LIT210 - Literary Analysis - final - tutorial
LIT210 - Literary Analysis - final - tutorial
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Date Created: 11/12/15
Literature Comparison 1 A Comparison and Contrast of Con ict in Oedipus Rex and The Cask of Amontillado LIT210 Literature Comparison 2 A Comparison of Oedipus Rex and The Cask of Amontillado The literary works Oedipus Rex and The Cask of Amontillado by Sophocles and Edgar Allan Poe respectively exhibit many fine traits of literary devices Chief among these devices is the use of con ict Each of these tales takes the concept of con ict in literature and utilizes this device to create tension and irony Each plot is unique its own way and this uniqueness allows the authors to craft a story or drama in which the con ict lures the reader in and builds a climax which resolves the con ict Although con ict is a key feature in these two literary works each author s use of con ict differs from the other in many ways The con ict in The Cask of Amontillado arises initially before the story begins Montressor the unreliable narrator informs that reader that Fortunato has in icted thousands of injuries upon Montressor in the past Abcarian amp Klotz 2007 However when Fortunato ventures upon insult the storyteller vows revenge Montressor is identified early as an unreliable narrator because he seems somewhat unstable in his desire to enact revenge upon Fortunato Enotes 2008 This con ict is not yet apparent to Fortunato as he willingly accompanies Montressor upon his request to verify the authenticity of a rare cask of wine The Cask of Amontillado Abcarian amp Klotz 2007 This initial con ict escalates as Montressor plays upon Fortunato s arrogance regarding knowledge of fine wine Montressor reveals his cleverness when he entices Fortunato into following him into Montressor s dank wine cellar by claiming that a rival wine connoisseur Luchesi can verify the validity of the Amontillado Abcarian amp Klotz 2007 Fortunato in his pride informs Montressor that Luchesi is an ignoramus and cannot discern Amontillado from Sherry Abcarian amp Klotz 2007 Literature Comparison 3 Although Montressor is an unreliable narrator due to his murderous intents he is also patient and devious in his plan to exact revenge Enotes 2008 Montressor appears to have genuine concern for Fortunato s health as he continues to exclaim that the catacombs are covered in nitre and quite possibly hazardous to Fortunato s health Abcarian amp Klotz 2007 This feigned apprehension on the part of Montressor adds to the element of con ict by informing the reader that Montressor s revenge is wellplanned despite his obvious mental imbalance Enotes 2008 Again the con ict in this story is further heightened when Fortunato mocks Montressor s claim to be a member of the Masons Since the reader is already aware that Montressor hopes to exact revenge because of a perceived insult from Fortunato this additional scorn serves to heighten the already tense con ict Enotes 2008 It is only later in the story that the reader discovers the irony of Fortunato s ridicule on the matter of Montressor s masonry skills Enotes 2008 At the climax of the story the con ict reaches a peak when Montressor s plan for revenge is realized by Fortunato Abcarian amp Klotz 2007 At first Fortunato believes that Montressor is engaging in some type of jest when Montressor chains Fortunato to two large metal staples deep within the catacombs As Montressor begins to build a masonry wall thus sealing Fortunato into the small dank chamber Fortunato finally realizes that he is doomed Abcarian amp Klotz 2007 Montressor feels vindicated for the insults he has endured and the manversusman con ict is resolved Enotes 2008 One other brief con ict occurs also at the end of the story In this manversushimself con ict Montressor feels a brief pang of guilt and Literature Comparison 4 becomes somewhat sickly feeling for a moment as begins to lay in the last brick of the wall and realizes in a lucid moment that his plan is a dastardly one Enotes 2008 Oedipus Rex is an intricate tale woven of many con icts and a very unique irony born of this con ict Although Oedipus Rex exhibits both manversusman as well as manversus himself con ict this drama is vastly different from Poe s Amontillado Spark Publishing 2007 In addition to these two types of con ict Oedipus Rex also includes manversusnature con ict which is in fact how the story begins Spark Publishing 2007 When the play opens Oedipus is perplexed by the ills which are plaguing Thebes Abcarian