The Raven Society

The Raven Society

The oldest and most prestigious honorary society at the University of Virginia

Poe as a student

Edgar allan poe at the university.

Edgar Allan Poe

Edgar Allan Poe enrolled at the University on February 14, 1826, the 136th of 177 students registering for the second session. He attended classes in the Schools of Ancient and Modern Languages, under Professors Long and Blaetterman respectively. Although not known for spending long hours at his lessons, Poe was already remarkable for his brooding, lonely genius. His excellent memory allowed him to read ahead in class and recite correctly even when utterly unprepared. In his final examinations, he took top honors in French and Latin and was cited for excellence by both professors.

Only in class from seven until nine-thirty each morning, Poe had ample free time to explore Charlottesville and participate in University activities. He was elected to the Jefferson Literary and Debating Society on June 17, 1826, and once served as its Secretary pro tem. Shortly after joining, he read an essay on “Heat and Cold” and probably took part in the many lively debates of the term. Although he did not regularly present original work to the Society, he often entertained his closest friends with private readings in his room. According to George Douglass Sherley:

Room Marker

Generally well-liked, Poe was considered talented, if slightly odd by his peers. Once when he read a short story written specially for his friends, someone laughingly claimed that the hero’s name, “Gaffy,” was repeated too often. Before the others could object, Poe hurled his manuscript into the fire, thereby earning the longtime nickname “Gaffy” Poe. This nickname, though never relished, is said to have followed him all the way to West Point five years later.

In the University of Virginia Library’s WWW Exhibit “Arise and Build” a letter is displayed, written by Poe and addressed to John Allan, dated September 21, 1826. His letter bemoans the approach of finals and the many hours spent studying. Poe also writes about the continuing construction of the University, noting that the Rotunda was almost completed. He closes his letter with an account of a particularly nasty altercation between two students. Such was the life of a student in the nineteenth century.

Although a gifted and popular student, Poe left the University on December 15, 1826, never to return. The funds his stepfather had sent him were woefully inadequate despite his many pleas for more assistance. He was forced to borrow on credit from Charlottesville merchants and then turned to heavy gambling in an attempt to pay his bills. Unfortunately, Poe was extremely unlucky at cards, and by the end of the ten-month session, had amassed a debt of over $2,000. John Allan, who disapproved strongly of gambling, was furious with his stepson and refused to allow him to return to the University. On his last night in Room 13, West Range, Poe spoke earnestly with William Wertenbaker, the University librarian, of his deep regret and declared that he was honor-bound to pay every last cent at his earliest opportunity.

A pane of glass taken from the window of Room 13, West Range, is on display in the University’s Rotunda. According to legend, Poe etched the following stanza into this pane sometime before his unfortunate departure:

O Thou timid one, let not thy Form rest in slumber within these Unhallowed walls, For herein lies The ghost of an awful crime.

After returning to Richmond, Poe was trained as a clerk and put to work in his stepfather’s counting house. Frustrated by Allan’s stifling authoritarianism and sarcastic contempt for his writing, Poe secretly sought independence and applied for other employment. Upon discovery, he was heartily denounced as an ungrateful wretch and ordered from the family home. He soon moved to Boston, in 1827, where his first book Tamerlane and Other Poems, was published the very same year. It was not until the 1845 publication of “The Raven” however, that Poe achieved any real national prominence. Although famous almost overnight, he remained desperately poor, for without copyright protection, the countless reprints brought him nothing. He died just four years later, on October 7, 1849, and despite his short life, is today recognized as one of America’s most brilliant poets.

His enduring influence is evident in the number of visitors drawn each year to the University of Virginia just to get a glimpse of Poe’s Room and hear the stories of his early days. Although his stay at the University was regrettably brief, it is natural to wonder how his time here helped shape his later life and works. He wrote “Tamerlane” while still a student, and in both this poem and “A Tale of the Ragged Mountains”, he refers explicitly to his experiences in Charlottesville. President Alderman, in an address during the Poe Centenary celebrations, surmised that the youthful promise of the place could not have failed to help inspire him. Many scholars have long suggested that two lines of his classic poem, “To Helen”, may reflect his feelings about the University of Virginia’s historic Lawn. Published in the Poems of 1831, “To Helen” was probably written soon after he left the University and may contain an allusion to the Greek and Roman architecture of the Lawn.

Last Update: August 19, 2022 Navigation: Main Menu Poe's Works Poe's Poems Poe's Tales Poe's Misc. Editorial Policies Searching

The Essays, Sketches and Lectures of Edgar Allan Poe


Sections:   The Collections and Books    The Essays, etc.    Related Material    Bibliography

The Collections and Books:

Editions Authorized by Poe:

Poe published only one of his lectures during his life. This was “The Universe,” published as Eureka , the “Prose Poem” by which he hoped most ernestly to be remembered. Other items were first collected in the posthumous collection edited by Rufus Wilmot Griswold, incorporating some additional manuscript changes and other material. These collections are listed chronologically.

  • Eureka: A Prose Poem   (1848 — EUREKA — there are several copies with annotations by Poe)
  • The Works of the Late Edgar Allan Poe , edited by Rufus Wilmot Griswold   (1850, volume II: Poems and Miscellanies ; and 1856, volume IV: Pym, &c .  — WORKS )

Later Collected Editions:

After Griswold's death in 1857, there were several alternate attempts to collect Poe's works, including a number of the essays and Eureka . The most important of these were collections edited by John H. Ingram, also in four volumes (initially published in 1874-1875), the ten-volume set edited by Edmund C. Stedman and George E. Woodberry (initially published in 1894-1895), and the seventeen-volume set edited by James A. Harrison (published in 1902). (Although at least one of these editions bears the title of The Complete Works of Edgar Allan Poe , none of them are, in fact, actually complete. In some instances, they also contain works that have since been identified as not being by Poe.)

  • The Works of Edgar Allan Poe , edited by John H. Ingram   (Edinburgh: Adam and Charles Black, 1874-1875 — The essays are collected in volume 3)
  • The Works of Edgar Allan Poe , edited by Edmund C. Stedman and George E. Woodberry   (Chicago: Stone and Kimball, 1894-1895 — The essays are collected in volume 7 and Eureka will be found in volume 9)
  • The Complete Works of Edgar Allan Poe , edited by James A. Harrison   (New York: T. Y. Crowell, 1902 — The essays are collected in volume 14 and Eureka will be found in volume 16)

Modern Scholarly Editions:

The most widely recognized scholarly edition of Poe's tales and sketches, also including some of the essays, are the volumes edited by Thomas Ollive Mabbott, (published in 1978, nearly a decade after Mabbott's death), completed by his widow, Maureen Cobb Mabbott (and several assistants), with a few additional essays appearing in the volumes in the edition as continued by Burton R. Pollin. All of these volumes are thoroughly annotated, with introductory material, notes and variants. Two volumes originally prepared for this series, edited by Stuart and Susan Levine, were published separately by the University of Illinois Press.

  • The Collected Works of Edgar Allan Poe , edited by Thomas Ollive Mabbott   (Cambridge: Belknap Press of Harvard University Press, 1978 — Volume 2: Tales and Sketches, 1831-1842 and Volume 3: Tales and Sketches, 1843-1849 )
  • The Collected Writings of Edgar Allan Poe , edited by Burton R. Pollin   (New York: Gordian Press, 1986 and 1997 — Volume 3: Writings in the Broadway Journal, Text , Volume 4: Writings in the Broadway Journal, Annotations , and Volume 35 Writings in the Southern Literary Messenger, Text and Annotations
  • Eureka and Edgar Allan Poe: Critical Theory , edited by Stuart and Susan F. Levine   (Chicago: University of Illinois Press, 2004 and 2009)

The Essays, Sketches and Lectures:

These items are arranged alphabetically by name. Within each name, entries are listed chronologically. Some of these items were not published under any specific title and most are, therefore, given here under a title deemed appropriately descriptive. The authorship of some items is a topic long researched and debated. Most of the items included here were signed, but for some, the attribution to Poe is necessarily the result of conjecture. A few prominent items that have been rejected are also listed, including a number of poems that were erroneously ascribed to Poe by T. O. Mabbott.

Scroll down, or select letter:

   A    B    C    D   E    F    G   H    I    J   K   L    M    N    O   P    Q   R    S    T   U   V   W   X   Y   Z  

  • “ American Novel-Writing ”
  • “ American Poetry ”
  • “ American Poetry ”   (a lecture)
  • “ Anastatic Printing ”
  • “ Byron and Miss Chaworth ”
  • “ The Capitol at Washington ”   (rejected)
  • “ A Chapter in the History of Vivum-Ovo ”   (rejected)
  • “ Cryptography ” (alternate title for “Secret Writing”)
  • “ The Elk ”   (later title of “Morning on the Wissahiccon”)
  • “ English Notes for Extensive Circulation ”   (rejected)
  • “ Eureka ”
  • “ Exordium [to Critical Notices] ”
  • “ A Few Words on Etiquette ”   (rejected)
  • “ Harpers Ferry ”   (rejected)
  • “ House Furniture ” (alternate title for “The Philosophy of Furniture”)
  • “ Instinct Versus Reason — A Black Cat ”
  • “ Letter to B—— ”
  • “ Maelzel's Chess-Player ”
  • “ Magazine Writing — Peter Snook ” (alternate title of a review of “Peter Snook,” by James Dalton
  • “ Morning on the Wissahiccon ”   (original title of “The Elk”)
  • “ Notes Upon English Verse ”   (original title for “The Rationale of Verse”)
  • “ An Opinion on Dreams ”    (rejected)
  • “ Our Magazine Literature ”    (Possibly by Poe, but disputed)
  • “ Old English Poetry ”    (Actually a later title assigned to Poe's review of Book of Gems by Samuel Carter Hall)
  • “ Palaestine ”
  • “ The Pay for American Authors ”
  • The Philosophy of Animal Magnetism   (rejected)
  • “ The Philosophy of Composition ”
  • “ The Philosophy of Furniture ”
  • “ The Poetic Principle ”
  • “ Poets and Poetry of America ”   (a lecture, also called “American Poetry”)
  • “ The Rationale of Verse ”
  • “ Secret Writing ”
  • “ Some Secrets of the Magazine Prison-House ”
  • “ Some Account of Stonehenge ”
  • “ Street-Paving ”

Related Material:

  • A chronological index   (in preparation)
  • “ The Canon of Poe's Essays, Sketches & Lectures


  • Brigham, Clarence S., Edgar Allan Poe's Contributions to Alexander's Weekly Messenger , Proceedings of the American Antiquarian Society , April 1943. (Also reprinted separately.)
  • Edsall, Thomas, ed., The Poe Catalogue , Baltimore: The 19th Century Shop, 1992. (This catalogue includes a few reprints of material which are not noted elsewhere.)
  • Harrison, James A[lbert]., ed, The Complete Works of Edgar Allan Poe , 17 vols, New York: T. Crowell, 1902.
  • Heartman, Charles F. and James R. Canny, A Bilbiography of First Printings of the Writings of Edgar Allan Poe , Hattiesburg, MS: The Book Farm, 1943. (The best overall bibliography of Poe, although it does contain errors and is somewhat outdated.)
  • Levine, Stuart and Susan F., eds., Eureka , Chicago: University of Illinois Press, 2004  (Poe's text, edited and with an introduction, notes and textual variants)
  • Levine, Stuart and Susan F., eds., Edgar Allan Poe: Critical Theory , Chicago: University of Illinois Press, 2009 (Poe's texts, edited and with introductory material, notes and textual variants)
  • Mabbott, Thomas Ollive, ed., The Collected Works of Edgar Allan Poe ; (Vols 2-3 Tales and Sketches ), Cambridge, Mass.: The Belknap Press of Harvard University Press, 1978. (Second printing 1979)
  • Pollin, Burton R., ed., The Collected Writings of Edgar Allan Poe ; Vols. III & IV - The Broadway Journal: Non-Fictional Prose , New York: Gordian Press, 1986; Vol. V - The Southern Literary Messenger: Non-Fictional Prose , New York: Gordian Press, 1997.
  • Thompson, G. Richard, ed. , Essays and Reviews , New York: The Library of America, 1984. (A good basic collection.)
  • Vines, Lois D., ed., Poe Abroad: Influence, Reputation, Affinities , Iowa City: University of Iowa Press, 1999. (An extremely useful compendium of articles by various authors, divided by country or region.)
  • Woodberry, George E[dward]. and Stedman, Edmund Clarence, The Works of Edgar Allan Poe , 10 vols, Chicago, 1894-1895. (Reprinted in 1903 and 1914.)

[S:1 - JAS] - Edgar Allan Poe Society of Baltimore - Works - The Essays, Sketches and Lectures of Edgar Allan Poe

113 Edgar Allan Poe Essay Topics & Examples

In case you’re searching for Edgar Allan Poe research paper topics to write about his life, death, and legacy, check the list. Our team has gathered ideas on the author and gothic literature below.

🏆 Best Edgar Allan Poe Essay Topics & Examples

👍 interesting edgar allan poe research paper topics, 💡 most interesting edgar allan poe topics to write about, ❓ research questions about edgar allan poe.

