How would Tripetta help Hop-Frog?

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Ashley Kannan | Middle School Teacher | (Level 3) Distinguished Educator

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Tripetta feels the need to help Hop- Frog because both were captives to a king who used people as means to ends, as opposed to ends in of themselves.  For Poe, this is a major reason why Tripetta would avail herself to help Hop- Frog:  "Indeed, they soon became sworn friends. Hop-Frog, who, although he made a great deal of sport, was by no means popular, had it not in his power to render Trippetta many services; but she, on account of her grace and exquisite beauty (although a dwarf,) was universally admired and petted: so she possessed much influence; and never failed to use it, whenever she could, for the benefit of Hop-Frog."  This friendship was seen in different ways in which Tripetta would help Hop- Frog.

Poe constructs Tripetta's characterization as one that would do just about anything to help with Hop- Frog.  One way in which she represents this was to spare him from the King's humiliation and the danger it posed.  When seeing her friend degraded with alcohol and public humiliation, Tripetta takes action: "Trippetta, pale as a corpse, advanced to the monarch’s seat, and, falling on her knees before him, implored him to spare her friend."  In response, the King abuses Tripetta.  He throws the alcohol on her face and subjects her to humiliation and debasement.  Through this, Tripetta helps Hop- Frog in how she stands up to the King's abuse for him and how she accepts her punishment for challenging the King's authority. Tripetta helps Hop- Frog in how she defies authority for his benefit.  At the same time, Poe suggests that she also helped Hop- Frog in the plan for vengeance:  "It is supposed that Trippetta, stationed on the roof of the saloon, had been the accomplice of her friend in his fiery revenge, and that, together, they effected their escape to their own country: for neither was seen again."  In honoring Hop- Frog and helping him plan his revenge, Tripetta helps her friend.

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