The Vengeance of Hop-Frog (1898)
"James Ensor used theatrical metaphors to critique the inhumanity of the world around him. In this print, he illustrates a scene from "Hop-Frog," a short story by Edgar Allan Poe. In Poe's story, Hop-Frog (a dwarf court jester so named because his physical deformity prevented him from walking upright) avenges the mistreatment that he and fellow dwarf Trippetta have suffered at the hands of the king and his entourage. Hop-Frog convinces the royal band to wear orangutan costumes, chains them together like wild beasts and leads them into a grand masquerade ball, where they gleefully terrify the guests. As seen here, in a shocking act of retribution, he hoists them to the ceiling, climbs up to "discover" their identities and "accidentally" sets them afire with his torch."