  • The Tell-Tale Heart Psychological Analysis & Critique The outstanding character in the tale, who is also the narrator, attracts a lot of attention from the readers. The narrator forms the basis of the tale.
  • “The Black Cat” by Edgar Allan Poe He entombs the corpse in the basement of his house, and when the police unexpectedly show up at his house, he inadvertently leads them to the corpse.
  • Literary Devices in “The Cask of Amontillado” by Edgar Allan Poe As such, Montresor finds his companion’s “transgression” worthy of the cruelest death, and believes that his cause is so right that he deserves to get away with it. Hyperbole There is a sense of this […]
  • “Annabel Lee” and “The Raven” by Edgar Allan Poe Although the plot is different in each of these poems, both Annabel Lee and The Raven share the themes of death and lost love, as well as the symbolic language.
  • Edgar Allan Poe – American Literature The main themes that are evident in his work are the themes of death and love. He speaks of a chilling wind from the sky that emerged resulting in the death of her wife.
  • Edgar Allan Poe: The Style of Fictional Works Minister D walked in and saw the contents of the letter, produced another copy that almost looked like the stolen one, and placed it next to the important letter.
  • Edgar Allan Poe’s Story “The Black Cat” For instance, when the main character looked at the image of the cat on the wall, he saw it as “gigantic”; however, whether the size of the animal was an expression of paranormal or the […]
  • The Fall of the House of Usher by Edgar Allan Poe: The Role of the Narrator The role of the narrator of the story The Fall of the House of Usher is great indeed; his rationality and his ability to represent the events from the side of an immediate participant of […]
  • The Tell-Tale Heart by Edgar Poe This metaphor is necessary to show that the feeling of guilt distorts his perception of reality. This is one of the details that can be distinguished.
  • Literature Symbols in “The Raven” by Edgar Allan Poe In spite of the fact that there are many symbols of different types in Poe’s “The Raven”, such symbols of darkness and depression as December, the raven, the Night’s Plutonian shore, and the repetition of […]
  • “The Fall of the House of Usher” & “The Cask of Amontillado”: Summaries, Settings, and Main Themes As the narration progresses, fear arises in the reader or viewer, and finally, something horrific happens.”The Fall of the House of Usher” and “The Cask of the Amontillado” share all of the features above, as […]
  • Edgar Allan Poe: Interpretation of “The Raven” One of the suggestions that dominate Poe’s talent in writing “The Raven” was the succession of terrible events the author encountered in his life.
  • Edgar Allan Poe, His Life and Literary Career Edgar died in Baltimore and the cause of his death was not clear. Edgar, in his element, overcame challenges and established a literary legacy that has stood the test of time.
  • Edgar Allan Poe: ”The Tell-Tale Heart” and “The Cask of Amontillado” In this discourse two of his famous short stories, “The Tell-Tale Heart” and “The Cask of Amontillado” are studied in an attempt to better understand the use of symbolism, the literary tool of irony, and […]
  • The Single Effect in Edgar Allan Poe’s The Cask of Amontillado The very first words uttered by the author at the start of the story carried the hook necessary to reel the reader into the story with the desired effect.
  • Edgar Allan Poe’s Views on Madness in “The System of Dr. Tarr and Prof. Fether” The lesson that can be learned through the interface of this Poe’s short story is that no one can be trusted due to the lack of background information and deceptive practices.
  • Tell-Tale Heart by Edgar Allan Poe Literature Analysis He tries to justify his actions, and show that he is not a bad person. Most importantly, he tries to show that he is not a mad man.
  • The “Eldorado” Poem Analysis by Edgar Allan Poe The structure of the poem is AABCCB. Edgar Allan Poe vastly uses metaphors and sight sensory in the poem.
  • The Poem “Annabel Lee” by Edgar Allan Poe The beginning of the poem reveals the narrator’s feelings toward Annabel Lee, determining the theme and the mood of the verse: “a maiden there lived whom you may know by the name of Annabel Lee; […]
  • “The Raven” by Edgar Allan Poe Analysis A poem that deals with family relationships and explain the poem’s meaning The poem is heavily based on the relationship between the narrator and Lenore with their affection being the subject of the whole poem.
  • Revenge Theme in “The Cask of Amontillado” by Edgar Allan Poe He, therefore, decides to seek revenge, but he wants to be careful in order not to risk his life. Fortunato seems to be fond of wine against Montresor, and he decides to use this as […]
  • Edgar Allan Poe’s The Cask of Amontillado Although the revelation of the character of Montressor was done indirectly, the fact that he was also the narrator of the story enabled readers to have access to his thoughts and feelings.
  • The Haunted Palace by Edgar Allan Poe Poetry The head is alluded to the palace, while all the evil spirits mentioned represent the thoughts of a human beings mind.
  • Imagery Use in “The Cask of Amontillado” by Edgar Allan Poe The story utilizes graphical language and imagery in the development of a sense of deceptive and persuasive nature and circumstances in the expansion of the symbolic approach of sustaining a condition of suspense. The imagery […]
  • “Annabel Lee” by Edgar Allan Poe: Poetry Analysis It was many and many a year ago, In a kingdom by the sea, That a maiden there lived whom you may know By the name of Annabel Lee; And this maiden she lived with […]
  • Montressor in The Cask of Amontillado In addition, Montressor said that he was a friend of Fortunato but he seemed to have acted out of character when he assumed the habits and characteristics of a cold blooded killer.
  • Irony in “The Cask of Amontillado” by Edgar Allan Poe As the atmosphere of gaiety during the carnival changes to the horror from the catacombs beneath Montresor’s palazzo the reader ascertains that the carnival was a prelude created by the author to admit the drastic […]
  • “The Raven” by Edgar Allan Poe: Poem Analysis Expecting the sound to be caused by the wind, the speaker opens the window, through which a raven flies into the room.
  • Analysis of “The Black Cat” by Edgar Allan Poe After having lost his cat when a fire broke in his house, he felt a great need for another pet, same as that of Pluto, his pet cat.”This, then, was the very creature of which […]
  • Inside the Narrator’s Mind: “The Tell-Tale Heart” by Edgar Allan Poe It is significantly the working of the inner self or the perpetual threat of the unconscious to the conscious that leads the protagonist to the ultimate confession of the crime even when he is not […]
  • Poe’s “The Fall of the House of Usher” In “The Fall of the House of Usher”, Poe portrays the Usher family as struggling to survive albeit in a gloomy manner that involves degradation, disease, and death.”The Fall of the House of Usher” is […]
  • The Investigation of Ethical Issues in The Tell-Tale Heart and The Pond The secondary problem is related to an ethical dilemma with regards to the responsibility of the husband to provide and care for the family.
  • “The Black Cat” Short Story by Edgar Allan Poe The purpose of the short story has long been a subject of debate.”The Black Cat,” while having some characteristics of the horror genre, presents a psychoanalytical approach to the mind of a psychopath, a scrutiny […]
  • “The Murders in the Rue Morgue” by Edgar Allan Poe The neighbors who heard the scuffle that ensued and went to the ladies house gave evidence to the police, and in as much as most of them agree on a great extent to the events […]
  • Gothic Romanticism of Edgar Allen Poe When the thought of today, the nineteenth-century writer Edgar Allan Poe is remembered as the master of the short story and the psychological thriller.
  • “Annabel Lee” Multi Rhythmic Poem by Edgar A. Poe Therefore, the author’s works created a powerful impact on the establishment of a connection between content and literary form. Thus, Poe’s writings possess the power to show the links between a concept and a form […]
  • Edgar Allan Poe’s “The Man in the Crowd” Story The structure of the tale, its manner of narration, and the minimal number of main characters are only some of the features that make “The Man in the Crowd” one of the most memorable short […]
  • Literary Analysis of Edgar Allan Poe’s “The Raven” The poem is imbued with a melancholy mood, which is stated in the first lines of the work. This is the main point of the poem.
  • Edgar Allen Poe’s “The Raven” Review The tension intensifies with every stanza till the third one from the end after which the narrator understands the senselessness of the situation in searching for the answers for his questions in the raven’s “nevermore”.
  • Edgar Allan Poe’s Life, Poems, Short Stories The recognition of his works is based mainly on the uniqueness of the themes and characters the author created, as well as his excellent command of the language and exceptional imagery and style.
  • “The Fall of the House of Usher” by Edgar Allan Poe Literature Analysis Although “The Fall of the House of Usher” is traditionally believed to be a timeless horror story and a representation of the deepest human fears, it can also be viewed both as a product of […]
  • “Annabel Lee” the Work by Edgar Allen Poe The narrative description of the elegy expresses the narrator’s undying love for ‘Annabel Lee’ detailing a love which had originated many a year ago in the unidentified ‘kingdom by the sea’.
  • Gothic Romanticism in Edgar Allan Poe’s “The Tell-Tale Heart”, Nathaniel Hawthorn’s “The Birthmark” In the film “The Black Swan” directed by Darren Aronofsky, Nina struggles to fit into the ultimate role of the play “The Swan Lake”, as the Black Swan, even though she is comfortable playing the […]
  • The Tell-Tale Heart (1843) This section tackles the main characters of the story and as aforementioned, the narrator and the old man are the only central characters in the story.
  • Literary Approaches in Edgar Allan Poe’s “Ligeia” In this story, the protagonist, whose wife was Ligeia, tells of the happiness he found in his marriage to her before her untimely death.
  • “The Raven” Poem by Edgar Allen Poe The raven’s “Nevermore” throughout the poem is a repetition that enhances the poem’s lyrical mood and emphasizes the main character’s hopelessness.
  • Edgar Allan Poe: Brief Biography Sublime’s exploration of the darkest sides of the human soul and psyche has contributed greatly to the development of the horror genre.
  • The Fall of the House of Usher by Edgar Allan Poe Ideally, using the subjective understanding of Poe’s work, it is possible to evaluate some of the qualities of the story. At the same time, the setting of the story creates a lot of suspense for […]
  • Edgar Allan Poe’s Life From Primary Sources I had indeed, nearly abandoned all hope of a permanent cure when I found one in the death of my wife [in 1847]. In the death of what was my life, then, I receive a […]
  • Conciseness in “The Tell-Tale Heart” by Edgar Allan Poe The main arguments towards the development of the contemporary short story will be discussed in this essay, and the similarities between these visions and the statements in “The Tell-Tale Heart” will be described.
  • Epilogue to “The Cask of Amontillado” by Edgar Allan Poe It is that the murder is a reason for the fifty-two years-old disappearance of the respected Fortunato, and the Montresor’s guild is undeniable”.
  • Edgar Allan Poe: Literary Devices and Their Meaning The purpose of his style, ornate and yet concise, of the grotesque characters, the growing tension in the narrative is “the greatest possible effect on his readers”.
  • “The Cask of Amontillado” by Edgar Allan Poe The plot is told from the first person as the pronoun “I” is used and the story is told in the past tense.
  • The Rejection in the Tell-Tale Heart by Edgar Allan Poe The main character depicts his nervousness and the feeling of fear and anger caused by the old man’s vulture eye. He thinks that the police are simply making a mockery of his horror and points […]
  • The Gothic-Romantic Story, “Ligeia” by Edgar Allan Poe It is also known that vampires typically rest during the day only to rise in the light of the moon. Thus, to my mind, the image of Poe’s Ligeia is strongly associated with a vampire […]
  • Edgar Poe and “The Cask of Amontillado” On the day of the carnival Montresor goes looking for Fortunato and finds him a bit tipsy and it is then that he tells him of how he had acquired a rare kind of amontillado […]
  • Alfred Hitchcock and Edgar Allan Poe: Synthesized Approach There are certain commonalities between the artistic and symbolic representations of both writers/directors, especially in their representation of the madness and paranoia that exists in the world when people are placed in isolation and the […]
  • Edgar Allen Poe’s Influence on Hitchcock From the above discussion, it can be said that Hitchcock’s work was greatly influenced by the work of Poe particularly in building the audience’s suspense and manipulating their attention.
  • Narration and Symbolism in Edgar Allan Poe’s “The Black Cat” The narrator of the story performs the role of the main rhetorical device that ensures the disclosure of the main theme of the story.
  • Edgar Allan Poe’s The Tell-Tale Heart, The Cask of Amontillado, The Fall of the House of Usher In particular, we may analyze such novellas as The Tell-Tale Heart, The Cask of Amontillado, and The Fall of the House of Usher.
  • Jury Defense and “The Cask of Amontillado” by Edgar Allan Poe As a member of the jury sitting in on the trial of Montressor, I feel it is necessary for me to explain the reasons why the jury came to the conclusion it did.
  • Edgar Allen Poe’s Madeline’s and Ligeia’s Animas Examining works such as the short stories “The Fall of the House of Usher” and “Ligeia” reveals much of Poe’s character through the form of his anima.
  • Edgar Allan Poe’s Fear of Premature Burial For instance, in The Tell-Tale Heart and The Black Cat the police arrive and stimulate a desire on the part of the narrator to confess his crime and undergo punishment from the state.
  • Military Career of Edgar Allan Poe Often overlooked, however, is the story of Poe’s life: the heartbreak, financial struggles, success, mysterious death, and of course his military career. The success of the ominous poem gave Poe a steady income and cemented […]
  • “The Tell-Tale Heart” Short Story by Edgar A. Poe He begins by complaining about the old man’s eye, but it is the imaginary beating of his heart that breaks down his resolve and makes him confess.
  • “The Tell-Tale Heart” by Allan Edgar Poe This provides us with the clue, as to the discursive significance of the old man’s eye, as one of the story’s foremost motifs.
  • Edgar Poe’s “The Cask of Amontillado” and “Ligeia” His method of murder signifies what he knows of stone masonry, of which he is a member, instead of the Masons, which is a secret organization that Fortunato is a member of.
  • Edgar Allan Poe, an American Romanticism Writer Poe’s three works “The fall of the house of Usher”, “the Raven” and “The Masque of the Red Death” describe his dedication to literature and his negative attitudes towards aristocracy.
  • “Ligeia” a Book by Edgar Allan Poe Since the fact that the narrator is not in full control of the mind, this is made very apparent by the author, it could mean that Ligeia and Rowena are really the same people and […]
  • Edgar Poe’s Annabel Lee: Narrative Text Analysis As death and mortality along with love make the key themes of the poem, it will be reasonable to suggest that the mood of the latter is quite dark, despite the lyrical tone and the […]
  • “Black Cat” a Story by Edgar Allan Poe In turn, the use of various stylistic devices helps the writer create a sense of suspense and show the immense moral tension that the main character struggles with.
  • Edgar Poe’s “The Cask of Amontillado” Literature Analysis The main character in “The Cask of Amontillado” is Montresor with Fortunato being a minor character in the short story. Also, Montresor is the story’s narrator, and a lot of details about his character are […]
  • Edgar Allan Poe’s and Herman Melville Comparison To this end, the current paper is a comparative review of Poe’s “The Masque of the Red Death” and Melville’s “Billy Budd”.
  • Comparison of Works by Stephen Crane and Allan Poe Although Crane’s stories are imaginary, the reader can picture houses and the community in ‘The Monster’ or the town of Yellow Sky in ‘The Bride Comes to Yellow Sky.’ He vividly describes the living conditions […]
  • Narrative Perspectives in Robert Browning’s “My Last Duchess” and Edgar Allan Poe’s “The Cask of Amontillado” One of the reasons why the story The Cask of Amontillado and the poem My Last Duchess are being commonly referred to, as such that represent a particularly high value, is that the narrative perspective […]
  • Mini Anthology: Poe Edgar Allan and Dickson Emily’ Works The other story that Poe Allen has written is “The fall of the House of Usher” whereby the main theme is about the haunted house, which is crumbling and this aspects brings out a Gothic […]
  • Evans, Walter. “The Fall of the House of Usher” and Poe’s Theory of the Tale. In this article, Walter Evans discusses the narrative style of Edgar Allan Poe and speaks about the peculiarities of such a short story as The Fall of the House of Usher.
  • Edgar Allan Poe: Analyzing Literature Works Paying attention to such pieces of writing The Cask of Amontillado, The Pit and the Pendulum, The Tell-Tale Heart, Annabel Lee, and The Raven it is possible to say that the main idea of these […]
  • Edgar Allan Poe’s Writing Themes Coincidentally, he dedicated his first wave of writing to themes of innocence and beauty coupled with “Love and Joy as dynamic life values in the poet’s feeling for the potentiality of the harmony of mind […]
  • The Style and Themes of Edgar Allan Poe’s Literature In the first stanza, the departure of the lover marks the end of their love, while the second stanza uses the dropping of sand as symbolic to the passing of time in an hour glass.
  • The Tell-Tale Heart Essay However, when the police came to the Old Man’s house he gives himself away to the police because he hears the heart of the old man beating behind the floorboard and this incident may suggest […]
  • Dark Humor in The Cask of Amontillado Essay The use of horror and humor in “The Cask of Amontillado” by Edgar Allan Poe is one of the literary features that the author uses to constructs the story.
  • A Perfect Place for a Perfect Crime: Creating the Impeccable Setting It must be admitted that with his unusual gift of depicting the most petrifying environment so that it immediately rises in front of the reader’s eyes, Poe creates the perfect setting in The Cask of […]
  • Poe’s Favorite Subject Matter Is Death This is not an exaggerated statement judging from terms and imagery used in at least four of his popular works such as The Cask of Amontillado; The Black Cat; The Tell-Tale Heart; and The Masque […]
  • Poe’s life and how it influenced his work He feels privileged to have such a creature in his room and the fact that the raven answers his question of what its name is with the word “Nevermore”, adds to his excitement.
  • How Did Edgar Allan Poe Influence Literature?
  • How Does Edgar Allan Poe Keep the Reader in Suspense?
  • How Does Edgar Allan Poe Misguide the Reader in His Story “The Black Cat”?
  • How Does Edgar Allan Poe Use Dreams to Portray Terror and Mirror the Narrator’s Sense of Reality?
  • How Does Edgar Allan Poe Create Horror in “The Pit and the Pendulum”?
  • How Edgar Allan Poe Defines American Literature?
  • How Edgar Allan Poe Explores Similarities Between Love and Hate in His Work?
  • How Did Edgar Allan Poe & Jack London Deal With Death in Selected Short Stories?
  • How Edgar Allan Poe’s Work Is Affected by His Predecessors?
  • How Edgar Allan Poe’s Writings Illuminate His Upbringing?
  • Was Edgar Allan Poe a Jingleman?
  • What Influenced Edgar Allan Poe’s Writing Style?
  • What Makes Edgar Allan Poe So Great?
  • Who Was Edgar Allan Poe?
  • Who Was William Wilson in the Work of Edgar Allan Poe?
  • Why Does Edgar Allan Poe Favors Death and Terror Over Other Literary Genres?
  • Edgar Allan Poe: Crazy Drunk or Brilliant Literalist?
  • Edgar Allan Poe: Strange Dreamer or True Genius?
  • What Were Edgar Allan Poe’s Last Five Words?
  • What Is Edgar Allan Poe Most Famous For?
  • What Does Edgar Allan Poe Suffer From?
  • Why Did Edgar Allan Poe Write about Death?
  • What Are Five Interesting Facts about Edgar Allan Poe?
  • Why Did Edgar Allan Poe Marry His 13-Year-Old Cousin?
  • Did Edgar Allan Poe Write With a Cat on His Shoulder?
  • What Is Edgar Allan Poe’s Most Famous Poem?
  • What Is the Meaning of Poe’s “The Raven”?
  • What Language Did Edgar Allan Poe Use to Create Atmosphere and Suspense?
  • Chicago (A-D)
  • Chicago (N-B)

IvyPanda. (2024, February 27). 113 Edgar Allan Poe Essay Topics & Examples.

"113 Edgar Allan Poe Essay Topics & Examples." IvyPanda , 27 Feb. 2024,

IvyPanda . (2024) '113 Edgar Allan Poe Essay Topics & Examples'. 27 February.

IvyPanda . 2024. "113 Edgar Allan Poe Essay Topics & Examples." February 27, 2024.

