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Edgar Allan Poe Essay Topics & Paper Examples

Edgar Allan Poe and his Romanticism

According to Thompson (1970), “romanticism is a far-reaching but crucial modern period applied to the philosophical shift within Western mind-set to human and art creativity that conquered much of the American culture during the initial part of the 19th century, and that has fashioned most ensuing progress in literature, even those against it” (Thompson, 1970, p. 31). Romanticism illustrates strong, intense and wondrous deal of emotions which demonstrate an attraction for nature, mankind and supernatural that fuels extreme consequences on human minds while classical and neo-classical exemplify a serene type of art that flaunts tranquility in every detail of its artistic idea. Values taken from people’s view about life is the great source of audience excitement that manifest a freedom…

Analysis of Gold Bug

“The Gold-Bug” includes a cipher that uses polyphonic substitution. Though he did not invent “secret writing” or cryptography, Poe certainly popularized it during his time. To most people in the 19th century, cryptography was mysterious and those able to break the codes were considered gifted with nearly supernatural ability. Poe had drawn attention to it as a novelty over four months in the Philadelphia publication Alexander’s Weekly Messenger in 1840. He had asked readers to submit their own substitution ciphers, boasting he could solve all of them with little effort. Poe wrote “The Gold-Bug” as one of the few pieces of literature to incorporate ciphers as part of the story. Poe’s character Legrand’s explanation of his ability to solve the…

Cask of Amontillado: Wrongfully Accused?

Do you believe Montresor is crazy? Well unlike most people, I believe that he is perfectly sane. After reading the story “The Cask of Amontillado” by Edgar Allan Poe I have decided that Montresor is sane. He can’t possibly be insane! First, to decide if he’s “insane” we need to know the true definition of insane. The term Insanity is used when someone repeats the same actions over and over again but expecting different results every time. Montresor killed Fortunado only once and he knew what the result would be. Feigning insanity? Feigning insanity is the simulation of Mental illness in order to avoid or lessen the consequences of a confrontation or conviction for an alleged crime. One example of…

Edgar Allan Poe

The diction of Edgar Allan Poe’s works have surely enhanced their literary value . Firstly, Poe was a believer in the law of liberty of diction, in the aesthetic tradition in art, in storytelling. Hence, the diction in almost all his literary works, be they poems, short stories or whatever carry a smell of freshness, of originality, of innate beauty. Again, as he was an iconoclast he could free the diction of the “short stories” from the heresy of the didactic. He keeps an eye on details and hence a flexibility of diction was the need of the hour which he mastered. He has dovetailed poetry in prose as and when required in order to enhance the readability and appeal…

Edgar Allan Poe and Nathaniel Hawthorne: A Comparison

Edgar Allan Poe and Nathaniel Hawthorne were two of America’s finest Romantic writers. These two writers have stood the test of time and are read as much today if not more than they were in their own time. The major reason that both author’s were as popular as they are is because of the fact that they delved into the human mind to create their psychological literature. Edgar Allan Poe’s life spanned from eighteen nine until nineteen forty-nine, the years that were the beginning of the Romantic Movement. Poe was considered an educated man for his time. He attended the University of Virginia and West Point. Since West Point is a military school, he no doubt studied psychology because one…

Edgar Allan Poe

Many poets and story writers write their stories based upon events and aspects of their life. They do this because it is so relatable and easy to write about because there is some truth in the words. Edgar Allan Poe is said to be one of these because his stories actually relate to his tragic, love stricken life. He is known to lead an overall depressing life that was full of loss and grief of loved ones. So because of this, Poe suffered most of his life. But although he had many misfortunes, he resorted to his passion of poetry to help him. Poe wrote many stories and poems that both reflected and represented his life. Stories such as Annabel…

Poe “Alone” Analysis

Edgar Allan Poe is a well-known yet commonly misunderstood author. This is primarily due to his own personal tragedies that he suffered throughout his youth. The poem, “Alone” is a glimpse into the troubled soul of the now famous Poe and how he never looked at life the same as his peers. In the first four lines of “Alone” it immediately becomes apparent that from a very young age Poe had been aware that he was different. For example, the lines “From childhood’s hour I have not been as others were – I have not seen as others saw,” illustrate that he has lived his life accompanied by sorrow and loneliness. The author lives in a depressed state in which…

Rewrite-the Cask of Amontillado

It was in the middle of carnival season when Montresor approached me. In retrospect, I should have noticed the deviant twinkle in his eye. Alas, it was a time of celebration, and I had had much to drink, which seemed to deter me from Montresor’s true intentions that evening. At the time, I was enjoying myself at the carnival festivities, wearing the attire of a jester, complete with cap and bells. Montresor approached me and I was delighted to see him. We chatted, and he informed me that he had purchased a pipe of Amontillado. He told me that he was not certain as to whether or not it was true Amontillado and asked me to look at it for…

