pra Pandolf. He hypothetically visualizes that the artist is teasing his wife and she responds in a flirtatious and pleasured manner. Finally, when his jealousy had totally controlled him, he gave orders of killing the innocent Duchess. He confesses:
“ I gave commands; Then all smiles stopped together. “(My Last Duchess, lines 45-46)
The Duke and Montressor are both victims of extreme jealousy that resulted to the tragic death of two innocent people. Too much jealousy have fueled the Duke’s wrongful accusations and made him believe that his wife is giving too much attention to other men. Montressor on the other hand, is extremely jealous about the success of Fortunato that he treats his every word as an insult. Although the cause of their jealousy are different, and the circumstances that they’ve gone through are not similar; they have suffered from the same consrquence-- their extreme jealousy have taken over their human nature and molded them into merciless beasts.
The Cask of Amontillado by Edgar Allan Poe. Virginia.edu. n.d. Web. 28 Mar. 2015. <http://xroads.virginia.edu/~hyper/POE/cask.html>
My Last Duchess by Robert Browning. Poetry Foundation. N.d. Web. 28 Mar. 2015. <http://www.poetryfoundation.org/poem/173024>
Please remember that this paper is open-access and other students can use it too.
If you need an original paper created exclusively for you, hire one of our brilliant writers!
- Paper Writer
- Write My Paper For Me
- Paper Writing Help
- Buy A Research Paper
- Cheap Research Papers For Sale
- Pay For A Research Paper
- College Essay Writing Services
- College Essays For Sale
- Write My College Essay
- Pay For An Essay
- Research Paper Editor
- Do My Homework For Me
- Buy College Essays
- Do My Essay For Me
- Write My Essay For Me
- Cheap Essay Writer
- Argumentative Essay Writer
- Buy An Essay
- Essay Writing Help
- College Essay Writing Help
- Custom Essay Writing
- Case Study Writing Services
- Case Study Writing Help
- Essay Writing Service
- Jealousy Research Papers
- Family Research Papers
- Women Research Papers
- Wife Research Papers
- Literature Research Papers
- Character Research Papers
- Men Research Papers
- Extreme Research Papers
- Poem Research Papers
- Front Research Papers
- Status Research Papers
- Reason Research Papers
- Poetry Research Papers
- Emotions Research Papers
- Human Research Papers
- Innocent Research Papers
- Spot Research Papers
- People Research Papers
- Spirit Research Papers
- Gesture Research Papers
- Husband Research Papers