1. IvyPanda . "113 Edgar Allan Poe Essay Topics & Examples." February 27, 2024.


IvyPanda . "113 Edgar Allan Poe Essay Topics & Examples." February 27, 2024.

  • The Fall of the House of Usher Research Ideas
  • The Cask of Amontillado Research Ideas
  • The Tell-Tale Heart Research Ideas
  • The Raven Essay Titles
  • Charles Dickens Topics
  • Literary Criticism Research Ideas
  • Harper Lee Topics
  • Satire Essay Ideas
  • Ernest Hemingway Research Topics
  • Frederick Douglass Essay Ideas
  • Existentialism Paper Topics
  • Alfred Hitchcock Topics
  • Expressionism Research Topics
  • Sherlock Holmes Ideas
  • Jackson Pollock Essay Titles

Edgar Allan Poe

Edgar Allan Poe was a writer and critic famous for his dark, mysterious poems and stories, including “The Raven,” “Annabel Lee,” and “The Tell-Tale Heart.”

preview for Edgar Allan Poe - Mini Biography

Who Was Edgar Allan Poe?

Quick facts, army and west point, writing career as a critic and poet, poems: “the raven” and “annabel lee”, short stories, legacy and museum.

FULL NAME: Edgar Allan Poe BORN: January 19, 1809 DIED: October 7, 1849 BIRTHPLACE: Boston, Massachusetts SPOUSE: Virginia Clemm Poe (1836-1847) ASTROLOGICAL SIGN: Capricorn

Edgar Allan Poe was born Edgar Poe on January 19, 1809, in Boston. Edgar never really knew his biological parents: Elizabeth Arnold Poe, a British actor, and David Poe Jr., an actor who was born in Baltimore. His father left the family early in Edgar’s life, and his mother died from tuberculosis when he was only 2.

Separated from his brother, William, and sister, Rosalie, Poe went to live with his foster parents, John and Frances Allan, in Richmond, Virginia. John was a successful tobacco merchant there. Edgar and Frances seemed to form a bond, but he had a more difficult relationship with John.

By age 13, Poe was a prolific poet, but his literary talents were discouraged by his headmaster and by John, who preferred that young Edgar follow him in the family business. Preferring poetry over profits, Poe reportedly wrote poems on the back of some of Allan’s business papers.

miles george, thomas goode tucker, and edgar allan poe

Money was also an issue between Poe and John. Poe went to the University of Virginia in 1826, where he excelled in his classes. However, he didn’t receive enough money from John to cover all of his costs. Poe turned to gambling to cover the difference but ended up in debt.

He returned home only to face another personal setback—his neighbor and fiancée Sarah Elmira Royster had become engaged to someone else. Heartbroken and frustrated, Poe moved to Boston.

In 1827, around the time he published his first book, Poe joined the U.S. Army. Two years later, he learned that his mother, Frances, was dying of tuberculosis, but by the time he returned to Richmond, she had already died.

While in Virginia, Poe and his father briefly made peace with each other, and John helped Poe get an appointment to the United States Military Academy at West Point. Poe excelled at his studies at West Point, but he was kicked out after a year for his poor handling of his duties.

During his time at West Point, Poe had fought with John, who had remarried without telling him. Some have speculated that Poe intentionally sought to be expelled to spite his father, who eventually cut ties with Poe.

After leaving West Point, Poe published his third book and focused on writing full-time. He traveled around in search of opportunity, living in New York City, Baltimore, Philadelphia, and Richmond. In 1834, John Allan died, leaving Poe out of his will, but providing for an illegitimate child Allan had never met.

Poe, who continued to struggle living in poverty, got a break when one of his short stories won a contest in the Baltimore Saturday Visiter . He began to publish more short stories and, in 1835, landed an editorial position with the Southern Literary Messenger in Richmond. Poe developed a reputation as a cut-throat critic, writing vicious reviews of his contemporaries. His scathing critiques earned him the nickname the “Tomahawk Man.”

His tenure at the magazine proved short, however. Poe’s aggressive reviewing style and sometimes combative personality strained his relationship with the publication, and he left the magazine in 1837. His problems with alcohol also played a role in his departure, according to some reports.

Poe went on to brief stints at Burton’s Gentleman’s Magazine , Graham’s Magazine , as well as The Broadway Journal , and he also sold his work to Alexander’s Weekly Messenger , among other journals.

In 1844, Poe moved to New York City. There, he published a news story in The New York Sun about a balloon trip across the Atlantic Ocean that he later revealed to be a hoax. His stunt grabbed attention, but it was his publication of “The Raven,” in 1845, that made Poe a literary sensation.

That same year, Poe found himself under attack for his stinging criticisms of fellow poet Henry Wadsworth Longfellow . Poe claimed that Longfellow, a widely popular literary figure, was a plagiarist, which resulted in a backlash against Poe.

Despite his success and popularity as a writer, Poe continued to struggle financially, and he advocated for higher wages for writers and an international copyright law.

Poe self-published his first book, Tamerlane and Other Poems , in 1827. His second poetry collection, Al Aaraaf, Tamerlane, and Minor Poems , was published in 1829.

As a critic at the Southern Literary Messenger in Richmond from 1835 to 1837, Poe published some of his own works in the magazine, including two parts of his only novel, The Narrative of Arthur Gordon Pym . Later on came poems such as “Ulalume” and “The Bells.”

“The Raven”

Poe’s poem “The Raven,” published in 1845 in the New York Evening Mirror , is considered among the best-known poems in American literature and one of the best of Poe’s career. An unknown narrator laments the demise of his great love Lenore and is visited by a raven, who insistently repeats one word: “Nevermore.” In the work, which consists of 18 six-line stanzas, Poe explored some of his common themes: death and loss.

“Annabel Lee”

This lyric poem again explores Poe’s themes of death and loss and might have been written in memory of his beloved wife, Virginia, who died two years prior its publication. The poem was published on October 9, 1849, two days after Poe’s death, in the New York Tribune .

In late 1830s, Poe published Tales of the Grotesque and Arabesque , a collection of short stories. It contained several of his most spine-tingling tales, including “The Fall of the House of Usher,” “Ligeia,” and “William Wilson.”

In 1841, Poe launched the new genre of detective fiction with “The Murders in the Rue Morgue.” His literary innovations earned him the nickname “Father of the Detective Story.” A writer on the rise, he won a literary prize in 1843 for “The Gold Bug,” a suspenseful tale of secret codes and hunting treasure.

“The Black Cat”

Poe’s short story “The Black Cat” was published in 1843 in The Saturday Evening Post . In it, the narrator, a one-time animal lover, becomes an alcoholic who begins abusing his wife and black cat. By the macabre story’s end, the narrator observes his own descent into madness as he kills his wife, a crime his black cat reports to the police. The story was later included in the 1845 short story collection, Tales by Edgar Allan Poe .

Later in his career, Poe continued to work in different forms, examining his own methodology and writing in general in several essays, including “The Philosophy of Composition,” “The Poetic Principle,” and “The Rationale of Verse.” He also produced the thrilling tale, “The Cask of Amontillado.”

virginia clemm poe

From 1831 to 1835, Poe lived in Baltimore, where his father was born, with his aunt Maria Clemm and her daughter Virginia. He began to devote his attention to Virginia; his cousin became his literary inspiration as well as his love interest. The couple married in 1836 when she was only 13 years old and he was 27.

In 1847, at the age of 24—the same age when Poe’s mother and brother also died—Virginia passed away from tuberculosis. Poe was overcome by grief following her death, and although he continued to work, he suffered from poor health and struggled financially until his death in 1849.

Poe died on October 7, 1849, in Baltimore at age 40.

His final days remain somewhat of a mystery. Poe left Richmond on ten days earlier, on September 27, and was supposedly on his way to Philadelphia. On October 3, he was found in Baltimore in great distress. Poe was taken to Washington College Hospital, where he died four days later. His last words were “Lord, help my poor soul.”

At the time, it was said that Poe died of “congestion of the brain.” But his actual cause of death has been the subject of endless speculation. Some experts believe that alcoholism led to his demise while others offer up alternative theories. Rabies, epilepsy, and carbon monoxide poisoning are just some of the conditions thought to have led to the great writer’s death.

Shortly after his passing, Poe’s reputation was badly damaged by his literary adversary Rufus Griswold. Griswold, who had been sharply criticized by Poe, took his revenge in his obituary of Poe, portraying the gifted yet troubled writer as a mentally deranged drunkard and womanizer. He also penned the first biography of Poe, which helped cement some of these misconceptions in the public’s minds.

Although Poe never had financial success in his lifetime, he has become one of America’s most enduring writers. His works are as compelling today as they were more than a century ago. An innovative and imaginative thinker, Poe crafted stories and poems that still shock, surprise, and move modern readers. His dark work influenced writers including Charles Baudelaire , Fyodor Dostoyevsky, and Stephane Mallarme.

The Baltimore home where Poe stayed from 1831 to 1835 with his aunt Maria Clemm and her daughter, Poe’s cousin and future wife Virginia, is now a museum. The Edgar Allan Poe House offers a self-guided tour featuring exhibits on Poe’s foster parents, his life and death in Baltimore, and the poems and short stories he wrote while living there, as well as memorabilia including his chair and desk.

  • The death of a beautiful woman is unquestionably the most poetical topic in the world.
  • Lord, help my poor soul.
  • Sound loves to revel near a summer night.
  • But as, in ethics, evil is a consequence of good, so, in fact, out of joy is sorrow born. Either the memory of past bliss is the anguish of to-day, or the agonies which are have their origin in the ecstasies which might have been.
  • They who dream by day are cognizant of many things which escape those who dream only by night.
  • The boundaries which divide life from death are at best shadowy and vague. Who shall say where the one ends, and where the other begins?
  • With me poetry has been not a purpose, but a passion; and the passions should be held in reverence; they must not—they cannot at will be excited, with an eye to the paltry compensations, or the more paltry commendations, of mankind.
  • And now—have I not told you that what you mistake for madness is but over-acuteness of the senses?—now, I say, there came to my ears a low, dull, quick sound, such as a watch makes when enveloped in cotton. I knew that sound well, too. It was the beating of the old man’s heart.
  • All that we see or seem is but a dream within a dream.
  • I have no faith in human perfectibility. I think that human exertion will have no appreciable effect upon humanity. Man is now only more active—not more happy—nor more wise, than he was 6000 years ago.
  • [I]f you wish to forget anything upon the spot, make a note that this thing is to be remembered.
  • Beauty of whatever kind, in its supreme development, invariably excites the sensitive soul to tears.

Edgar Allan Poe

Watch “The Mystery of Edgar Allan Poe” on HISTORY Vault

Fact Check: We strive for accuracy and fairness. If you see something that doesn’t look right, contact us !

Headshot of Editors

The staff is a team of people-obsessed and news-hungry editors with decades of collective experience. We have worked as daily newspaper reporters, major national magazine editors, and as editors-in-chief of regional media publications. Among our ranks are book authors and award-winning journalists. Our staff also works with freelance writers, researchers, and other contributors to produce the smart, compelling profiles and articles you see on our site. To meet the team, visit our About Us page:

an engraving of william shakespeare in a green and red suit and looking ahead for a portrait

William Shakespeare

painting showing william shakespeare sitting at a desk with his head resting on his left hand and holding a quill pen

How Did Shakespeare Die?

christine de pisan

Christine de Pisan

Sor Juana Inés de la Cruz

Sor Juana Inés de la Cruz

frida kahlo sits on a table while wearing a floral head piece, large earrings, a plaid blouse and striped pants, she looks off to the right

14 Hispanic Women Who Have Made History

black and white photo of langston hughes smiling past the foreground

10 Famous Langston Hughes Poems

maya angelou gestures while speaking in a chair during an interview at her home in 1978

5 Crowning Achievements of Maya Angelou

amanda gorman at instyle awards red carpet

Amanda Gorman

author langston hughes

Langston Hughes

langston hughes smiles and looks right while leaning against a desk and holding a statue sitting on it, he wears a plaid shirt and pants

7 Facts About Literary Icon Langston Hughes

portrait of maya angelou

Maya Angelou

Edgar Allan Poe

Edgar Allan Poe is one of the most celebrated of all American authors. Heavily influenced by the German Romantic Ironists, Poe made his mark in Gothic fiction, especially through the tales of the macabre for which he is now so famous. Although he regarded himself primarily as a poet, he is one of the few indisputably great writers of the short story, alongside Guy de Maupassant and O. Henry. Besides redefining that form as a vehicle for literary art, Poe also contributed to the modern...

Join Now to View Premium Content

GradeSaver provides access to 2360 study guide PDFs and quizzes, 11007 literature essays, 2767 sample college application essays, 926 lesson plans, and ad-free surfing in this premium content, “Members Only” section of the site! Membership includes a 10% discount on all editing orders.

Edgar Allan Poe Essays

The dimensions of fear: impacting the reader in "the fall of the house of usher" and "house taken over" anonymous 10th grade, the fall of the house of usher.

The devil is in the details! No matter the task, one must pay attention to every aspect of its completion to avoid being swayed by the devil’s tactics of distraction and procrastination. Stories meant to scare have a difficult and all-consuming...

The Influence of Edgar Allan Poe's Predecessors on His Work Anonymous

It is, arguably, a fallacy to use the word 'influence' when considering how Poe developed the Gothic genre in his own literature in light of his predecessors. The overtones of 'derivation' in the word risk unfairly discrediting the influence that...

Domains in 'The Fall of the House of Usher' L. DeSousa

In his comprehensive introduction to Gothic Tales Baldick outlines the vital role that Edgar Alan Poe, and in particular his first Gothic tale 'The Fall of the House of Usher', played in redefining the genre: 'Poe ensured that whereas before him...

Structural Purposes and Aesthetic Sensations of the Narrator's Language of "Fall of the House of Usher" within the Opening Paragraph Anonymous

The introductory paragraph of "Fall of the House of Usher" (90-91) is a sharp plunge into the deep, haunting tone of this story. The language of the narrative immediately brings the reader into the surreal and horrific world of the Ushers as the...

Sonnet “X” and “The Fall of the House of Usher” Andrea Brady

In “Sonnet X” and "The Fall of the House of Usher”, Frederick Goddard Tuckerman and Edgar Allan Poe, the respective authors, both argue that to be successful a person must have, as Richard Wilbur describes, rational and non-rational capabilities....

Uncertainty: Poe’s Means, Pynchon’s End Joshua Nobleman

A statement becomes intelligible when its component elements integrate into a unified structure. Stories, then, would convey meaning insofar as they fufill the conventions and boundaries of their genre. Jacques Derrida, however, deconstructs this...

The House of Usher: A Window to the Soul Susan Matassa

In “The Fall of the House of Usher,” the phantasmagoric setting Poe creates not only serves as an exquisite background for the story, but also gives the reader insight into the mystery of the characters. Through Poe’s descriptive personification,...

Gothic Poe Peggie R. Hale College

Comparisons of Edgar Allen Poe’s two Gothic tales, “Ligeia” and “The Fall of the House of Usher”, reveal a volume of similarities and some notable differences. From characters, language, settings, literary approach, even plot devices, “Ligeia” and...

Peripheral Narration and Dark Mystery; Using the Narrator to Deepen the Tale in The Fall of the House of Usher Maddie Labon College

Edgar Allan Poe was a great America gothic style writer of the eighteen hundreds. There is hardly a mention of early American literature that does not commend his work. Of his literature, The Fall of the House of Usher gives a certain air of...

Roderick and Madeline: The Fall of a House Divided Timothy Sexton College

Edgar Allan Poe composed “The Fall of the House of Usher” some two decades before Abraham Lincoln warned those living both above and below the Mason-Dixon about the dangers of trying to live comfortably inside a house divided against itself....

Brief sentences in Edgar Allan Poe’s short stories “The Fall of the House of Usher” and “The Tell-Tale Heart” Dominika Gregušová 12th Grade

Terror in the soul of an individual was one of the main topics in the work of 19th century American writer, poet, journalist and literary critic Edgar Allan Poe. Inspired by the English Gothic novel, he tried to depict the horrors and fears in...

Young Adult Inerpretations of the Gothic Classics Anonymous College

Famous Authors like Edgar Allan Poe have maintained their renowned title because few have come after who can capture the truly gothic and gloomy nature of their works. Fast forward roughly 150 years, and new age authors have begun to re-envision...

The Fall of the House of Usher Madelyn Swenson College

“To an anomalous species of terror, I found him a bounden slave. "I shall perish," said he, "I must perish in this deplorable folly. Thus, thus, and not otherwise, shall I be lost. I dread the events of the future, not in themselves, but in their...