Society’s Curiosity of the Unknown

Whenever I am walking home alone, I am always paranoid that something is going to happen to me. I start to think about all of the horrible possibilities that could occur and I always feel as if I am being followed or watched. Even walking in an empty parking lot to my car scares me because I have a fear of being abducted. I, along with most people, was raised to be cautious of things like that. I was taught to always think of the worst thing that can happen, to be safe and to prevent the worst from happening. I am scared of death because I do not know what will happen after that. American’s obsession with the dark…

Symbols in “the Masque of the Red Death”

“The Masque of the Red Death” is a Gothic style story written by Edgar Allan Poe. In this story, many setting and descriptive details contain symbols. These symbols are very important because each symbol stands for something and gives readers much thought. For example, the red color represents the blood and the clock represents the time, etc. Through these symbols, we can learn the story teaches us that no matter you are rich or poor, you can not avoid death. There are seven chambers in Prince Prospero’s castellated abbey. Each chamber is painted in different color. The last chamber is described as “was closely shrouded in black velvet tapestries that hung all over the ceiling and down the walls…The panes…

The Black Cat and a Rose for Emily

“The black cat” was written by Edgar Allan Poe, and it was a twisted, sick story about how a man that since his childhood was picked on by his classmates. Instead of having human friends, he owned pets that he took as his only friends. “From my infancy I was noted for the docility and humanity of my disposition. My tenderness of heart was even so conspicuous as to make me the best of my companions.” At first he had no reasons that could bring him to kill his first cat “Pluto”. According to the story the cat gave him reasons to kill him, and with a second cat he had an excuse to kill his wife. “A rose for…

Edgar Allan Poe Works

Edgar Allan Poe said “I became insane, with long intervals of horrible sanity.” Throughout his short stories; “The Black Cat” and “The Tell-Tale Heart”, Poe sets up his characters to subconsciously reveal their insanity. Often using syntax clues and patterns, Poe shows the madness of the narrators of his short stories. The constant theme of denial of insanity further convinces the reader of the character’s psychosis. Characters themselves often prove they are not in touch with reality through their actions. Through syntax, denial of insanity, and character’s actions, Poe allows his narrators in “The Black Cat” and “The Tell-Tale Heart” to reveal their own insanity. Sentence structure is used consistently by Poe in his short stories to aid in his…

The Fall of the House of Usher by Edgar Allan Poe

Comment closely on the writing of the (following) passage, paying particular attention to ways Poe creates a sense of fear. In this excerpt of “The Fall of the House of Usher”, Edgar Allan Poe makes use of personification, supernatural features, character portrayal, foreshadows and setting to create a sense of fear and to set a gothic tale. It also illustrates the beginning of Roderick Usher’s mental breakdown. One of the main ways Poe creates a sense of fear for the reader is through the setting. The setting determines the atmosphere. In the story, the narrator tries to convince himself that the reason for his terror was the “gloomy furniture of the room”, “dark tattered draperies, which, tortured into motion,” and…

Study Guide for Plot

What I need to know about character: 1. Characterization is the means by which a writer reveals a character to a reader, including appearance, speech and behavior, thoughts and feelings, and other characters’ reactions and opinions. 2. There are four main elements of characterization. These include: a. How a character looks b. How a character acts c. How other characters react to this character d. What the character thinks and feels 3. Strong literary descriptions provide readers with the important details that allow us to develop and understand characters’ actions and motivations. 4. A narrator will often give a reader a lot of vital information in only a few sentences. This information helps the reader to formulate a vivid mental…

Edgar Allen Poe’s the Raven

In his poems and stories, Edgar Allen Poe often returns to the same themes: loneliness, lost love, insanity, and depression. In his poem, “The Raven”, his theme is grief, which is also related to the string of themes he usually incorporates into his works. However, for this specific poem, Poe uses an abundant amount of literary devices to expand on his theme of grief and describe it in a way that readers will be able to understand his feelings throughout this poem. There are many literary devices like alliteration, different types of imagery, assonance, symbolism, metaphors, similes, and more. So in some reader’s opinion, Edgar Allen Poe uses the theme of grief to draw the reader’s interest in his poem,…

Erich Maria Remarque

“If you tell the truth, you won’t have to remember anything” (Mark Twain). Throughout my life I have come to recognize many truths. Sometimes I would tell the truth and sometimes I would lie, but when I lied I didn’t always get away with it. Although I do lie about some things and get away with it, I still feel bad about doing it. Throughout my life, Algernon and Jack’s false identities, Father Hooper’s sacrifices, Dr. Heidegger’s experiments, Eldorado’s disappointing truth, and Paul’s journey, we are awaken with the truth. The theme of truth has been revolving around all our first quarter readings. In the poem Eldorado by Edgar Allan Poe, a knight is on a journey to find this…

