Murder of Words
Murder, Revenge, and regret haunt the maddened minds and hearts of Antonio Salieri and Montrisor. The way the murder was thought out, the reason and type of revenge growing in the depths of the two men’s hearts and the sickening regret of the horrific crime that is buried in their souls are all things done similarly or completely different in the move “Amadeus” and fictional, horror story A Cask of Amontillado by Edgar Allen Poe by the characters Antonio Salieri and Montrisor. In “Amadeus”, Salieri was jealous of Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart’s composing ability, believing that God was making fun of him through the immature boy. Montrisor, from Cask of Amontillado, had spent years of hurt from Fortunato and wished revenge for the pain.
“The only thing that worried me was the actual killing,” (Shaffer.) Salieri told Father Vogler. In Salieri’s mind his plan was “…so simple it terrified me” (Shaffer.). He planned to kill Mozart but was not sure how to achieve his death. Montrisor, however, had years of planning Fortunato’s death. “I must not only punish but punish with impunity” (Poe.). He had Fortunato’s whole ‘punishment’ planned out in his head but waited for the perfect moment to put that plan in action. Salieri’s plan was thought out quickly and was simple while Montrisor’s plan was simple but thoroughly thought out and carefully put together.
The want of revenge can grow and become very dangerous. Jealousy of Mozart’s composing skills and revenge to God by giving Salieri the will and dream to be a great composer and Mozart’s amazing composing ability burn in Salieri’s mind and heart. Salieri is so overcome by this jealousy and revenge that it’s all he thought about. In Salieri’s plan, at Mozart’s funeral there would be a song playing “composed by his devoted friend, Antonio Salieri” (Shaffer.). The music would be playing “and God is forced to listen! Powerless, powerless to stop it! I, for once in the end, laughing at him” (Shaffer.). Salieri truly believed that God had been laughing at him through Mozart and wanted to find a way to out-do God and it came back to bite him. Montrisor, however, did not kill from jealousy or bizarre thoughts but “the thousand injuries of Fortunato I had borne as I best could” (Poe.) He wanted revenge on the injuries Fortunato had caused, though they may not have been physical or intended. He pretended to be Fortunato’s friend then listened closely to Fortunato’s cries as he walled him in and buried him alive. While Salieri was trying to accomplish revenge on God Montrisor had the feelings built up over years. Salieri’s revenge was driven by sudden jealousy.
At one point or another we all do something we regret and need to go back and apologize for but the things that Salieri and Montrisor did for revenge they could never take back. “He killed Mozart and kept me alive to torture” (Shaffer.) shows Salieri regretted killing Mozart and he couldn’t live with Mozart’s death haunting him. Salieri’s regret was eating him alive and driving him mad until he made a failed attempt to end his own life. He had watched Mozart’s health deteriorate before his own eyes and was just a little regretful near the end but the regret got much worse once Mozart was dead. Montrisor, on the other hand, took in Fortunato’s cries for help and mercy and mocked him. He enjoyed listening to the cries of despair as he buried Fortunato alive. He felt no regret during the act of killing Fortunato or after it was done. When he finishes walling Fortunato in, he says in Latin, “In pace requiescat!” The phrase means ‘May he rest in peace!’ Salieri hated himself after his awful crime but Montrisor had no regret, glad that Fortunato was dead.
Salieri and Montrisor had different ways of thinking out the hideous deed, similar reasons for the murder yet different types of revenge, and one was tortured by regret of the crime that can never be undone while the other faces the world with eyes that are glad his victim is gone forever.