The relation between Roderick Usher and the family mansion Bianka Bozsik College

Edgar Allan Poe, who was born in the early nineteenth century, had an undeniable impact on American literature. Influenced by the era’s trend, the Romanticism, he had written plenty of short stories, tales and poems spiced with gothic features and...

The Fall of Southern Aristocracy, and the Fall of the South: An Examination of Poe’s “The Fall of the House of Usher” and Glasgow’s “Jordan’s End” Dessi M. Gravely College

Edgar Allan Poe’s short story “The Fall of the House of Usher” details the end of a southern aristocratic family line in a gothic manner which is to be expected of Poe. While Poe’s writing most prominently focuses on gothic quality, it is...

Poe and Faulkner: How the Gothic and Southern Gothic Influenced Literature Anonymous College

Often criticized for its sensationalism, melodramatic qualities, and its play on the supernatural, the Gothic novel dominated English literature from its conception in 1764 with the publication of The Castle of Otranto by Horace Walpole to its...

Illuminating Poe's Interior Spaces Maximilian Gonzalez College

Poe's short stories.

As the narrator of Edgar Allan Poe’s “The Fall of the House of Usher” thinks to himself when he is unnerved by the sight of the story’s titular house, “while, beyond doubt, there are combinations of very simple natural objects which have the power...

Mind-Body Dualism in Poe’s “The Fall of the House of Usher” Jessica Harrell College

The mind-body divide, or mind-body dualism, was a philosophical theory that gained popularity in the seventeenth century and flourished thereafter. In this theory, the mind and body are separate entities, and in literature, this meant that men...

The Feminist Undertones Gothic Literature Julia Spada 11th Grade

Gothic literature focuses on the darkest aspects of humanity. It was written in response to the change the authors faced in everyday life, as well as the challenges of world events. Gothic literature is a sub genre of the Romantic Movement, a...

A Psychoanalysis of Edgar Allan Poe’s “Ligeia” and “The Fall of the House of Usher” Marcel Cantu College

Often, the elements of the mind and past developments play a key role in understanding events and writings. In Edgar Allan Poe’s short stories “Ligeia” and “The Fall of the House of Usher,” Poe crafts tales that reveal the inner cravings that...

'The Fall of the House of Usher': An Exploration of Exteriority, Interiority and Uncanny Possibilities Anonymous 11th Grade

Like many gothic stories, the link between the exterior and the interior in ‘The Fall of the House of Usher’ becomes an exploration of into the human psyche. Critic Sara Wasson recently claimed that gothic fiction anticipated psychoanalysis – the...

Gothic Influences of The Monk on “The Fall of the House of Usher” Kellie Veltri College

Matthew Lewis’ The Monk , published in 1796, built on the Gothic tradition established by the earliest authors in the genre, including Horace Walpole and Ann Radcliffe. Although it was not the first Gothic novel, it was one of the earliest and...

The Ghosts, The Mad, and The Undead: A Search for Elements of Gothic Literature in Jane Eyre and “The Fall of the House of Usher” Joe DiConsiglio College

Charlotte Brontë and Edgar Allen Poe use elements of the gothic in Jane Eyre, and “The Fall of the House of Usher,” respectively, to provoke individual feelings of suspense and fear. As is common to the gothic tradition, both writers use choppy,...

The Role of Confession in Poe's Poetry Anonymous

Poe's poetry.

In his essay, "The Philosophy of Composition," Edgar Allan Poe writes that in an ideal poem, "two things are invariably required first, some amount of complexity, or more properly, adaptation; and, secondly, some amount of suggestiveness some...

college essay edgar allan poe

Literary Theory and Criticism

Home › Literature › Literary Criticism of Edgar Allan Poe

Literary Criticism of Edgar Allan Poe

By NASRULLAH MAMBROL on November 30, 2017 • ( 1 )

Edgar Allan Poe (1809–1849) was the first major American writer explicitly to advocate the autonomy of poetry, the freeing of poetry from moral or educational or intellectual imperatives. His fundamental strategy for perceiving such autonomy was to view poetry not as an object but as a series of effects. Hence, while his views are broadly Romantic like Emerson ’s, they differ deeply from Emerson ’s in that they present an affective and expressionist view of poetry. While he is usually considered a Romantic, Poe’s concern with technique and construction exhibit a formalist disposition and anticipate some of the more modern formalistic theories.

Poe’s genius has often been seen as pathological: he lost both his parents at an early age, was informally adopted and later broke with his adoptive parents; he abandoned his studies at the University of Virginia , which he had entered in 1826; he was expelled from West Point Military Academy in 1831; he led a controversial life as a contributor to, and editor of, journals; he indulged in bouts of drinking, suffered from depression and paranoia. Yet his image as an outcast, his emphasis on beauty rather than morality or truth, his view of poetry as affording us a glimpse of an ideal world, as well as his insistence on the close union of poetry and music, exerted a considerable fascination and impact on writers such as Baudelaire , who translated a number of his tales, and Mallarmé , who translated his poems, as well as Lacan , who published in 1966 his seminar on Poe’s story The Purloined Letter .

Poe’s most famous tales include The Black Cat , The Fall of the House of Usher  (1839), and The Cask of Amontillado   (1846), and among his notable poems are To Helen , Israfel, The City in the Sea ,  and The Haunted Palace . His poem The Raven  (1842) was widely popular. Some of Poe’s radical insights into poetry and criticism are expressed in his essay The Philosophy of Composition (1846), which purports to explain the origins of his own poem The Raven.  Other critical essays include The Poetic Principle  and The Rationale of Verse . In The Philosophy of Composition , Poe urges that a poet should begin with the “consideration of an effect,” i.e., the response that will be produced in the reader or listener.13 He also urges that the poet should keep “originality always in view” ( PC ,  178). This effect, he insists, must be produced as a “unity of impression.” Poe does not believe that such a unified impression can be achieved by a long poem; since poetry “intensely excites, by elevating, the soul,” and since intense excitement must by nature be brief, a long poem “is, in fact, merely a succession of brief ones – that is to say, of brief poetical effects” ( PC, 180). A poem such as Paradise Lost , Poe argues, is at least one half composed of prose, with which the poetic passages are interspersed. Hence the first poetic requirement, unity of impression, cannot be satisfied in a long poem.


Poe’s second major claim for the nature of poetry is that it must be “universally appreciable,” and it is beauty that has the power universally to please. Hence, “Beauty is the sole legitimate province of the poem . . . That pleasure which is at once the most intense, the most elevating, and the most pure, is, I believe, found in the contemplation of the beautiful” ( PC, 181). Poe points out that beauty is not, as is commonly supposed, “a quality, . . . but an effect,” an “intense and pure elevation of soul – not of intellect, or of heart.” Truth, which is the aim of the intellect, or passion, which represents an excitement of the heart, says Poe, are both more easily attainable in prose than poetry. In fact, both of these are antagonistic to beauty, “which is the atmosphere and the essence of the poem” ( PC, 182). Hence beauty – not truth, or emotion, or goodness – is the peculiar province of poetry. Moreover, beauty is reconceived by Poe not as a quality belonging to an object but as an effect in the subject; his views, perhaps influenced by Kant via Coleridge , stop short of Kant’s sophistication. Whereas, for Kant, beauty was a mode of apprehension on the part of the subject, for Poe it is a response caused in the reader or listener by the literary object or poem. These are the general points made in Poe’s essay, the remainder of which attempts to explain the stages of the composition of “The Raven.”

Poe’s subsequent essay, The Poetic Principle   (1850), offers a fuller account of his aesthetics. Here also, he urges that a long poem is a contradiction in terms since it cannot sustain the unity, the “totality of effect or impression,” that is the “vital requisite” in all works of art. Poe warns also that a poem may be “improperly brief ” such that it degenerates into epigrammatism. A poem that is very short cannot produce “a profound or enduring effect” ( PP,  890).

One of Poe’s chief endeavors in this essay is to identify and undermine what he calls “the heresy of The Didactic ,” which refers to the view that “the ultimate object of all Poetry is Truth” and that every poem “should inculcate a moral.” As against this, Poe insists that the most dignified and noble work is the “poem per se – this poem which is a poem and nothing more – this poem written solely for the poem’s sake” ( PP, 892– 893). This is perhaps the first insistence on artistic or poetic autonomy by an American writer; it may be significant, as emerges later in his text, that Poe somewhat aligned himself with Southern values and resented the domination of American letters by Northern liberalism, as instanced by the influence of the North American Review ( PP , 899). Poe himself wrote for the Southern Literary Messenger , eventually rising to the editorship of this journal. In this context, Poe’s insistence on artistic autonomy may have been a call to consider the beauty of a poem regardless of its political, as well as its moral, content; given that his notion of beauty was somewhat Platonic , it may also have been an attempt to lift art out of and above the sphere of everyday life and its entanglement in bitter political and social struggles.

At any rate, Poe makes a sharp distinction between “the truthful and the poetical modes” of apprehension and inculcation. Truth, he says, demands a severity of language: “We must be simple, precise, terse. We must be cool, calm, unimpassioned.” Such a mood, says Poe, “is the exact converse of the poetical” (“PP,” 893). Such a seemingly Platonic distinction between the language and mode of philosophy as against those of poetry has of course been challenged by many modern writers. Poe locates his views in a broader model of the mind which somewhat recalls Kant’s location of aesthetic judgment as situated between the realm of understanding (which addresses the realm of phenomena) and the realm of practical reason (comprehending the realm of morality). Poe likewise divides the mind into three aspects: “Pure Intellect, Taste, and the Moral Sense.” He places taste in the middle, acknowledging that it has “intimate relations” with the other two aspects; but he observes a distinction between these three offices: the intellect is concerned with truth; taste apprehends the beautiful; and moral sense disposes us toward duty (“PP,” 893). By situating his view of poetic autonomy within such a scheme, Poe is following a Kantian procedure of both identifying a subjective faculty specifically as aesthetic, and establishing boundaries between distinct human endeavors or attributes, boundaries which cannot be violated. Poe admits that the precepts of duty or even the lessons of truth can be introduced into a poem; but they must subserve the ultimate purpose of art, and must be placed “in proper subjection to that Beauty which is the atmosphere and the real essence of the poem” (“PP,” 895).

Hence poetry should not be realistic, merely copying or imitating the beauties that lie before us. Rather, poetry is “a wild effort to reach the Beauty above . . . to attain a portion of that Loveliness whose very elements, perhaps, appertain to eternity alone”; it is a “struggle to apprehend the supernal Loveliness” (“PP,” 894). Platonic passages such as these, urging the poet to rise above the transient world and to focus his gaze upon the eternal form of Beauty, must have attracted Baudelaire and some of the French Symbolists such as Mallarmé. Poe uses the term poetry in a broad sense, to cover all of the arts; but he sees a very close connection between poetry and music; in fact he defines poetry as “The Rhythmical Creation of Beauty. Its sole arbiter is Taste . . . In the contemplation of Beauty we alone find it possible to attain that pleasurable elevation, or excitement, of the soul, which we recognize as the Poetic Sentiment, and which is so easily distinguished from Truth, which is the satisfaction of the Reason, or from Passion, which is the excitement of the Heart” (“PP,” 895). What is not Platonic, however, is the isolated exaltation of Beauty over truth and goodness; the harmony that was possible, even in theory, in Plato’s system, between these forms or essences, between these multifold dimensions of human endeavor, has disintegrated into a desperate craving for a beauty that is not found in the actual world, and a retreat from the increasingly troubled realms of truth and morality.


Poe defines the “poetic principle” as “the Human Aspiration for Supernal Beauty,” a quest for an excitement of the soul that is distinct from the intoxication of the heart or the satisfaction of reason. Truth may be instrumental in this quest inasmuch as it leads us to “perceive a harmony where none was apparent before.” The experience of such a harmony is “the true poetical effect” (“PP,” 906). Once again, we glimpse here reflections of Kantian ideas, refracted perhaps through Coleridge. The poet, according to Poe, recognizes in many phenomena the ambrosia that nourishes his soul, especially in “all unworldly motives – in all holy impulses – in all chivalrous, generous, and selfsacrificing deeds” (“PP,” 906). What is interesting here is that all of these phenomena appear to pertain to morality: the very morality that is expelled from the poet’s quest for beauty returns as the very ground of this quest, resurrected in aesthetic form on the ground of its own beauty. In other words, morality becomes an integral part of the aesthetic endeavor, and becomes justified on aesthetic grounds. Once again, art is seen as salvific, displacing the function of religion in serving as our guide to the world beyond.

Source: A History of  Literary Criticism : From Plato to the Present Editor(s): M. A. R. Habib

Share this:

Categories: Literature

Tags: Edgar Allan Poe , Israfel , Literary Criticism , Literary Theory , Poetry , Romanticism , The Black Cat , The Cask of Amontillado , The City in the Sea , The Fall of the House of Usher , The Haunted Palace , the heresy of The Didactic , The Philosophy of Composition , The Purloined Letter , The Rationale of Verse , To Helen

Related Articles

college essay edgar allan poe

  • Analysis of Truman Capote’s Novels – Literary Theory and Criticism Notes

Leave a Reply Cancel reply

You must be logged in to post a comment.

Edgar Allen Poe’s “The Raven” Summary & Meaning

November 26, 2023

I’m looking outside at the bleak November weather while writing this “The Raven” summary. Despite my modern electric lighting, it’s easy to feel spooked at this time of year. Dusk comes early and the wind blows the rain sideways, hard enough to rap on my window. I guess some things haven’t changed much since Edgar Allen Poe’s time. Perhaps everyone can identify with the feelings his most popular poem provokes—fear, grief, and something less tangible, lurking in the dark. A talking bird, perhaps? Before jumping to any conclusions, I suggest we take a closer look at what went into the making of the poem. Then we’ll make a “The Raven” summary and pick apart the various “The Raven” meanings.

“The Raven” Summary: Historical and Biographical Context

The 19th-century American Edgar Allan Poe (1809-1849) wrote poems, short stories, and essays. Perhaps you know him already from some of his famous Gothic-inspired stories. These include “The Tell-Tale Heart” and “The Fall of the House of Usher.” Then there’s his often-quoted poem “Annabel Lee,” which inspired Nabokov when writing Lolita . Poe himself drew poetic inspiration from earlier English romantics, including Lord Byron, John Keats, and Percy Bysshe Shelley. His detective stories, including “The Murders in the Rue Morgue,” inspired Arthur Conan Doyle’s Sherlock Holmes series. As for Poe’s penchant for gloomy atmospheres and horrific revelations, he took his cues from leading Gothic novelist Ann Radcliff.

Despite this breadth of writing, Poe maintained that literature needn’t have a function beyond acting as a work of art. This theory, called “art for art’s sake,” was shared by some of Poe’s contemporaries, including Oscar Wilde. Poe’s aim with poetry involved invoking sadness, strangeness, and loss, which in turn would elicit a sense of beauty. This technique applied in particular to “The Raven,” which Poe wrote around 1845. Here, he wished to explore the loss of beauty and the impossibility of regaining it. He did so by incarnating beauty in a deceased love, which he called “the most poetical topic in the world.” This trope of a beloved’s untimely death dates back to Petrarch, who dedicated sonnets to his lost love, Laura. Dante followed, chasing his sweetheart Beatrice through hell, purgatory, and heaven. By maintaining this tradition, Poe strategically positioned himself in the same lauded literary canon.

“The Raven” Summary: Reception

While critics received “The Raven” with mixed opinions, the public responded favorably. This poem would become Poe’s most popular in his lifetime. It granted him at least some of the recognition he wished to obtain in his writing career. Later, Charles Baudelaire would translate “The Raven” into French. Thus, the poem went on to inspire the French Symbolists, including Arthur Rimbaud.

Even in the 20th and 21st centuries, “The Raven” has continued to inspire artists in high and popular culture. Perhaps you’ve heard of the British rock band The Alan Parsons Project . Their album “Tales of Mystery and Imagination, is entirely based on Poe’s writing, and contains a song called “The Raven.” Then there are the recent Poe-inspired Netflix adaptations, and even the football team, the Baltimore Ravens. Yet to understand what makes “The Raven” such a timeless and adaptable piece of literature, we must return to the source. So, without further ado, the poem, if you please.

“The Raven” Poem

Once upon a midnight dreary, while I pondered, weak and weary,

Over many a quaint and curious volume of forgotten lore—

While I nodded, nearly napping, suddenly there came a tapping,

As of some one gently rapping, rapping at my chamber door.

“’Tis some visitor,” I muttered, “tapping at my chamber door—

Only this and nothing more.”

Ah, distinctly I remember it was in the bleak December;

And each separate dying ember wrought its ghost upon the floor.

