Insanity Defense Essay by The Research Group

Insanity Defense
Discusses the legal concept of insanity.
# 24172 | 675 words | 2 sources | 2002 | US

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Discusses the legal concept of insanity. Aspects of premeditation and calculation in committing murder. Uses two specific examples to illustrate the general discussion: one literary & one actual case. Edgar Allan Poe's 1846 story "A Cask of Amontillado" and an 1843 English murder trial that raised the question of criminal insanity and established the modern legal insanity test (McNaughton rule).

From the Paper:

"Insanity is a term often used as if it had a medical meaning, but in truth, insanity is a legal concept. Under this concept, Montresor in Edgar Allan Poe's story "A Cask of Amontillado" would certainly be classified as mentally unbalanced but would also be deemed sane under the law. This is because while the actions he takes might be considered insane by many people, he does them knowing that what he is doing is wrong.

In the Poe story, the tale is told by Montresor, who will also be the murderer, and the reader experiences his madness directly because he tells his own story. The horror story by Poe gains power by having the protagonist tell the story. This is a story that features a theme repeated in several Poe stories, that of being buried alive, and here the victim is..."

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