The Antagonist: A Comparative Analysis

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Many stories in literature are not complete without an Antagonist. The Antagonist can be the embodiment of evil or just a roadblock for the main character to overcome. In the short story Sweat, written by Zora Neale Hurston, features an abusive husband, Sykes, as the Antagonist. Sykes dominates and abuses his hard-working wife, Delia. Whereas, Edgar Allen Poe, author of The Cask of Amontillado, uses an ambiguous relationship between Fortunato, a man full of ego and arrogance, who wrongs protagonist Montresor. In both stories, the Antagonists believe themselves above the laws of society and nature; and this ultimately leads their respective demises.
The arrogant never realize that their own arrogance leads to their downfall. The characters,
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Fortunato had a nasty cough that was exacerbated irritated by nitre. Nitre is also known as Potassium Nitrate. Potassium Nitrate can be hazardous. It lowers the ability for oxygen to go through the bloodstream. It can increase coughing and/or sneezing. Fortunato has a slight cough that increases throughout the story. The nitre in the cask, "hangs like moss . . . The drops of moisture trickle among the bones" (1128). Montresor acknowledges that the cough is weakening Fortunato's health. However, due to Fortunato's personality, he pretends that the cough is just a mere inconvenience. " . . . the cough is a mere nothing: it will not kill me. I shall not die of a cough" (1128). Fortunato is ignorant enough to believe that he can best…show more content…
As readers, we have no idea what Fortunato did to Montresor or his family name to drive him to such revenge. Poe hints at certain things, from revenge and the family crest to his arrogance of insisting that Fortunato penetrate the Montresor vault to acquire the esteemed Cask Amontillado. "The thousand injuries of Fortunato I had borne as I best could, but when he ventured upon insult, I vowed revenge" (1126). The only clue is that Montresor systematically closes up Fortunato in a bone chamber perhaps with others who have wronged his family in the past. However, due to the reader's not knowing his true injustice, his murder seems unjustified and maybe even cruel to some
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