Eagerly I wished the morrow;—vainly I had sought to borrow

From my books surcease of sorrow—sorrow for the lost Lenore—

For the rare and radiant maiden whom the angels name Lenore—

Nameless here for evermore.

The Raven Summary & Meaning (Continued)

And the silken, sad, uncertain rustling of each purple curtain

Thrilled me—filled me with fantastic terrors never felt before;

So that now, to still the beating of my heart, I stood repeating

“’Tis some visitor entreating entrance at my chamber door—

Some late visitor entreating entrance at my chamber door;—

This it is and nothing more.”

Presently my soul grew stronger; hesitating then no longer,

“Sir,” said I, “or Madam, truly your forgiveness I implore;

But the fact is I was napping, and so gently you came rapping,

And so faintly you came tapping, tapping at my chamber door,

That I scarce was sure I heard you”—here I opened wide the door;—

Darkness there and nothing more.

Deep into that darkness peering, long I stood there wondering, fearing,

Doubting, dreaming dreams no mortal ever dared to dream before;

But the silence was unbroken, and the stillness gave no token,

And the only word there spoken was the whispered word, “Lenore?”

This I whispered, and an echo murmured back the word, “Lenore!”—

Merely this and nothing more.

Back into the chamber turning, all my soul within me burning,

Soon again I heard a tapping somewhat louder than before.

“Surely,” said I, “surely that is something at my window lattice;

Let me see, then, what thereat is, and this mystery explore—

Let my heart be still a moment and this mystery explore;—

’Tis the wind and nothing more!”

Open here I flung the shutter, when, with many a flirt and flutter,

In there stepped a stately Raven of the saintly days of yore;

Not the least obeisance made he; not a minute stopped or stayed he;

But, with mien of lord or lady, perched above my chamber door—

Perched upon a bust of Pallas just above my chamber door—

Perched, and sat, and nothing more.

Then this ebony bird beguiling my sad fancy into smiling,

By the grave and stern decorum of the countenance it wore,

“Though thy crest be shorn and shaven, thou,” I said, “art sure no craven,

Ghastly grim and ancient Raven wandering from the Nightly shore—

Tell me what thy lordly name is on the Night’s Plutonian shore!”

Quoth the Raven “Nevermore.”

Much I marvelled this ungainly fowl to hear discourse so plainly,

Though its answer little meaning—little relevancy bore;

For we cannot help agreeing that no living human being

Ever yet was blessed with seeing bird above his chamber door—

Bird or beast upon the sculptured bust above his chamber door,

With such name as “Nevermore.”

But the Raven, sitting lonely on the placid bust, spoke only

That one word, as if his soul in that one word he did outpour.

Nothing farther then he uttered—not a feather then he fluttered—

Till I scarcely more than muttered “Other friends have flown before—

On the morrow he will leave me, as my Hopes have flown before.”

Then the bird said “Nevermore.”

Startled at the stillness broken by reply so aptly spoken,

“Doubtless,” said I, “what it utters is its only stock and store

Caught from some unhappy master whom unmerciful Disaster

Followed fast and followed faster till his songs one burden bore—

Till the dirges of his Hope that melancholy burden bore

Of ‘Never—nevermore’.”

But the Raven still beguiling all my fancy into smiling,

Straight I wheeled a cushioned seat in front of bird, and bust and door;

Then, upon the velvet sinking, I betook myself to linking

Fancy unto fancy, thinking what this ominous bird of yore—

What this grim, ungainly, ghastly, gaunt, and ominous bird of yore

Meant in croaking “Nevermore.”

This I sat engaged in guessing, but no syllable expressing

To the fowl whose fiery eyes now burned into my bosom’s core;

This and more I sat divining, with my head at ease reclining

On the cushion’s velvet lining that the lamp-light gloated o’er,

But whose velvet-violet lining with the lamp-light gloating o’er,

She shall press, ah, nevermore!

Then, methought, the air grew denser, perfumed from an unseen censer

Swung by Seraphim whose foot-falls tinkled on the tufted floor.

“Wretch,” I cried, “thy God hath lent thee—by these angels he hath sent thee

Respite—respite and nepenthe from thy memories of Lenore;

Quaff, oh quaff this kind nepenthe and forget this lost Lenore!”

“Prophet!” said I, “thing of evil!—prophet still, if bird or devil!—

Whether Tempter sent, or whether tempest tossed thee here ashore,

Desolate yet all undaunted, on this desert land enchanted—

On this home by Horror haunted—tell me truly, I implore—

Is there—is there balm in Gilead?—tell me—tell me, I implore!”

“Prophet!” said I, “thing of evil!—prophet still, if bird or devil!

By that Heaven that bends above us—by that God we both adore—

Tell this soul with sorrow laden if, within the distant Aidenn,

It shall clasp a sainted maiden whom the angels name Lenore—

Clasp a rare and radiant maiden whom the angels name Lenore.”

“Be that word our sign of parting, bird or fiend!” I shrieked, upstarting—

“Get thee back into the tempest and the Night’s Plutonian shore!

Leave no black plume as a token of that lie thy soul hath spoken!

Leave my loneliness unbroken!—quit the bust above my door!

Take thy beak from out my heart, and take thy form from off my door!”

And the Raven, never flitting, still is sitting, still is sitting

On the pallid bust of Pallas just above my chamber door;

And his eyes have all the seeming of a demon’s that is dreaming,

And the lamp-light o’er him streaming throws his shadow on the floor;

And my soul from out that shadow that lies floating on the floor

Shall be lifted—nevermore!

“The Raven” Summary

“The Raven” begins with an unnamed narrator falling asleep while trying to lose himself in his books on a cold, dreary December night. He hopes these books will provide a distraction from his grief for Lenore. Yet the real distraction comes in the shape of a talking raven. He first hears the raven tapping at his door. Upon opening the door, the narrator finds nothing but darkness, and his own voice, echoing “Lenore.” Already, the narrator seems to be looking for some mystic sign of his lost love.

When the tapping continues, the narrator next opens the window. In steps a raven. Without pause, it enters and perches above the doorframe, on the bust of a Greek god. The corvid squawks only one word, “nevermore,” in response (or so it seems) to anything and everything the narrator says. What follows is fanciful, amusing, and melancholic, all at once.

The narrator, supposing the raven can only repeat a word he once heard, dismisses the meaning behind “nevermore.” Despite this rationale, he pulls up a chair, and cannot help but ask the raven questions. Distraught from Lenore’s recent death, the narrator seeks meaning in the raven’s unchanging responses. When he asks if angels have sent the bird to provide relief from his mourning, the raven answers “Nevermore.” Soon the narrator begins to suspect the bird has not come from heaven, but somewhere more devilish. Still, he continues to ask if he may hope to heal. The raven answers “Nevermore.” The narrator, becoming desperate, asks the raven if he will meet Lenore in Eden, meaning heaven. “Nevermore,” the raven responds. Enraged, the narrator asks the raven to leave. Naturally, the bird answers “Nevermore.” The poem ends with the raven perched above the narrator, whose soul is crushed.

“The Raven” Meaning: Obscure Words and Allusions

To synthesize the above “The Raven” summary, I needed to look into a few key allusions and some difficult vocabulary. Many of Poe’s allusions refer to ancient texts, especially the Bible and classic Greco-Roman literature. Poe even hints he’ll be drawing on “many a quaint and curious volume of forgotten lore” in the first stanza. Biblical allusions include the “Tempter” (the devil), heaven, angels, Seraphim, and Aidenn (Eden). Readers will also notice the “balm in Gilead” referring to a biblical cure-all.

As for Greek allusions, one involves “a bust of Pallas,” meaning the goddess Athena, who represents wisdom. Another is “nepenthe,” a plant-based narcotic mentioned in Homer’s The Odyssey , thought to erase memory. Finally, the crow itself carries certain ancient connotations. In Metamorphoses , Ovid writes that the “croaking raven” once had “silver white plumage.” Yet, “Because of his ready speech, he, who was once snow white, was now white’s opposite.” Poe takes up this trope of the chatty raven, yet here the man, and not the raven, undergoes punishment.

Because of the erudite vocabulary, readers may want to read “The Raven” with a dictionary. I’ll give you a head start. “Surcease” means a temporary halt or pause from something. In this case, it’s a pause from sorrow. The word “censer” refers to an incense holder. To “quaff” means to drink with enthusiasm. “Quoth,” means “said” or “spoke,” which our raven does often.

“The Raven” Summary: Poetic Structures

The structure of “The Raven” remains fairly uniform throughout. Eighteen six-line stanzas rely mainly on trochaic octameter. A trochaic foot involves one stressed syllable followed by one unstressed syllable (essentially the opposite of an iambic foot). However, most lines actually end on a stressed syllable, giving the line 7.5 feet, or 15 syllables. (“ Take thy beak from out my heart , and take thy form from off my door !”) Poe borrowed this meter from Elizabeth Barrett Browning’s poem “Lady Geraldine’s Courtship.”

Rhyme also reinforces the structure of “The Raven.” Not only does the poem follow the ABCBBB rhyme pattern, but the B lines all rhyme with “nevermore.” (Forgotten lore , chamber door , upon the floor , Le nore …) The rhyme scheme makes the poem catchy, fun to read aloud, and ultimately memorable. It also evokes the sound of an echo, reinforcing the spookiness of the poem’s atmosphere and plot. Internal rhymes (such as “sorrow laden ”/“sainted maiden ”) further this effect and enhances a certain sense of inevitability. This inevitable feeling works to suggest an implicit message in the poem, that death is inescapable and unalterable.

“The Raven” Summary: Poetic Devices

Caesura crops up in “The Raven” when a pause breaks the natural momentum of a line. For example, we see it with “Then , upon the velvet sinking , I betook myself to linking.” Caesura gives the lines and stanzas a prose-like quality we’d find in stories with full sentences. It allows Poe to give himself fully to the act of storytelling, rather than leave us with a more abstract, opaque style of poetry, such as the work of poets like Emily Dickinson .

“The Raven” makes use of other poetic devices as well. We find alliteration in lines like “ D oubting, d reaming d reams no mortal ever d ared to d ream before.” Assonance appears in phrases like, “ e ntreating e ntrance” and “T e mpter/t e mpest.” Epistrophe, or the repetition of the same word at the end of multiple lines, is also present. Then there’s the repetition of whole lines or phrases. My favorite appears in the third stanza, and works on a psychological level. “I stood repeating/“’Tis some visitor entreating entrance at my chamber door —/Some late visitor entreating entrance at my chamber door ;—.” In this repetition, we find a perfect example of form fitting function. Anyone who’s tried to reassure themself that nothing is wrong will recognize the inclination to repeat this reassurance. It’s soothing.

Apart from caesura, all of these poetic devices double down on similarities and sameness. They match the repetitive actions of the raven, his rapping and tapping, and his only utterance, “Nevermore.” These various reoccurrences create a haunting, even fateful feeling throughout the poem. Despite the strangeness of a talking raven, it seems as if everything had to happen this way. The reader is therefore hardly shocked when the poem ends with the narrator’s own sense of doom.

“The Raven” Meaning: Themes

We cannot avoid discussing themes of death and grief when looking for “The Raven” meanings. Death appears in the absence of Lenore and in the hope of a reunion in some afterlife. Grief, meanwhile, appears throughout the poem. We might go so far as to say that the mourning narrator embodies grief. Thus, “The Raven” juxtaposes not life and death, but grief and death. It asks the difficult question of how to carry on after losing someone permanently.

Some critics will say that Poe warns readers against the destructive nature of grief. (Don’t forget that the poem ends with the narrator’s soul lying on the floor!) The poem could be read as a cautionary tale: don’t go looking for signs and symbols from someone you’ve lost. Leave the dead alone.

And yet, if we glance at other literature, we’ll notice a pattern. Seeking messages from lost loved ones in the form of a bird is surprisingly commonplace. Perhaps it’s a universal human habit. The ancient Greeks took messages from birds and read the future that way. In contemporary literature, too, birds often appear in moments when someone seeks a message from the dead. (For a few examples, check out Evie Wyld’s The Bass Rock and Max Porter’s Grief Is the Thing With Feathers .) Poe, writing in a time when spiritual seances were gaining traction, understood that grief is more bearable when shared. Grief can contain hope. So while readers of “The Raven” may delight in its gloom, others who’ve felt grief may find solace in recognizing and sharing in the narrator’s sorrow.

What’s next?

We hope you enjoyed this article on “Edgar Allen Poe’s “The Raven”: Summary & Meaning.” For helpful guides to reading comprehension, essay writing skills, and more, visit our page on  High School Success . You’ll find links to other literary analyses, such as  The Lottery by Shirley Jackson ,  “We Real Cool” by Gwendolyn Brooks  and  “Because I could not stop for Death” by Emily Dickinson .

  • High School Success

Kaylen Baker

With a BA in Literary Studies from Middlebury College, an MFA in Fiction from Columbia University, and a Master’s in Translation from Université Paris 8 Vincennes-Saint-Denis, Kaylen has been working with students on their writing for over five years. Previously, Kaylen taught a fiction course for high school students as part of Columbia Artists/Teachers, and served as an English Language Assistant for the French National Department of Education. Kaylen is an experienced writer/translator whose work has been featured in Los Angeles Review, Hybrid, San Francisco Bay Guardian, France Today, and Honolulu Weekly, among others.

  • 2-Year Colleges
  • Application Strategies
  • Best Colleges by Major
  • Best Colleges by State
  • Big Picture
  • Career & Personality Assessment
  • College Essay
  • College Search/Knowledge
  • College Success
  • Costs & Financial Aid
  • Dental School Admissions
  • Extracurricular Activities
  • Graduate School Admissions
  • High Schools
  • Law School Admissions
  • Medical School Admissions
  • Navigating the Admissions Process
  • Online Learning
  • Private High School Spotlight
  • Summer Program Spotlight
  • Summer Programs
  • Test Prep Provider Spotlight

“Innovative and invaluable…use this book as your college lifeline.”

— Lynn O'Shaughnessy

Nationally Recognized College Expert

College Planning in Your Inbox

Join our information-packed monthly newsletter.

Life of Edgar Allen Poe

This essay will delve into the life of Edgar Allan Poe, exploring his literary contributions, personal tragedies, and the lasting impact of his macabre and gothic style on literature and popular culture. You can also find more related free essay samples at PapersOwl about Edgar Allan Poe.

How it works

The life of a man in which his life was corrupted with evil and malevolent thoughts. For his life wasn’t the same as any other typical childhood. His name was Edgar Allen Poe. Edgar Allen Poe was born on January 19, 1809. Living in Boston, Massachusetts, his parents Eliza Poe and David Poe Jr. were both professional actors in their time. His mother Eliza Poe, was a very well known actress within her community as she was seen as a celebrity herself.

The family was poor. By 1811, his father had abandoned the family, leaving Eliza Poe alone with two year old Edgar, his older brother Henry, and his little sister Rosalie. With his mother being the only figure in the house, she had died of tuberculosis and very shortly their father who had abandoned them died of the same disease. With the death of their parents, the three Poe children were split. Henry went off to live with his grandparents. Rosalie was adopted by the Mackenzie family of Richmond. And Edgar was taken in by the family of John and Frances Allan, a couple unable to have children of their own. He later added his foster family’s name to his own, becoming Edgar Allan Poe.

As Edgar Allen Poe grew up his life had become better. He was surrounded by a loving and caring family that indeed took care about his well being. Through the years Edgar would grow up into the man we know today. He was first enrolled into a college which he was successful with his studies but they couldn’t afford the debt as they were over $2,000 in debt. In those times $2,000 was severely bad especially for a poor family like themselves.

Growing up Edgar never had the satisfaction of knowing what truly can come from the good in life as he wasn’t one to experience it. As Poe was attending the University of Virginia, they removed Poe as his foster father could not pay for his college due to gambling debt as well. You can tell from this experience that his foster father had a gambling issue as well which adds onto the saddened fact that his father doesn’t care about Poe as he had really expected him to.

In 1827, he had moved back to Boston and enlisted in the United States Army to fight for his country. Once leaving the Army he was accepted into the U.S Military Academy but he was removed from the academy once the finances became an issue again. The reoccurring issue with finances in his life shows how his family really had always stayed stable through the little money they had. The Allan family didn’t have money to use on Poe and his education as priorities had come before his own education. Once his education wasn’t working out for him, in 1835, he became the editor of the southern literary messenger in Richmond where he lived with his aunt and cousin, Maria and Virginia Clemm. Which in a few years he actually marries his cousin Virginia Clemm which was 13 at the time.

