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Literature: A comparison of the Role of villains in “The Cask of Amontillado,” and “Dracula’s Guest”

Updated on September 10, 2013

A comparison of the Role of villains in “The Cask of Amontillado,” by Edgar Allan Poe (1846) and “Dracula’s Guest” by Bram Stoker

Edgar Allan Poe’s storyThe Cask of Amontillado,)’’ first appeared in a monthly magazine that was called Godey's Lady's Book in 1846 in Philadelphia. This magazine engaged itself in publishing stories and poems of some of the famous writers at that time. In 1950, it appeared in Poes’ recollections that were edited by Rufus W. Griswold. Poe is known for writing controversial stories and collections among them tales and Raven (Moffitt, 1972, P41).

In the article, Montresor who is the narrator of the story happens to have resentment upon Fortunato his friend, for unclear reasons. He leads Fortunato who is drunk through ways underneath his house with a promise that he will taste his wine which he had bought. When they reach at the house, Montresor ties him to the wall and makes another wall to close him up and then leaves him to perish (Poe, 1846).

On the other hand Dracula's Guest (1914) is a collection of stories written by Bram Stocker. The story commences when Jonathan Harker is requested to visit the count’s crumbling, a private residence within the boarders of Transylvania and Moldavia. The aim of the visit was to offer legal services for areal estate business deal in London on behave of his employer. While there, he discovers that he had been hoodwinked and neglected at that remote side of the country. In an attempt to escape from the jungle, he encounters three vampires which he struggle with in order to survive, but he is eventually assisted by Dracula who wished to keep him in his “teeming millions” to perform various missions inn London. What goes on is a series of encounters between these two people with vampires and other animals and also their betrayal among themselves and their friends (Skal, 1993).

In reaching a lonely valley, Jonathan Harker decides to rest in one of the many yellow trees in the valley. He however does not realise that the places he settles on as his shelter happens to be a cemetery. He is surprised when he finds a tomb in the place he was just sitting with an inscription “Countess Dolingen of Gratz sought and found death 1801”, at the back of the tomb, there was another inscription that read “The dead travel fast” (Hawking, 2008).

Finding himself in such an environment, Harker becomes a greatly worried man in such a circumstance and though there is nowhere else he can take shelter from the impeding rainfall, he is again forced to shelter near the same tomb; as Hacker tries to avoid the storm, the tombs’ door opens, forcing him a way and he sees the contents of tomb; a glittering lady with a well formed chicks lying on her beddings. The now intensive storm breaks the tomb door completely and surprisingly, the woman at the tomb starts screaming (Skal, 1993).

Jonathan Harkers’ troubles does not end there, as he reflects on his recent encounters, he certainly feels some kind of unusual warmth in his chest and suddenly, he realises that wolves were a attending to him. ” (Hawking, 2008).

Three horsemen passing by found the man Harker being attached by the wolves and him looking like a death person. Using their spotlights, they send the wolves away and turn back to attend the Englishman. After Harker regaining consciousness, they returned him back to his hotel residence where he was supposed to wait for his host Dracula. On the way, the three men get to discuss on the wolves they encountered and their uniqueness. They also expressed their surprise on finding fresh blood on the tomb where Harker was sheltering while his body had no any injury. They also became perplexed that although the wolves appeared to devour him, they did him no harm. Surprisingy, the neck of Jonathan Hacker started aching suddenly when one of the men starts talking about it (Hawking, 2008).

As Harker finds himself at his residence, he gets revelations that the horsemen were commissioned by Count Dracula whom he expected to meet to save him. Dracula had learned on Harkers’ dangers from a telegram message he had received from the management of the Harkers’ hotel a few hours after his departure (Skal, 1993).

The Role of Montresor, in the “The Cask of Amontillado,” by Edgar Allan Poe (1846)

In this novel, Montresor, who is the chief villain, reveals to someone who is not specified, on is heinous act of murdering his friend Fortunato. Though he claims to have been wronged by Fortunate, the really offense committed by him are not even made clear either. He only talks about some insults he had received from the victim some years back. Montresor succeeds into luring his friend to his chambers with a promise of offering him new wine, this was however a means of trapping him into his crafted plan. Once the guy was drunk, he then ties him into a wall and makes another wall to make sure that he does not escape. Though he is not clear to the readers or even his victims on why he acted the way he did, Montresor however seems to feel happy about his act of revenge in murdering Fortunato. The fact that he narrated this heinous act to someone may mean that he had in actual sense felt a sense of guilty (Poe, 1846).

In the cask of Amontillado, Montresor employs the grounds of friendship in order to attract Fortunato to his house so as to accomplish his vengeful mission. In this, he cheats Fortunato that there is plenty of new wine in his house and while there, he makes sure that he becomes dunk. Thereafter, he uses achain to tie him up within a wall leaving him to succumb to death (Pullman, 2011).

Using the appeal of wine and friendship, he succeeds in accomplishing his deal. While at the house, Montresor’s craftiness is further depicted when he uses different means to erase suspicion from Fortunato on what is antics are. He pretends to show a lot of concern to him about his health and by giving him new and plenty of wine. Montresor claims that though he did this act around 50 years from the time of his narrative of the story, he had not been caught. In actual sense, this story may be depiction of the betrayal of friendship (Pullman, 2011).
Count Dracula in “Dracula’s Guest” by Bram Stoker

County Dracula is considered as the chief villain in the novel “Dracula’s Guest”. This is derived from among many factors such the kind of company he keeps, such as the dreaded Mummy, Wolfman and the vampires. In this novel, Count Dracula is consistently depicted as the leader of this dreaded team (Bram, 1914).

In the novel, Count Dracula appears in almost the entire plot of the story alongside other characters such as Jonathan, Mina Harker, Doctor Seward, Doctor Van Helsing and Renfield. Count Dracula may appear as a friendly figure more especially in the beginning of the story but more often explodes into anger when his is crossed over, his blue eyes turning red. Whilst the three vampire women decided to seduce Jonathan Harker, he develops rage and fights one of them. He also gives hem stern warning against engaging in such acts. But afterwards, he cools down and talks with them in a friendly manner. He also informs them that his love is not directed to all of them (Bram, 1914).

From his expressions with Harker on the rich history of heroes among his Székely people, we find that Count Dracula is fond about his heritage in wars. H e as well expresses his interest in the history of the British Empire (Bram Stoker, 1914).

The description about his appearance is that he is thin with long beards and hears, and sharp canines. His nose also appears hooked. He mostly dresses in black. In describing him, Jonathan Harker points that he is cruel looking, aged man (Bram, 1914).

In accordance to Van Helsingr, count Dracula has supernatural capabilities which are equivalent to that of twenty strong men. H e can not be subdued by use of the natural ways of human attack. H e can only be killed through vampire means such as using the silver bullets, wooden stakes, iron, wild rose, holy water, etc.(Bram, 1914).

One of the mystic characteristics of Dracula is his ability to transform himself into various features and also transfer his condition to his victims in order to make them drink vampire blood. This depicted when he changes Lucy into a vampire and also does the same on Mina whom he feeds vampire blood as well. His powers however are only most active during the night but i the daytime, he may be inactive. He also enters a place only upon invitation but may leave unwell. (Bram, 1914).

Although he is greatly feared by his own people in Transylvania and others, there are some cliques who indeed appear loyal to him, such as the Slovaks who assist him in carrying his luggages to London and also to protect him back to the castle. This is because the Slovaks happen to be familiar with him. When Harker tries to send a letter through them, they hand it over to him, again showing their sense of loyalty (Bram, 1914).


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