Romanticism in American Lit

anRomanticism in American Literature brought us some of the world’s greatest writers ever to live. Writers such as Edgar Allan Poe, Nathaniel Hawthorne, Herman Melville, Ralph Waldo Emerson, and Henry David Thoreau all wrote during the Romanticism period. Without them we would not have stories such Moby Dick, Resistance to Civil Government, The American Scholar, The Scarlet Letter, and Edgar Allan Poe’s most notorious works such as The Raven and Annabel lee. The Romanticism movement started in Europe and in the late 1820’s it worked its way into America. It was aimed as a rebellion against the enlightenment movement. It was also referred to as the American Renaissance because it was the rebirth of literary values lost previously in the…

Anti Transcendentalism in the Literary Works of Edgar Allan Poe 1

Anti-Transcendentalism in the Work of Edgar Allan Poe Life and death are concepts that are widely known by men and women of all cultures. Many pieces of literature are written about these topics since they are well known but not everyone understands the meaning of living and dying. Death seems to be the tougher of these two concepts to be discussed. This is most likely due to the fact that once a person dies they are gone forever. While many individuals can say that they have experienced life to the fullest, not many, or any at all, can say that they have experienced death and lived to talk about that experience. As a result, literary authors use metaphors and personification…

”The Fall of the House of Usher” by Edgar Allan Poe as the Mock of Transcendentalism.

The 19th century was a significant time for the American literature. At that time two completely different genres had been founded – Transcendentalism and Dark Romanticism. While transcendentalism was based on human’s consciousness and logical thinking, Dark Romanticism was disparate. For instance Dark Romantic poets used to write about pessimistic people who live in a dark, unfriendly surroundings, while Transcendental works were optimistic and had didactic overtone. Ralph W. Emerson, as well as Henry D. Thoreau and other representatives of Transcendentalism, told us that intuition is the key to understanding the world. In contradiction to the Dark Romantic characters who act irrationally and usually fail to achieve success. These features were mostly noticeable in Edgar Allan Poe’s works. He hated…

3.02 Romantics and Transcendentalism

1. After reviewing the Romanticism resource page, list three characteristics of Romanticism. Also, identify three authors of the Romantic period. The three characteristics of Romanticism are, love of nature,fascination with the supernatural, and passionate nationalism. The three authors are, Edgar Allan Poe, Washington Irving, and William Cullen Bryant. 2. Using the Transcendentalism resource page, list three characteristics of Transcendentalism. The three characteristics are, The belief that god is found in nature, Celebrated individualism, and Over-soul. 3. How did Transcendentalists feel about nature? What did Transcendentalists feel about the inherent nature of human beings (were humans inherently good or evil)? Transcendentalism loved nature for its beauty and believed science is a danger to nature. Transcendentalists also believed all humans are born…

Romanticism and Transcendentalism

1. After reviewing the Romanticism resource page, list three characteristics of Romanticism. Also, identify three authors of the Romantic period. * Three characteristics of Romanticism are appreciation of nature, idealism and nationalism. Three authors of the Romantic Era: Edgar Allan Poe, William Cullen Bryant and Lord Byron. 2. Using the Transcendentalism resource page, list three characteristics of Transcendentalism * Three characteristic of Transcendentalism are nature, intuition and the thought of God being a part of nature. 3. How did Transcendentalists feel about nature? What did Transcendentalists feel about the inherent nature of human beings (were humans inherently good or evil)? * Transcendentalists had much respect for nature and believed in the best and goodness of humans. 4. Describe two specific…

Macbeth and Shakespeare

This quote “god defend me from my friends but ; from my enemies I can defend myself” means “gods help me from my friends but, I have the ability to defend myself“. Two stories that I’ve read that support this quote are Macbeth by William Shakespeare and “The Cask Of Amontillado” by Edgar Allen Poe. I definitely agree with this quote because Macbeths friends thought they were really his friends but, they were wrong. Macbeth by William Shakespeare shows literary devices and they support my opinion of this quote. One is dramatic irony and it proves this quote true for many reasons. It is true because Lady Macbeth shows betrayal against Duncan, the king of Scotland and Macbeth shows betrayal…