When Virginia was 24 years old she had passed away from tuberculosis. This disease has impacted Poe so much as almost his whole family has passed away from this sickness which is bizarre due to the fact that it’s the same age and type of disease for everyone involved. Poe was overcome with grief especially with his wife’s death as he began to crash. He will now be struggling financially and with his poor health for the rest of his life.

As Edgar Allan Poe continued his life he was met finally with death himself. It was on October 7th, 1849 where we had passed away in a hospital. Edgar Allan Poe was originally found in an ally way distraught but his death is found as a mystery on what caused his death. His final words were I would say a summary of what he went through his whole life. His last words were, “Lord, Help my poor soul”. With all that occurred in his life I believe this was his way of summing up his life and how he felt for years now.

During Edgar Allen Poe’s life, he created amazing stories and short stories that impact our world today. His work is studied all over the world as the impact he has put into lives is inspiring. With his hard and dreadful life, he was able to convert it all into poems and novels where he expressed the outcome he experienced when it came to his difficulties. Every story he has written has a powerful message folded within his texts.

One main story I find to be the most successful was “The cask of Amontillado”. “The Cask of Amontillado” was first published in the November 1846. It was set in an unnamed Italian city at carnival time in an unspecified year and it is about a man taking fatal revenge on a friend who, he believes, has insulted him.

In the beginning in the story it allows the audience to engage on how Fortunato is seeking his revenge. I believe this story plays a connection with Edgar Allen Poe’s life because it shows the revenge that Poe has been wanting his whole life as everything has been taken away from him one way or another. For example, the disease tuberculosis took away almost half of his family and the loss of money took away his chances of education at a university or academy just like how he was accepted into the University of Virginia but soon removed. Within the text it allows you to see the methods that Fortunato uses to attract Amontillado into his trap.

Fortunato used Amontillado’s disadvantage was intoxication to his own use and lured him to his trap using alcohol and persuasion. When someone is under the influence of alcohol they are easily tricked or convinced as their mind is not thinking straight. Out of all the texts I have read of Edgar Allen Poe this text is truly the message that comes across the clearest. From the small details of how Amontillado begins to scream for help, Fortunato begins to scream as well to send a message to Amontillado that no one can hear you in the tombs calling and yelling for help and mercy. This is a way to show Amontillado that there is no more begging for mercy as the harm has been done.

The way this trap was set up puts a perspective on what we need to think about Edgar Allen Poe himself as he is the creative mind behind these books. From the smallest of crimes to the biggest master mines in the text he is also able to hide it within very mature and impressive writing as the normal eye can not catch his direct message. I have always been one to connect his writings to Shakespeare in the sense of writing and the translation of his writing. The writing Poe portrays is very complex and hidden within anything that I have seen other then the writings of Shakespeare which I can easily see a connection with. When Edgar Allan Poe wrote this story the very popular topic of the time was revenge and prosperity for all that has been done. Edgar Allan Poe was a huge fan with revenge as his whole life he has wanted a little part of revenge to justify his whole past life. The life of Edgar Allan Poe can be told through many different ways and in each of his stories he has written they can be mirrored into his actual life. From his top novel “The Raven” all through this novel “The Cask of Amontillado”, He connects his own life which is a very successful and inspiring activity to do as an author. Poe also connected his stories to real life actions in which he aspired to influence his community with an impact of how we should take todays tasks. As controversial Poe can be he brings out and sets a new path for writing and creators everywhere. With horrifying texts, comical texts, romantic texts, and Informal texts, this man created it all with only one mind which was his own.

Today, history looks at Edgar Allan Poe as a role model for future writings that our generations will read and analyze. From reading one book of Poe you can get the insight view of his life and what he had gone through in the times he was alive. From all the deaths in his family to all the interesting facts that occurred in his life it was all laid out in the things he loved. Being an author didn’t give him riches and it only gave him a bit of fame but it was the drive and inspiration that gave him the motives to keep writing and to keep living his life no matter how horrible and secluded it was in his times of need. From the ups and downs of his life I can relate to one of his most famous quote which is, “The ninety and nine are with dreams, content but the hope of the world made new, is the hundredth man who is grimly bent on making those dreams come true” (Edgar Allan Poe).


Cite this page

Life of Edgar Allen Poe. (2021, Mar 27). Retrieved from

"Life of Edgar Allen Poe." , 27 Mar 2021, (2021). Life of Edgar Allen Poe . [Online]. Available at: [Accessed: 18 Apr. 2024]

"Life of Edgar Allen Poe.", Mar 27, 2021. Accessed April 18, 2024.

"Life of Edgar Allen Poe," , 27-Mar-2021. [Online]. Available: [Accessed: 18-Apr-2024] (2021). Life of Edgar Allen Poe . [Online]. Available at: [Accessed: 18-Apr-2024]

Don't let plagiarism ruin your grade

Hire a writer to get a unique paper crafted to your needs.


Our writers will help you fix any mistakes and get an A+!

Please check your inbox.

You can order an original essay written according to your instructions.

Trusted by over 1 million students worldwide

1. Tell Us Your Requirements

2. Pick your perfect writer

3. Get Your Paper and Pay

Hi! I'm Amy, your personal assistant!

Don't know where to start? Give me your paper requirements and I connect you to an academic expert.

short deadlines

100% Plagiarism-Free

Certified writers

college essay edgar allan poe

  • Literature & Fiction

Fulfillment by Amazon (FBA) is a service we offer sellers that lets them store their products in Amazon's fulfillment centers, and we directly pack, ship, and provide customer service for these products. Something we hope you'll especially enjoy: FBA items qualify for FREE Shipping and Amazon Prime.

If you're a seller, Fulfillment by Amazon can help you grow your business. Learn more about the program.

Kindle app logo image

Download the free Kindle app and start reading Kindle books instantly on your smartphone, tablet, or computer - no Kindle device required .

Read instantly on your browser with Kindle for Web.

Using your mobile phone camera - scan the code below and download the Kindle app.

QR code to download the Kindle App

Image Unavailable

Edgar Allan Poe: Poetry, Tales, and Selected Essays: A Library of America College Edition (Library of America College Editions)

  • To view this video download Flash Player

Follow the author

Edgar Allan Poe

Edgar Allan Poe: Poetry, Tales, and Selected Essays: A Library of America College Edition (Library of America College Editions) Paperback – October 1, 1996

  • Book 1 of 1 Library of America Edgar Allan Poe Edition
  • Print length 1520 pages
  • Language English
  • Publisher Library of America
  • Publication date October 1, 1996
  • Dimensions 5.1 x 2 x 7.7 inches
  • ISBN-10 1883011388
  • ISBN-13 978-1883011383
  • See all details

The Amazon Book Review

Similar items that may ship from close to you

The Complete Stories (Everyman's Library)

Editorial Reviews

About the author, product details.

  • Publisher ‏ : ‎ Library of America; Library of America edition (October 1, 1996)
  • Language ‏ : ‎ English
  • Paperback ‏ : ‎ 1520 pages
  • ISBN-10 ‏ : ‎ 1883011388
  • ISBN-13 ‏ : ‎ 978-1883011383
  • Item Weight ‏ : ‎ 2.25 pounds
  • Dimensions ‏ : ‎ 5.1 x 2 x 7.7 inches
  • #582 in American Fiction Anthologies
  • #1,618 in Essays (Books)
  • #5,164 in Short Stories Anthologies

About the author

Edgar allan poe.

Author, poet, and literary critic, Edgar Allan Poe is credited with pioneering the short story genre, inventing detective fiction, and contributing to the development of science fiction. However, Poe is best known for his works of the macabre, including such infamous titles as The Raven, The Pit and the Pendulum, The Murders in the Rue Morgue, Lenore, and The Fall of the House of Usher. Part of the American Romantic Movement, Poe was one of the first writers to make his living exclusively through his writing, working for literary journals and becoming known as a literary critic. His works have been widely adapted in film. Edgar Allan Poe died of a mysterious illness in 1849 at the age of 40.

Customer reviews

Customer Reviews, including Product Star Ratings help customers to learn more about the product and decide whether it is the right product for them.

To calculate the overall star rating and percentage breakdown by star, we don’t use a simple average. Instead, our system considers things like how recent a review is and if the reviewer bought the item on Amazon. It also analyzed reviews to verify trustworthiness.

  • Sort reviews by Top reviews Most recent Top reviews

Top reviews from the United States

There was a problem filtering reviews right now. please try again later..

college essay edgar allan poe

Top reviews from other countries

college essay edgar allan poe

  • Amazon Newsletter
  • About Amazon
  • Accessibility
  • Sustainability
  • Press Center
  • Investor Relations
  • Amazon Devices
  • Amazon Science
  • Sell on Amazon
  • Sell apps on Amazon
  • Supply to Amazon
  • Protect & Build Your Brand
  • Become an Affiliate
  • Become a Delivery Driver
  • Start a Package Delivery Business
  • Advertise Your Products
  • Self-Publish with Us
  • Become an Amazon Hub Partner
  • › See More Ways to Make Money
  • Amazon Visa
  • Amazon Store Card
  • Amazon Secured Card
  • Amazon Business Card
  • Shop with Points
  • Credit Card Marketplace
  • Reload Your Balance
  • Amazon Currency Converter
  • Your Account
  • Your Orders
  • Shipping Rates & Policies
  • Amazon Prime
  • Returns & Replacements
  • Manage Your Content and Devices
  • Recalls and Product Safety Alerts
  • Conditions of Use
  • Privacy Notice
  • Consumer Health Data Privacy Disclosure
  • Your Ads Privacy Choices

  Take 10% OFF— Expires in h m s Use code save10u during checkout.

Chat with us

  • Live Chat Talk to a specialist
  • Self-service options
  • Search FAQs Fast answers, no waiting
  • Ultius 101 New client? Click here
  • Messenger  

International support numbers


For reference only, subject to Terms and Fair Use policies.

  • How it Works

Learn more about us

  • Future writers
  • Explore further

Ultius Blog

Short essay on the life of edgar allan poe.


Select network

Edgar Allan Poe is regarded as, among many things, a master of dark fiction. His poems and stories chill the blood, even today. This short essay written on the life of the famous American poet offers great insight into his life and passions.

Edgar Allan Poe's strong optimism

Edgar Allan Poe may very well be the single greatest author of the Gothic movement; and judging by both his writing and his life, it would be easy to assume he was a deeply troubled man. But the grim visage seen in Poe’s popular portrait and the grisly, gruesome plots of his various tales are not the full length and breadth of the father of the modern mystery. A look into his critical essays and into the behavior of the man himself reveals that Poe had an undying optimism despite the many tragedies and tribulations of his life.

Optimism is hardly the word one would use to describe Edgar Allan Poe after a brief synopsis of his life. History takes particular pleasure in pointing out the dire events and unpleasant trends in Poe’s life which creates a general feeling of negativity when coupled with his obviously bleak writing. It is true that many tragedies befell Poe, particularly with regards to the women he loved. Both his mother and wife died young, leaving gaping wounds in Poe’s heart (Ingram). These particular losses resonate through virtually all of his writing , lending a very personal credibility that casts a shadow over the reader’s perception of the author.

Lifetime struggles of Poe

Poe also struggled extensively with both personal and professional issues. He is famously remembered being financially and personally irresponsible which, as might be expected, interfered with what attempts he made at gainful employment. Early in life his temper got him kicked out of his godfather’s house and his family’s inheritance (Ingram 85). He also struggled with gambling for a time, acquiring considerable debts (Ingram 41).

This set the tone for much of his future financial state. He is also considered one of the first American author to attempt writing as a sole source of income, something which he struggled with woefully because the publishing industry was entirely unsuited to his writing style and literary devices (Ingram). Writing never made him wealthy and these other aspects of his character contributed to lifelong poverty.

But a closer look reveals Poe’s deep and enduring optimism in spite of these unpleasant factors. Those who remembered him, even toward the end of his life when he arguably had the least to be optimistic about, he was regarded fondly by those who knew him.

Describing an author's personality

His mother-in-law and an acquaintance he made very near the end, a Mrs. Weiss, considered him to be the peak of gentlemanly behavior and a surprisingly cheerful and good-natured fellow, respectively (Ingram 417-418). These positive opinions appear to indicate Poe a pleasant person, in spite of his flaws.

His own academic writing is also a window into the deep-rooted optimism of Edgar Allan Poe. An argument could be made that Poe wrote in the Gothic style because that is what sold at the time. For example, The Fall of the House of Usher had dark, Gothic overtones and could easily be classified as horror fiction today. There can be no misunderstanding about the essays he published, however. He wrote many articles of literary criticism, particularly with regards to poetry which indicate cheerful tastes.

In “The Poetic Principle,” examples of his favorite poetry. Among these examples is “I arise from dreams of thee,” by Percy Bysshe Shelley, a romantic and surprisingly cheerful poem for a man like Poe to cite as a favorite (“Poetic” 4). This could be seen as both an explanation and a disclaimer of Poe’s favorite poetic topic, heartbreak.

Poe's endearing passion in the face of darkness

Proof of his passion is evident both in the fury of his own work and in the gentle rationalization behind that fury. Following the success of “The Raven,” Poe wrote his “Philosophy of Composition” which describes the framework and reasoning behind his narrative and structural choices in his most famous poem.

His words are surprisingly beatific considering the poem’s content, “beauty is the sole legitimate province of the poem… pleasure which is at once the most intense, the most elevating, and the most pure, is, I believe, found in the contemplation of the beautiful“ (“Philosophy” 153).

According to his own reasoning, the point of the poem is pleasure through beauty, even if that beauty is dark and tragic. He makes this point despite the earlier mentioned loss of his mother and sister and his frequent difficulties with money.

A final demonstration of Edgar Allan Poe’s optimism is seen in the way he regards his fellow man. It has often been a curse of writers and scholars that they consider their beloved intellects a thing above the common man.

Poe demonstrates a surprising lack of elitism in his essay “Eureka: A Prose Poem,” “abstruseness is a quality appertaining to no subject in itself. All are alike, in facility of comprehension, to him who approaches them by properly graduated steps” (“Eureka” 19).

Not only does he regard academics as a relatively equal regardless of subject, he considers it equally accessible by anyone capable of following the steps of proper learning. He does not even qualify that generalization, leaving the world of proper learning open to any person capable of basic comprehension. For a person who invested so much ink exploring the common darkness and capacity for madness in everyone, this is an undeniably optimistic expression of positive equality.

While there is little to regard as optimistic in Poe’s rendering of society in fictional writing, the man’s life and more straightforward work was quite the opposite. There is no denying he had his demons, many of which were probably responsible for the authentic evil he brought to the page. But it must also be acknowledged that Poe pursued love and joy in his life no matter how many times he lost them. Whatever his other faults or characteristics, it is undeniable that Poe was an optimist to the end.

Works Cited

Ingram, John Henry. Edgar Allan Poe: His Life, Letters, and Opinions. London: W. H. Allen, 1886. Print.

Poe, Edgar Allan. "Eureka: A Prose Poem." The Works of Edgar Allan Poe: Eureka: a prose poem. Miscellanies. Chicago: Stone & Kimball, 1896. 5-138. Print.

---. "The Philosophy of Composition." The complete works of Edgar Allan Poe, Volume 6. New York: Williams-Barker Co, 1908. 149-167. Print.

---. "The Poetic Principle." The works of Edgar Allan Poe, Volumes 3-4. New York: Hearst International Library, 1914. 1-27. Print.

Cite This Post

This blog post is provided free of charge and we encourage you to use it for your research and writing. However, we do require that you cite it properly using the citation provided below (in MLA format).

Ultius, Inc. "Short Essay on the Life of Edgar Allan Poe." Ultius Blog. Ultius | Custom Writing and Editing Services, 11 June 2013. Web. < >

Thank you for practicing fair use.

This citation is in MLA format, if you need help with MLA format, click here to follow our citation style guide.

  • Chicago Style

Ultius, Inc. "Short Essay on the Life of Edgar Allan Poe." Ultius | Custom Writing and Editing Services. Ultius Blog, 12 Jun. 2013.

Copied to clipboard

Click here for more help with MLA citations.

Ultius, Inc. (2013, June 12). Short Essay on the Life of Edgar Allan Poe. Retrieved from Ultius | Custom Writing and Editing Services,

Click here for more help with APA citations.

Ultius, Inc. "Short Essay on the Life of Edgar Allan Poe." Ultius | Custom Writing and Editing Services. June 12, 2013

Click here for more help with CMS citations.

Click here for more help with Turabian citations.


Ultius is the trusted provider of content solutions and matches customers with highly qualified writers for sample writing, academic editing, and business writing. 