amp Klotz 2007 He beseeches the hordes of citizens who are sprawled upon the palace steps bemoaning their woes to explain to him why they are in such poor shape Abcarian amp Klotz 2007 This is the initial con ict of the story manversusnature It is Oedipus challenge to rid the city of the curse which threatens to destroy its people These con icts are eventually resolved but only after other con icts arise Spark Publishing 2007 The next con ict in Oedipus Rex manversusman begins as Creon returns from a visit to the Oracle in order to divine the nature of the curse that has befallen Thebes Spark Publishing 2007 Creon offers the Oracle s prophecy which indicates that the curse will remain until the murderer of the previous king Laius is revealed and brought to justice Abcarian amp Klotz 2007 This begins the manversusman con ict as Oedipus vows to discover and punish the offender Spark Publishing 2007 Further manversusman con ict arises when Tiresias the blind prophet is led in by a boy to elaborate on the details of Laius s murderer Abcarian amp Klotz 2007 When Tiresias is reluctant to give information regarding the murderer Oedipus begins to get angry and insult the Literature Comparison 5 prophet exacerbating the con ict Tiresias insists returns Oedipus s insults about his blindness by claiming that Oedipus with both your eyes are blind You cannot see the wretchedness of your life for Tiresias is aware that Oedipus himself is the responsible party for the murder of Laius Abcarian amp Klotz 2007 p 171 As the drama progresses the reader learns more about the Oracle s prophecy and the terribly irony of Oedipus s past as well as that of Laius and the queen J ocasta mother and wife and Oedipus himself Spark Publishing 2007 In this unfolding of the truth we learn that J ocasta and Laius abandoned their baby boy after being adVised by the oracle that this boy would bring about great disaster to Thebes itself In a bizarre twist of fate the infant Oedipus is discovered by a man abandoned in the wilderness Taking pity upon the baby the man brings Oedipus to another city where is raised and cared for by adoptive parents Spark Publishing 2007 Oedipus himself consults the oracle about his own future and learns that he is destined to kill his father and marry his mother Oedipus unaware of his adopted status ees his adoptive parents and the city of Corinth and makes his way to Thebes in order to avoid his destiny Spark Publishing 2007 It is upon this journey to Thebes that Oedipus enraged by the carelessness of a passing chariot on the road slays all but one of the members of the passing caravan Abcarian amp Klotz 2007 Inadvertently Oedipus has killed his own father Laius the former king of Thebes This is the source of all con icts in the tale Oedipus Rex and the reader gradually learns of these details as the con ict rises and falls throughout the play Abcarian amp Klotz 2007 As the details of the murder of Laius begin to surface Oedipus escalates the manversus man con ict by doubting the witnesses and becoming enraged at the allegations that he himself Literature Comparison 6 is responsible for Thebe s woes Spark Publishing 2007 Oedipus refers to his accusers as treasonous and conspiring to dethrone him He is still blind to the fact that Thebe s fate is his doing Spark Publishing 2007 Eventually the truth becomes clear to Oedipus As the facts reveal themselves through witnesses including Oedipus s wife and mother the con ict shifts from manversusman to man versus himself Oedipus is devastated by the newly gained knowledge of his past and by the fact that the Oracle s prophecy has come true despite his efforts to avoid this prophecy Spark Publishing 2007 At the news that J ocasta has killed herself Oedipus bashes the door to her chamber open to find her corpse In his despair Oedipus gouges out his own eyes claiming that he never wants to see the world again after the events which have unfolded Spark Publishing 2007 This is the climax of the manversushimself con ict Oedipus s utter disgust and self loathing at his actions and at the fate which has befallen him has left him in a state of self destruction He pleads with Creon to forgive him of his transgressions and Oedipus offers to exile himself in order to pay for the ill fate which has befallen Thebes Spark Publishing 2007 Creon obviously pitying Oedipus s internal con ict agrees to treat Oedipus s children as his own and to take control of Thebes This resolution of the final con ict ends the drama and the final speech of Choragos sums up the story