Analysis of the Raven by Edgar Allen Poe

The nineteenth century poet Edgar Allen Poe makes use of several literary devices in order to create a gloomy atmosphere in his poem “The Raven”. Alliteration, rhyme, onomatopoeia, assonance, and repetition are used to contribute to the melodic nature of the work and provide an almost “visual” representation of his gothic setting. Poe is a master of using these writing techniques. “The Raven” is one of his most popular works. This is certainly due, in part to his use of these literary devices in this piece. The poem tells of a narrator who is reading an old book in his parlor when he is interrupted by a knock at the door. The protagonist is in a period of grieving over…

Poe’s Devices for Heightening the Effect of Terror and Horror in Short Stories

Edgar Allan Poe, an American poet, critic and writer of the XIX-th century, is a world- recognised master of the horror genre. Poe’s Tales of Arabesque clearly demonstrate his talent for cultivation of mystery, terror, and macabre. The process of this horror cultivation is very subtle and complicated. Poe, like an artist of arabesque who intertwines and interlaces flowers into an elaborate pattern, weaves a net of mystery and horror and entangles the reader in it. Poe starts any work ‘with consideration of the effect’ it would have on the reader. All other stages of story creation and literary devices used for it depend on that main effect. Thus, the genre of Poe’s works, their plot structure, type of narration,…

The Black Cat by Edar Allan Poe

The Black Cat is told from the perspective of a man (whom I imagine as Poe himself), who is a self- pronounced animal lover. The man and his wife have many pets, including a black cat named Pluto, who is very fond of the narrator. The cat and the narrator continue to have a close friendship until the man becomes an alcoholic. Coming home after having drunk, the narrator thinks the cat is avoiding him so he seizes it and the cat bites him. This angers the narrator and he gouges out one of the cat’s eyes. Ever since then, the cat always avoids the narrator. At first, the narrator regrets his actions towards the cat, but soon he becomes…

The Black Cat by Edgar Allan Poe – Suspense, Irony, Symbolism

Nathaniel Hawthorne once said, “Words-so innocent and powerless as they are, as standing in a dictionary, how potent for good and evil they become in the hands of one who knows how to combine them.” Edgar Allan Poe is one of the many few that has a very effective style of writing. By using various effects in his short stories, he draws his audience in and grabs their attention from the very beginning. Due to his unique system of writing, Poe has a way of controlling the majority of his readers’ feelings, or emotions. He has mastered the art of writing by disciplining himself to use specific words and styles in which he can affect his readers in any way…

Edgar Allan Poe Research Paper

Best known for his poems and short fiction. Edgar Allan Poe is one of the most famous American poets. He deserves most credit for short suspenseful mysteries and he perfected the area of horror stories. He wrote many famous poems like “The Raven” and “The Bells”. Poe was a genius and very meticulous in his stories every clue had to fit and that’s why he didn’t make a lot of short stories but a small collection of great short stories. He was born in Boston on January 19, 1809. Both of his parents were touring actors; both died before Poe even reached three years old. A rich merchant named Mr. Allan in Richmond, Virginia took Poe in. His childhood was…

Evolution of Detective Fiction

Twenty-first century detective stories are blooming with action, conflict, mystery and so on. But this is only recent development. There is a lot more to it than most people think. From a French man named Vidocq to the creation of modern detective fiction by Edgar Allan Poe, until today’s development of detective stories and its characters. So what made Poe such an important figure in detective fiction history, and in what way did his creation develop after his death? In my study I will try to answer these questions to the best of my capabilities. People started to take interest in crime stories in the early 1800, caused by their fascination and fear of crime. It was the town folks…

Feminist Perspective of the Role of Lady Madeline

“The Fall of the House of Usher (1939)”, arguably Edgar Allan Poe’s most famous short story, is a tale centered around the mysterious House of Usher and its equally indiscernible inhabitants. These subjects are plagued with physical and mental degradation – the Usher siblings suffer from various abnormal ailments and unexplained fears, while the house itself seems to be tethering on the edge of collapse. The gothic elements in the story are distributed generously, and the plot is increasingly ridden with the supernatural as it progresses. Lady Madeline, Roderick Usher’s twin sister, is a key element in the story. She suffers from a disease much like catalepsy, a disease that subjects her to seizures and insensitivity to various stimuli. Roderick…

The Oval Portrait

As one of the shortest of Poe’s stories, “The Oval Portrait” consists of a brief one-paragraph story framed within a larger vignette whose main purpose is to establish the romantic Gothic mood in which the story occurs. The setting and basis of the plot are shrouded in mystery; the narrator does not explain how or where he is wounded, and with his servant, he enters an abandoned, decaying chateau that offers no more answers than the narrator. The dark gloom of a deserted house is a classic background for a Gothic story, and the tapestries and strange architecture of the building give the narrator’s choice of apartment a feeling of removal from the contemporary world. Nothing of consequence occurs during…