Hop Frog is a short story that was written by Edgar A. Poe. It is his last story known to be written before his death. In his life, he had met again with Sarah Royster, his first love. He was going to marry her, and she had money, which he could use as venture capital to start his own magazine, and become successful.
The main character is named Hop Frog, and it represents Poe. Hop Frog is a cripple and a dwarf. He cannot walk on his legs without great pain. He can, however, use his arms to propel himself as well as one may walk. This is symbolic of Poe's different method of writing, which we find better today than the other stories that were being written at the time, but were rejected by the people of his time.
Hop Frog was the jester in the court of a king with seven advisors. He was stolen from his barbaric land when he was a child. Trippetta was another dwarf who had been stolen at the same time. She was a beautiful dancer and had become friends with Hop Frog.
Hop Frog was allergic to alcohol, just like Poe himself. Hop Frog was still forced to drink by the king, because it made him funnier, which is what the king expected from his jester. It can be argued that Poe was forced to drink despite his allergies by society by their rejection of him, but this can be easily disputed.
The plot begins with the king thinking about how he will dress for the party he is holding that night. The king would like to scare the guests, as that was popular at the time. Hop Frog comes up with the idea of dressing the king and his seven advisors up as orangutans, and chaining them together.
Hop Frog and Trippetta organize the whole night. To dress up the king and advisors, they have them tar and flu (?) themselves. Then they chain them all together in a ring, plus two cross-chains connecting opposite orangutans in the ring. They make it so there is as little light as possible in the chamber such that the guests will be more easily scared.
Right before the king and his advisors enter, the doors are locked to prevent everyone from running away and causing havoc. The king and advisors run in, and scare the whole crowd. After this point in the story, it is obvious that Hop Frog and Trippetta are tricking the king and his advisors.
The chandelier is lowered from the ceiling, and nobody notices because it is not lit. By their causing a ruckus, the orangutans are hooked on the chandelier. Hop Frog finds a torch, gets the attention of the crowd, and proclaims that he will find the identity of the orangutans. The chandelier is risen up into the air, and Hop Frog uses the torch to identify the orangutans as the king and his advisors. The torch gets so close to the king that it sets him and his advisors on fire.
Hop Frog then exclaims to the crowd that he is the jester, and that was his last jest. He then rises through the ceiling, and escapes with Trippetta to live happily ever after.