McAfee Secured

Tested Daily

Click to Verify

About The Author

This post was written by Ultius.

Ultius - Writing & Editing Help

  • Writer Options
  • Custom Writing
  • Business Documents
  • Support Desk
  • +1-800-405-2972
  • Submit bug report
  • A+ BBB Rating!

Ultius is the trusted provider of content solutions for consumers around the world. Connect with great American writers and get 24/7 support.

Download Ultius for Android on the Google Play Store

© 2024 Ultius, Inc.

  • Refund & Cancellation Policy

Free Money For College!

Yeah. You read that right —We're giving away free scholarship money! Our next drawing will be held soon.

Our next winner will receive over $500 in funds. Funds can be used for tuition, books, housing, and/or other school expenses. Apply today for your chance to win!

* We will never share your email with third party advertisers or send you spam.

** By providing my email address, I am consenting to reasonable communications from Ultius regarding the promotion.

Past winner

Past Scholarship Winner - Shannon M.

  • Name Samantha M.
  • From Pepperdine University '22
  • Studies Psychology
  • Won $2,000.00
  • Award SEED Scholarship
  • Awarded Sep. 5, 2018

Thanks for filling that out.

Check your inbox for an email about the scholarship and how to apply.

We use cookies to enhance our website for you. Proceed if you agree to this policy or learn more about it.

  • Essay Database >
  • Essay Examples >
  • Essays Topics >
  • Essay on Literature

Essay On The Raven By Edgar Allan Poe

Type of paper: Essay

Topic: Literature , Beauty , Poem , Edgar Allan Poe , Death , Love , Poetry , Theater

Published: 01/16/2020


This free full essay is the property of WowEssays and is meant to be used as an example only. 

The Raven is a dramatic monologue, a narrative poem and one of the most popular poems of Edgar Allan Poe. The poem shows different stages of the speaker’s mood which is pensive and sorrowful throughout as his beautiful beloved has died. Loneliness and alienation as well as beauty and death are the themes of the poem. The speaker is reminiscent of the beauty of his beloved, and also her untimely death. The speaker shouts out in the end, “Leave my loneliness unbroken!” because it also helps him reflect upon himself.

It is certainly a long poem of eighteen stanzas comprising of six lines each. The meter of the poem is trochaic octameter. The poem has a supernatural and grave tone, but a remarkable imagery. The repetition of words like “nothing more” and “nevermore” give the poem a musical lilt and emphasize the rhyming pattern. The setting of the poem seems very Gothic as the speaker lives in a lonely apartment, the fire is dying, and it’s a “bleak December” night. The use of a ‘devil bird’ such as raven also suggests this as it represents death and darkness. It’s a dreary night, the speaker is feeling “weak and weary” and is tormented by the loss of love. Poe creates a spooky and creepy atmosphere of horror and suspense. It’s dark, cold, late and bleak. The rustling sound of the curtains is also sad for him. The protagonist is grieving the loss of his love Lenore, whom he describes as "the rare and radiant maiden whom the angels name Lenore”. He is visited by a mysterious bird that speaks, but only one word ‘Nevermore’. When he hears some tapping in the house he is startled and has “fantastic terrors never felt before”, but his “soul grew stronger” and he calls out to the visitor, thinking it is Lenore but it is unexpectedly a raven, an overbearing intruder so to say. He describes the raven as “Ghastly grim and ancient” which is an embodiment of grief. He wonders if the bird is a devil or a prophet who can tell whether he and his beloved will ever meet in heaven and if there is “balm in Gilead” meaning respite and hope in future. To this the bird replies ‘Nevermore’ which is the only word it knows. Every time the speaker asks or says something, the bird only responds by saying ‘Nevermore’. This word is used as a refrain at the end of each stanza, giving the lines a different meaning. The speaker assumes that the bird will go away like everyone else and leave him alone the next day. He is drowned in grief for his beloved who is no more and finds it difficult to overcome the loss. Throughout the poem we see the speaker’s depression and the melancholy side is emphasized by the darkness of the cold night of December. With the speakers growing tension revealed in his thoughts and questions, the stanzas become more and more dramatic. Gradually in the poem we observe that he becomes growingly agitated both mentally and physically, the ending of every stanza with “Nevermore” just adds to the despair of his soul. Some critics call the poem one of the bleakest poems written by Poe, because of the negative answers repeated throughout. The poet uses literary devices such as alliterations like ‘while’, ‘weak’ and ‘weary’ in the first line which produces an effect of unsteadiness. The symbol used in the poem is that of the raven itself that has a dark and gloomy countenance similar to the narrator’s mental turmoil. The Bust of Pallas is also symbolic of the goddess of Wisdom and the speaker’s beautiful chamber symbolizes the beauty of his beloved, Lenore. The narrator can’t avoid thinking of his beloved and her memories just add to his pain and sorrow. It’s interesting to see in the poem how the raven stimulates his nostalgia for Lenore and he expresses his grief through the medium of a creature that has no feelings or consciousness. The poet Edgar Allan Poe uses a number of folk and classical references such as the bust of Pallas, night’s Plutonian shore, Gilead, distant Aidenn, etc. The main theme of the poem as we can understand is undying love and devotion of the narrator towards his beloved Lenore, whom he desires to both forget and remember at the same time. He experiences a conflict here that simply adds to his grief. This suggests some ambiguity in the mental state of the narrator as it dwindles between forgetting and remembering. However, he wishes and hopes that one day he will be united with his beloved in heaven. But it’s strange to note that inspite of missing his beloved so intensely, the poet doesn’t describe Lenore in detail in the poem. The other themes in the poem are the death of the young beautiful woman and the helplessness and grief of the narrator. The poem tells of the poet’s remarkable imagination and deft command of the language which he uses so beautifully to bring out the larger meaning of the poem. He uses words such as weary, bleak, dying, mystery, stillness, grave, which contribute to the overall meaning and melancholic tone of the poem. It’s a dramatic poem possessing a tragic element and expressing deep human pain of the loss of love.

The Raven. 2012. ENotes. 6 December 2012. Poe’s Poetry Summary and Analysis. 2012. Gradesaver. 6 December 2012


Cite this page

Share with friends using:

Removal Request

Removal Request

Finished papers: 363

This paper is created by writer with

ID 278639001

If you want your paper to be:

Well-researched, fact-checked, and accurate

Original, fresh, based on current data

Eloquently written and immaculately formatted

275 words = 1 page double-spaced

submit your paper

Get your papers done by pros!

Other Pages

Advertisement argumentative essays, fund course work, hacker course work, knight course work, simplicity course work, wire course work, offence course work, smell course work, axis course work, pross essays, rimrock essays, spruit essays, stronger essays, social change essays, journal of black essays, conclusions essays, mass media essays, marketing department essays, sociological research essays, egocentric speech essays, slave girl essays, childhood education essays, free course work on nursing homes and reducing falls, essay on do female soloists belong in a jazz band, research paper on how sales organizations motivate their staff on regular basis, free research paper on free speech and content control, case study on understanding the court system, bullies in school racism and discrimination essays examples, good example of essay on detailed observation of the interviewee, answering question article reviews example, free essay about routine skin preparation with or without alcohol swab, good research paper on environmental studies co2 levels in the atmosphere, malincho case study essays example, free research paper on othello, good essay on women suffrage discussion, community engagement course work, good essay about colonization of morocco, good example of barriers to participation of children with disabilities in youth sports literature review, free essay on oil as a form of energy, good example of threshold of a function case study, riesman and merton essay example, name essay 4, good course work on women and gender studies.

Password recovery email has been sent to [email protected]

Use your new password to log in

You are not register!

By clicking Register, you agree to our Terms of Service and that you have read our Privacy Policy .

Now you can download documents directly to your device!

Check your email! An email with your password has already been sent to you! Now you can download documents directly to your device.

or Use the QR code to Save this Paper to Your Phone

The sample is NOT original!

Short on a deadline?

Don't waste time. Get help with 11% off using code - GETWOWED

No, thanks! I'm fine with missing my deadline

  • All Categories

Selected Stories of HP Lovecraft

The Influence of Edgar Allan Poe on H.P. Lovecraft’s “At the Mountains of Madness”

Howard Phillips Lovecraft was one of the greatest horror writers in history of the literature and his works inspired many authors, many books and many movies. Just to name a few, author of many successful psychological horror books, Stephen King, has included H.P. Lovecraft besides few other horror writers in the introduction to his 2014 novel “Revival” referring to them as “some of the people who built my house“ (King) and even included a citation from Lovecraft’s short story “The Nameless City.“ Lovecraft’s influence is heavily present even in the cinematography and most noticeably in the horror movies like “The Thing” or “Evil Dead”.

Just as H.P. Lovecraft inspired many authors, he himself had been inspired by many before him, Lord Dunsany, Arthur Machen, Clark Ashton Smith and most noticeably Edgar Allan Poe. Edgar Allan Poe, Baltimorean who had fair success with his stories and poems and became a well-known person although his works have been criticized fairly often. H.P. Lovecraft was clearly influenced by Poe and perhaps sought in him some figure of a teacher in his works. H.P. Lovecraft stated in his letters to Rheinhart Kleiner that “Poe was my God of Fiction“ and that “ When I write stories, Edgar Allan Poe is my model.“ (Lovecraft, Letters to Rheinhart Kleiner) While to find more subtle influences on Lovecraft we need to go deeper, the most obvious ones are present in the form of his undying respect to Poe and horror authors in general in stories such as “The Pickman’s Model” in words “only a real artist knows the actual anatomy of the terrible or the physiology of fear” (H. P. Lovecraft) although in the story he’s referring to a fictional painter. The astonishment of bringing fear to people’s hearts, however is clear and undoubtedly present in many of his other stories. The story that probably stands out the most is “At the Mountains of Madness” which is clearly inspired by Poe’s “The Narrative of Arthur Gordon Pym of Nantucket” which shares partly similar setting, strong sense of unknown, subterranean forgotten lands and even a sinister interjection “Tekeli-li”.

Poe’s “The Narrative of Arthur Gordon Pym of Nantucket” tells allegedly a true story of a man who comes to Poe to write down his story as a word of fiction because no one would believe him if he stated that it was true. The story contains two differing parts, one written by Poe and the other by Pym himself, as the story says. Of course, the whole novel is a work of Poe, written after a publisher convinced him to write a novel rather than a short story that he was used to because American readers wanted a full, longer story with one developed plotline. It says the story of Arthur Gordon Pym who by a series of strange coincidences and decisions ends up at sea, on a boat with his friend and many other sailors. After a second mutiny their number is reduced to four and they continue to live on a ship which was damaged during a storm. They are slowly running out of supplies and are eventually driven to cannibalism as they draw straws and devour one of them. Pym’s friend dies from his wounds and Pym is left with a former mate of the boat, Dirk Peters, friendly, but a huge and strong man. After that they are at last found by another ship, the captain of which takes them aboard. The ship ventures through a sea and stops by on a series of islands located somewhere east from the South America. The captain eventually decides to sail where no other human has ever sailed and that is to some of the unknown coasts of Antarctica. While the ship has passed some of the icebergs and they are clearly in the polar region they encounter a densely-forested group of islands with black-skinned people native to this area. The natives are dangerously looking and armed with clubs overall, they seem friendly. The crew with the captain, Peters, and Pym follows them and the captain seems to make a few arrangements with the chief of the natives.

After a week, they are readying to leave and all are invited to a celebratory feast by the natives. All but a handful of men left on a ship leave for a feast and are eventually led through a narrow gorge in which Pym and Peters observe a cavern in which they are safe from a disaster shortly following. The natives prepared a trap and buried the gorge with all the sailors under tons of earth and stone. Pym and Peters are alive but trapped in a cavern. They are starving for few days but ultimately find a way out of the cavern. The ship with the few sailors was destroyed by the natives but Pym and Peters still try to get to the shore. They are, however ambushed by a small group of natives which they beat and take one as a captive. Pym and Peters steal a canoe from the native and manage to sail away to the south. The captive native, Nu-Nu is, as Pym discovers, afraid of anything white and with every mile southern he grows more and more impatient. Eventually everything in their surroundings begins to change, water turns white, huge white birds fly close and a huge cataract looms in their direction. Nu-Nu dies of fright. Finally, as their ship approaches the cataract a huge white figure rises up and the story ends. The story is unfinished and Poe ends it with an explanation that Pym died a few years back and the last chapters are therefore lost. It is revealed that Peters is alive and well, living in Illinois, however he won’t talk about these events.

It seems strange that Lovecraft found inspiration in this story in particular because while this was the only novel and the longest piece of fiction that Poe had ever written it was also one of his least successful. It was bashed by critics for its constant shifting in the tone, its gruesome details and mostly its lack of ending and conclusion. The evidence is, however, clear and Lovecraft himself acknowledges influence of Poe in “At the Mountains of Madness” in a way.

This novella is one of the longest pieces of fiction that H.P. Lovecraft had ever written and one of the most intriguing and lore-expanding in his Cthulhu Mythos. His works were always somehow connected, with all the stories obviously happening in the same universe. This idea is confirmed by many minor characters and some major ones appearing in more than one book, the city of Arkham and other fictional cities and villages appearing and corresponding with one another and most noticeably the various damned religious cults, beliefs, books containing forbidden knowledge all referring to the Old Ones, races of mysterious beings that came from space to the Earth long before the dawn of humanity.

The story of “At the Mountains of Madness” follows a polar expedition of Miskatonic University of Arkham, fictitious city in Massachusetts. William Dyer, a geologist that was present at this expedition is telling this story and probably publicly presenting it with all the evidence to stop an oncoming Starkweather expedition to Antarctica that is going to follow the footprints of the horrendous Miskatonic expedition. The retrospective story begins with introducing the expedition crew comprised of various experts in their fields such as biology, geology, technical engineering and students serving as assistants and crew. One half of this crew eventually go chasing a lead, one of their professors of biology found in the dirt they were examining and fly off approximately 300 miles to the north-west from their original camp to investigate this further. The professor of biology, Lake, stays in contact with the rest of the expedition via a wireless communication and informs them of the 14 specimens of pre-historic life forms, significantly older than any known evolved being which they found in an underground cavern, 6 of them damaged and 8 of them preserved almost perfectly. Lake shares also various information regarding other matters of interest such as discovery of a wide set of mountains, some even approximately 35000 feet high, which would mean that they are higher than Himalayas. Also, he states that he’s going to dissect one of the specimens and after the dissection he shares the details. The beings he found predates even the oldest known life on Earth and do not share a similarity with any known animal or plant. Lake also promises that he will give another information the next day via wireless, however the next day the other half of expedition crew after surviving a horrible storm coming from the direction of Lake’s group can’t get in touch with him. The other half, where the person in lead is Dyer, follows Lake’s group and eventually finds their camp desolated, probably by storm and all the people of Lake’s group are dead and so are their sledge dogs however, one of the students from Lake’s crew is missing along with one dog. The 14 specimens seemed to be missing, thought to be blown away by the wind, however the damaged ones are found buried in the snow by, what Dyer’s group assume, Lake’s crew driven to madness by the storm. The next day Dyer and one of the students, Danforth fly an airplane across the mountains. They discover a preserved old stone city, half-frozen and they land just at the boundary of this ancient. Dyer and Danforth starts to explore the city, finding a wide set of mural carvings and sculptures describing the history of the city and the beings Lake discovered.

Dyer and Danforth progresses through the city discovering that this old race, the Elder Ones, created primitive life on Earth and were eventually forced under the ground into an underwater sea by a sheer cold. Dyer and Danforth realize that Lake’s group was actually slaughtered by the eight Elder Things that Lake dragged from the underground cave possibly in hibernation. Two explorers, however continue because of their assumption that in one of the honeycomb-shaped buildings is an entrance to the underground sea and during this journey they stumble upon the evidence that the Elder Things have returned to this city dragging with them sledges with the missing student and a dog which bodies they eventually find cut up in a strange matter, almost as if the Elder Things were studying them. They eventually find the entrance that seems to be leading to the subterranean sea where they find four of the remaining Elder Things slaughtered presumably by a Shoggoth, a creature of species that the Elder Things created a long time ago to provide physical strength and help them with building their cities. Shoggoths however later gained independence as Dyer uncovered from the mural carvings. The Shoggoth notices them and starts chasing them through the caves. Dyer and Danforth ultimately escape the caves and the city and shaken by this horrendous experience fly back over the mountains, however Danforth takes one last look from the plane towards the horizon and the far away mountains, even higher than the ones Miskatonic expedition came across as the mural carvings of the Elder race have stated. He sees a mirage of a cyclopean city of which even the Elder Things were afraid of as was visible from the carvings and this one look drives Danforth insane for the course of a few months.