Abcarian amp Klotz 2007 In these two literary works Oedipus Rex and The Cask of Amontillado we see examples of three different types of con ict The two tales bear very little similarity to one another in theme style or tone and the irony of each story is distinctly different The con ict in The Cask of Amontillado is primarily that of manversusman although this con ict is quite subtle when one considers that Fortunato is not even aware of the con ict until the very ending Literature Comparison of the story when he seems to resolve himself to his death In contrast the manversusman con ict in Oedipus Rex is blatantly stated and the parties for which this con ict occurs argue their respective cases in a publictype forum Another major difference in the manversus man con ict in these stories is that in Amontillado the con ict continues throughout the story until it is resolved at the end whereas the same con ict in Oedipus Rex is resolved partway through the story when Oedipus realizes that the Oracle s prophecy has come true Another difference in con ict in this story is that of manversushimself In Amontillado this type of con ict occurs only very brie y and is more of a brief repercussion of Montressor s murder plan than an important climax in the plot In Oedipus Rex on the other hand the manversushimself con ict is the major con ict of the story as the preceding events in the play culminate in total despair for the main character One similarity however between the manversushimself con ict in these two stories is that in each case the con ict arises as a result of the actions of the main characters although Oedipus s is inadvertent and Montressor s actions were carefully planned The other con ict manversusnature is absent from Amontillado yet forms the basis for the story line in Oedipus Rex as the people of Thebes seek to end the plague of bad luck which has befallen them Unbeknownst to the people of Thebes this initial manversusnature con ict will eventually resolve into manversusman and finally into manversushimself The significance of these differences in con ict between the two works of literature possibly lies in the cultural identities of each author Poe lived a tragic life full of disappointments and death Lombardi 2008 Poe s fascination with the macabre led him to write about con ict centered on death One must wonder if Poe had a different view on the 7 Literature Comparison 8 acceptance of death than most other people or he was simply disillusioned with life as a result of the death which surrounded him Lombardi 2008 Sophocles on the other hand lived a life of great accomplishment While Poe was not truly recognized for his talent until after his death Sophocles was honored as a great achiever in his life specifically in his works of drama Phrynicus the comic poet describes Sophocles last years as being the years of a fortunate man who died happily after encountering no evil quot Sophoclesnet 2008 The drastic differences in lifestyle between these two authors make for different types of con ict Sophocles who lived a life of honor and respect among his contemporaries crafted his tragedy Oedipus based upon the lives of regal noble and heroic characters Poe on the other hand endured much sadness and death in his time and penned stories and poems of horror and murder often including characters that were mentally unstable or simply murderous A final analysis of the con ict in these two fine works of literature reveals that there are vast differences between the two author s uses of literary devices to accomplish the con ict Plot is the most important factor which separates these con icts from one another Sophocles uses a complex irony to unfold the events which lead to each con ict whereas Poe uses very few characters and an unreliable narrator to inform the reader of the con ict between Montressor and Fortunato Literature Comparison References Abcarian R amp Klotz M 2007 Literature The Human Experience 9th ed Boston BedfordSt Martins Enotes 2008 The Cask of Amontillado Summary and Study Guide Retrieved October 29 2008 from httpWWWenotescomcaskamontillado Spark Publishing 2007 The Oedipus Plays Antigone oedipus Rex and oedipus at Colonus New York Spark Publishing Lombardi E 2008 About Classic Literature Edgar Allan Poe A Philosophy of Death Retrieved November 7 2008 from httpclassiclitaboutcomodpoeedgarallanaaa eap philoshtm Sophoclesnet 2008 Sophocles39 Life Retrieved October 7 2008 from httpWWWsophoclesnetlistingviewphplistingID3 1 9
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