What is the theme in Hop-Frog? the protagonist and antagonist? and what's unusual about the story?greenspun.com : LUSENET : The Work of Edgar Allan Poe : One Thread
any help would be appriciated
-- Anonymous, September 30, 2003
The protagonist of course is Hop Frog the dwarf jester and the King is the antagonist. Just about everything is a reversal of Poe's gothic tales with references to several stories reversed. The jester is a victim in a trap and at the same time a crazed vengeful murder who concocts a plot. There is no punishment but escape. Even the symbols recall story reversals especially "Murders on the Rue Morgue" where the orangutangs are murdered and the closed room is escaped. You canm have fun yourself comparing "The Tell Tale Heart" (teeth grinding), Usher, The Black Cat, The Pit and the Pendulum and The Cask of Amontillado(jester, wine) looking for topsy turvy instances. Poe refers it directly to his life and his wife, also unusual, with bitter comments against the tyranny of his editors or critics and the audience. He destroys the gothic foolery symbolically by having Hop Frog say "This my- last gest!"
Which isn't funny either. Readers or critics who don't get this anti-story rampaging through Poe's own canon fall prey to thie bitter joke of it all. Simply to say the story is revenge is a little shallow therefore. Escape(in reality his wife died) and defiance have the last word after the hellish conflagration(similar to Dante picture of the lowest part of Hell and crawling up the furry body of Satan to escape.
-- Anonymous, October 02, 2003