H.P. Lovecraft was inspired by many other authors as I have previously stated and the title of this novella is a reference to one of the stories by Lord Dunsany – “The Hashish Man” and more precisely from the sentence “And we came at last to those ivory hills that are named the Mountains of Madness…” (Plunkett). However, the most obvious source of inspiration is Edgar Allan Poe. Dyer and Danforth state in the beginning of the novella that the icy continent reminds them of one of Poe’s poems and these two discusses Poe’s work seeming quite familiar with it. Dyer himself stated in the novella that he “was interested … because of the Antarctic scene of Poe’s only long story – the disturbing and enigmatical Arthur Gordon Pym.” (H. P. Lovecraft) Further in the story we can observe another direct mention of Poe’s work and that in words “Danforth has hinted at … sources to which Poe may have had access when writing his Arthur Gordon Pym a century ago” (H. P. Lovecraft) referring to the frightening sound that they heard either by the Elder Things or the Shoggoth reminding them exactly of the shrieks of “the gigantic, spectrally snowy birds of that malign region’s core. “Tekeli-li! Tekeli-li!”” (H. P. Lovecraft) ,however the shrieks “Tekeli-li!” were not only produced by birds in the original Poe’s novel but also a terrified scream of the native savages “From absolute stupor [the savages] appeared to be, all at once, aroused to the highest pitch of excitement, and rushed wildly about, going to and from a certain point on the beach, with the strangest expressions of mingled horror, rage, and intense curiosity depicted on their countenances, and shouting, at the top of their voices, Tekeli-li! Tekeli-li!” (Poe) This evidence leaves us to believe that “Tekeli-li” may be understood as an interjection of horror, fright. That is presented in Lovecraft’s story as well when Danforth catches a glimpse of the forbidden cyclopean city “At the time his shrieks were confined to the repetition of a single mad word of all too obvious source: “Tekeli-li! Tekeli-li!” (H. P. Lovecraft)

Another obvious influence of Poe are the white deformed animals featured in both stories. Poe’s big white birds can be seen in those few last pages as Pym is approaching the cataract. “Many gigantic and pallidly white birds flew continuously now from beyond the veil.” (Poe) Lovecraft incorporated white birds into his story in the form of deformed penguins, huge in size and living as sort of a livestock for the Shoggoth. “For it was only a penguin – albeit of a huge, unknown species larger than the greatest of the known king penguins, and monstrous in its combined albinism and virtual eyelessness.” (H. P. Lovecraft) These forms of animal deformations lead us to one of the biggest similarities of these two stories and that is quite visibly the inspiration by the Hollow-Earth theory.

The Hollow Earth theory was a scientific theory popular in the 18th and 19th century that stated that Earth had an underground sea with entrances at the both poles. This theory was proven to be false, in the meantime however many authors took an inspiration from this theory namely Edgar Allan Poe or Jules Verne. The theory also stated that aurora borealis was a product of escaping fumes from inside of the Earth and that inside of this hollow planet is another species of men waiting to be discovered. This is easily found in Poe’s novel as Pym states that he sees a “light gray vapor in the southern horizon … having all the wild variations of the Aurora Borealis.” (Poe) and “there arose in our pathway a shrouded human figure, very far larger… than any dweller among men. And the hue of the skin of the figure was of the perfect whiteness of the snow.” which probably refers to the undiscovered species of men living in the hollow Earth. The paleness and eyelessness of these underground creatures are common in the nature in the case of a species living in complete darkness, often in underground caves. Lovecraft’s penguins are a perfect example of that and while in his novella it’s stated directly that there is a “sunless sea that lurked at earth’s bowels” I doubt that he was inspired by the Hollow Earth theory, mainly because that theory was far too old in his times to be relevant and the discoveries and exploration of the Earth have significantly advanced since the theory was popular and in my opinion he was instead inspired by the authors that were originally inspired by this theory.

Poe’s influence was undoubtedly present in Lovecraft’s “At the Mountains of Madness” but it is not a subject of plagiarism. Lovecraft’s novella is written in partly the same setting and incorporates few features of Poe’s “Arthur Gordon Pym” but develops its own unique story including the vast development of the Cthulhu Mythos present in many Lovecraft’s stories prior to this one and features completely different path of the story than Poe. Distinctive features of Poe’s novel such as cannibalism, people with black skin, eyes and teeth, antagonist in the form of a human or densely forested area behind the polar circle stays unique to the Poe’s novel. Other features such as pale deformities Lovecraft presents in different way or to minimal extent and finally those few features that seems almost identical are simply nods, references and quotations from Poe’s original work complete with his name stated each time. Even the blood-curdling scream “Tekeli-li!” is nothing but a matter of comparison that the characters used to describe what they had just heard and what had it reminded them of.

Why was Lovecraft inspired by such a bizarre and not exactly well received work of fiction? Lovecraft was always fascinated with the unknown and he himself stated in his long essay that “The oldest and strongest emotion of mankind is fear, and the oldest and strongest kind of fear is fear of the unknown.” (H. P. Lovecraft, Supernatural Horror in Literature) In the times of writing “At the Mountains of Madness” a significant part of Antarctica was yet to be discovered and that part was exactly where Lake’s doomed expedition ventured. An unexplored part of the Earth combined with the longest story of one of his favorite authors surely stirred up a storm of ideas and in the end “At the Mountains of Madness” was written.

Works citedKing, Stephen. Revival. New York: Scribner, 2014.

Lovecraft, H.P. Supernatural Horror in Literature. Athol: Recluse Press, 1927.

Lovecraft, H.P. The complete fiction. New York: Barnes & Noble, 2011.

Lovecraft, H.P. Letters to Rheinhart Kleiner. New York: Hippocampus Press, 2005.

Plunkett, Edward. A Dreamer’s Tales. George Allen and Sons, 1910.

Poe, Edgar Allan. Edgar Allan Poe: complete tales and poems. New York: Fall River Press, 2012.

Merritt Roberts The Pride and the Prejudice is set during the Napoleonic Wars, in England. During these times the societal view on marriage seems incomprehensible to society today. The vast […]

The utilization of a journey as the encircling gadget empowered Chaucer to unite individuals from numerous different backgrounds: knight, prioress, priest; vendor, man of law, franklin, insightful agent; mill operator, […]

The book, Dear Canada: Not a Nickel to Spare: The Great Depression Diary of Sally Cohen, written by Perry Nodelman in 2007, is a historical fiction book which means that […]

Contents 1 1984 Comparison With The Soviet Union 2 Works Cited 1984 Comparison With The Soviet Union George Orwell, also known as Eric Arthur Blair, is the writer of 1984. […]

Introduction One of the unique features of the world is an extreme diversity that drives change and preconditions the emergence of unique living conditions. The existence of multiple species is […]

That cold forest has never met a woman the likes of Phoenix Jackson. Strong willed and steady paced she treks through the woods without a care. The age of this […]

The poetry of Gwendolyn Brooks, which was influenced by her personal background and by the Harlem Renaissance literary period, has contributed to the American Literary Heritage. Ms. Brooks works are […]

In the General Prologue of Geoffrey Chaucer’s The Canterbury Tales, the first character portrait presented is that of the Knight. Though the knights of Chaucer’s time were commonly perceived as […]

Slavery has been and will forever be part of America’s history and stake claim to a darker chapter of a growing nation. However, while the era has passed to the […]

Howard Phillips Lovecraft was one of the greatest horror writers in history of the literature and his works inspired many authors, many books and many movies. Just to name a […]


  1. Edgar Allan Poe Essay

    college essay edgar allan poe

  2. Edgar Allan Poe's The Raven: Summary and Analysis Free Essay Example

    college essay edgar allan poe

  3. Edgar Allan Poe and Dark Romanticism Essay Example

    college essay edgar allan poe

  4. Essay on edgar allan poe in 2021

    college essay edgar allan poe

  5. The Tell Tale Heart

    college essay edgar allan poe

  6. "The Raven" by Edgar Allan Poe Free Essay Example

    college essay edgar allan poe


  1. Unmasking Edgar Allan Poe

  2. Miscellaneous Poe: Poems and Short Stories by Edgar Allan Poe

  3. The Raven and The Philosophy of Composition by Edgar Allan Poe

  4. "Eleonora" by Edgar Allan Poe: A Short Story Analysis

  5. Poe...the man, the myth, the legend

  6. Fantasy, Faeries and Ghosts by Various


  1. Edgar Allan Poe, His Life and Literary Career Essay (Biography)

    Edgar Allan Poe was an American writer, poet, and playwright. He was born in January 19, 1809 and died in October 7, 1849 (Burlingame 6). Edgar was among the pioneers of creative writing in America. He was proficient in writing short stories and contributed in developing detective fiction style.

  2. Poe as a student

    Edgar Allan Poe enrolled at the University on February 14, 1826, the 136th of 177 students registering for the second session. ... Shortly after joining, he read an essay on "Heat and Cold" and probably took part in the many lively debates of the term. Although he did not regularly present original work to the Society, he often entertained ...

  3. The Essays, Sketches and Lectures of Edgar Allan Poe

    The Works of Edgar Allan Poe, edited by Edmund C. Stedman and George E. Woodberry (Chicago: Stone and Kimball, 1894-1895 — The essays are collected in volume 7 and Eureka will be found in volume 9) The Complete Works of Edgar Allan Poe, edited by James A. Harrison (New York: T. Y. Crowell, 1902 — The essays are collected in volume 14 and ...

  4. Edgar Allan Poe

    Edgar Allan Poe (born January 19, 1809, Boston, Massachusetts, U.S.—died October 7, 1849, Baltimore, Maryland) was an American short-story writer, poet, critic, and editor who is famous for his cultivation of mystery and the macabre.His tale "The Murders in the Rue Morgue" (1841) initiated the modern detective story, and the atmosphere in his tales of horror is unrivaled in American fiction.

  5. Edgar Allan Poe

    Edgar Allan Poe's stature as a major figure in world literature is primarily based on his ingenious and profound short stories, poems, and critical theories, which established a highly influential rationale for the short form in both poetry and fiction. Regarded in literary histories and handbooks as the architect of the modern short story, Poe was also the principal forerunner of the "art ...

  6. 113 Edgar Allan Poe Essay Topics & Samples

    113 Edgar Allan Poe Essay Topics & Examples. Updated: Feb 27th, 2024. 14 min. In case you're searching for Edgar Allan Poe research paper topics to write about his life, death, and legacy, check the list. Our team has gathered ideas on the author and gothic literature below. We will write.

  7. Edgar Allan Poe Poe, Edgar Allan (Literary Masters)

    Edgar Allan Poe was born in Boston on January 19, 1809. His mother, Elizabeth Arnold Poe, was an actress who had attained some prominence as a leading lady.

  8. Edgar Allan Poe: Biography, Writer, Poet

    Edgar Allan Poe was born Edgar Poe on January 19, 1809, in Boston. ... examining his own methodology and writing in general in several essays, including "The Philosophy of Composition," "The ...

  9. PDF EDgar allan PoE in ContExt

    Courtesy of the Harvard College library. 120 12.2 H. Fossette, Park Theatre - Park Row (new york: Peabody and Co., 1832). Courtesy of the Boston athenaeum. ... University, has contributed essays to ANQ, Edgar Allan Poe Review, In-Between, Journal of the Fantastic in the Arts, and Poe Studies. alan brOwn, professor of English at the University ...

  10. Edgar Allan Poe

    Edgar Allan Poe (né Edgar Poe; January 19, 1809 - October 7, 1849) was an American writer, poet, author, editor, and literary critic who is best known for his poetry and short stories, particularly his tales of mystery and the macabre.He is widely regarded as a central figure of Romanticism and Gothic fiction in the United States, and of American literature.

  11. The Cask of Amontillado: About Edgar Allan Poe

    Edgar Allan Poe was born on January 19, 1809, and died on October 7, 1849. In his stormy forty years, which included a marriage to his cousin, fights with other writers, and legendary drinking binges, Poe lived in all the important literary centers of the northeastern United States: Baltimore, Philadelphia, New York City, and Boston.

  12. How Poe's Life Leaked into His Works

    [email protected]. Ellie Quick. Prof. Pittman. American Lit I. November 25th, 2014 How Poe's Life Leaked into His Works. Ask anyone about the author Edgar Allan Poe and most likely everyone will have a. different opinion of him. Opinions on Poe range from a crazy, mad drunk to a genius, classic, thrilling author.

  13. Poe's Short Stories Essay Questions

    Essays for Poe's Short Stories. Poe's Short Stories literature essays are academic essays for citation. These papers were written primarily by students and provide critical analysis of Poe's Short Stories. Poe's Pointers for Perfection; Women in Transit; Death and Creation in Poe's "Ligeia" Edgar Allan Poe's "Tales of Terror" as Tragic Drama

  14. Edgar Allan Poe Essays

    In his essay, "The Philosophy of Composition," Edgar Allan Poe writes that in an ideal poem, "two things are invariably required first, some amount of complexity, or more properly, adaptation; and, secondly, some amount of suggestiveness some... You are on page 1 of 4. GradeSaver offers study guides, application and school paper editing ...

  15. Literary Criticism of Edgar Allan Poe

    Poe's most famous tales include The Black Cat, The Fall of the House of Usher (1839), and The Cask of Amontillado (1846), and among his notable poems are To Helen, Israfel, The City in the Sea, and The Haunted Palace.His poem The Raven (1842) was widely popular.Some of Poe's radical insights into poetry and criticism are expressed in his essay The Philosophy of Composition (1846), which ...

  16. Edgar Allen Poe's "The Raven" Summary & Meaning

    The 19th-century American Edgar Allan Poe (1809-1849) wrote poems, short stories, and essays. Perhaps you know him already from some of his famous Gothic-inspired stories. These include "The Tell-Tale Heart" and "The Fall of the House of Usher."

  17. Edgar Allan Poe College Essays Samples For Students

    Whether you need to brainstorm a fresh and meaningful Edgar Allan Poe College Essay topic or examine the paper's structure or formatting peculiarities, our samples will provide you with the required data. Another activity area of our write my paper company is providing practical writing assistance to students working on Edgar Allan Poe College ...

  18. Life of Edgar Allen Poe

    This essay will delve into the life of Edgar Allan Poe, exploring his literary contributions, personal tragedies, and the lasting impact of his macabre and gothic style on literature and popular culture. ... You can also find more related free essay samples at PapersOwl about Edgar Allan Poe. Category: Edgar Allan Poe. Date added: 2021/03/27 ...

  19. Edgar Allan Poe: Poetry, Tales, and Selected Essays: A Library of

    Part of the American Romantic Movement, Poe was one of the first writers to make his living exclusively through his writing, working for literary journals and becoming known as a literary critic. His works have been widely adapted in film. Edgar Allan Poe died of a mysterious illness in 1849 at the age of 40.

  20. Short Essay on the Life of Edgar Allan Poe

    Short Essay on the Life of Edgar Allan Poe. Ultius. 11 Jun 2013. Edgar Allan Poe is regarded as, among many things, a master of dark fiction. His poems and stories chill the blood, even today. This short essay written on the life of the famous American poet offers great insight into his life and passions.

  21. Essay On The Raven By Edgar Allan Poe

    This free full essay is the property of WowEssays and is meant to be used as an example only. The Raven is a dramatic monologue, a narrative poem and one of the most popular poems of Edgar Allan Poe. The poem shows different stages of the speaker's mood which is pensive and sorrowful throughout as his beautiful beloved has died.

  22. Essay On Edgar Allan Poe

    Essay Edgar Allen Poe. Edgar Allan Poe Edgar Allan Poe was born at 33 Hollis Street, Boston, Massachusetts, on January 19, 1809. Poe's parents were struggling actors. His father deserted him, and his mother died of tuberculosis when he was three years old.

  23. Poe's Death Argument Essay-result

    So poe tries to start his life over. Then he was found in baltimore, barely conscious wearing clothes that rent his. Poe died on october 7, 1849. Edgar allan poe died by getting possibly drugged,too much alcohol intake, and he was beaten and kidnapped. Edgar Allan Poe could have died by getting cooped because he was found on election day.

  24. The Influence of Edgar Allan Poe on H.P. Lovecraft's "At the Mountains

    Just as H.P. Lovecraft inspired many authors, he himself had been inspired by many before him, Lord Dunsany, Arthur Machen, Clark Ashton Smith and most noticeably Edgar Allan Poe. Edgar Allan Poe, Baltimorean who had fair success with his stories and poems and became a well-known person although his works have been criticized fairly often.