Historical facts about Edgar

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Does any body know what historical events happened when Poe wrote "The Cask of Amontillado" please help. Thanks

-- Anonymous, June 11, 2003


A curious question, indeed. When Poe wrote and published the tale you are alluding to (1846), the major fact in the U.S. history was the war against Mexico, and, eventually, the annexion of two new "states", viz. "Texas" & "New Mexico" of our days. But I think that it has nothing to do with Poe's well-known story of Revenge. On the other hand, it is commonly admitted that Poe had in view to "symbolically" punish TH. D. English, his ex-friend who, strongly disappointed by Poe's jocular tone of the sketch on him in the so- called series "The Literati", malevolently replied with slanders and peculiarly hurting words. For this, see in any good bio of the poet. I don't guess if this minimal information could be of any interest for your quest... Yours sincerely, Raven's Shade (Belgium).

-- Anonymous, June 11, 2003

Also harkens way back to the social theme of revenge for honor in Godwin's "Caleb Williams" which Poe wrote about and emulated. there a wannnabe noble is shocked by insult to his flegling, insecure honor to murder a man and alsolet an innocent man die in his place for the deed. The guilt wars in an unbreakable struggle with totla committment to preserving his honor as he is tracked down by a truthseeker who cracks the mystery and Caleb dies from a breakdown.

Poe, as an American and as an aspiring writer tormented by challenges and authorities identifies to this extent with the socialist Godwin in despising nobility in general. Only Poe also identifies with the wronged man and has honor of his own to defend. Montressor is conflicted yet unflinching in his obvious guilt, remorseless, suppressed guilt and self-horror. Proud of his cleverness. Perhaps Poe was taking symbolic revenge on a critic, but something of his own nature he seems torecognize as more conflicted and less admirable. Poe was more personal in his relation of topics making broad exceptions for scientific excitement and discoveries. Politics are rarely integral to his works except broadly from the American or Southern character.

"The Man who was all used up" is black humor that makes Poe seem dismissive of war as he was when he quit the peacetime army. Whereas in "The Gold Bug"and "Eldorado" Poe let a touch of the gold rush of 1849 into his inspiration.

In other words, I am pretty much repeating what Ravenshade just said.

-- Anonymous, June 11, 2003

Hey...I love you!

-- Anonymous, October 23, 2003

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