Questions tagged [edgar-allan-poe]

For questions about the 19th-century author Edgar Allan Poe and his writings, which include both poetry and short stories, some of which have had widespread influence in their genres.

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How are old horror short stories classified?

When I was young, I had a few books with compiled horror, mystery or macabre short stories. I want to go back and read some of these short stories, and was able to find a few. I was able to find many ...
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Significance of the name Annabel Lee?

"Annabel Lee" is one of many pieces of writing by Edgar Allan Poe which explore the theme of a beloved woman who died young. As with other such works, most famously "The Raven", critics have ...
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What is the meaning of this sentence: …for there was nearly half as much of the entertaining as of the contemptible about the man

It is a line of one of Edgar Allan Poe's short stories, and it says: We gave him a hearty welcome; for there was nearly half as much of the entertaining as of the contemptible about the man... I ...
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Meter and number of syllables per line in “The Raven”

After reading some analysis of "The Raven", I've become confused about how syllables are counted. For example, in the second line: Over many a quaint and curious volume of forgotten lore A few ...
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Why all the fuss about Doctor Dubble L. Dee?

In Poe's short story "Three Sundays in a Week" (which can be read in full here), the protagonist and his intended bride need to outwit his uncle, who has decreed that they can only get married "when ...
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589 views

Which German book was Poe referring to?

The opening line of Edgar Allan Poe's short story "The Man of the Crowd" is as follows. It was well said of a certain German book that "er lasst sich nicht lesen"- it does not permit itself to be ...
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30 views

Were the footnotes included in the original text of the 1002nd Tale of Scheherezade?

The short story "The Thousand-and-Second Tale of Scheherezade" by Edgar Allan Poe details a great many wonders of the more modern world being described by Scheherezade to her husband, in terms ...
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591 views

What's the point of the sandy beach in “A Dream Within a Dream”?

The main thrust of Edgar Allan Poe's poem "A Dream Within a Dream" concerns the existential angst of the narrator, and his fear that "all that we see or seem" is nothing but "a dream within a dream". ...
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603 views

Is there any indication that Poe feared live burial?

Many of Edgar Allan Poe's short stories feature burial while alive; in one case, the subject of the story actually suffers from taphophobia before his own live burial. (Wikipedia helpfully includes a ...
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326 views

Was Stevenson's Treasure Island influenced by Poe?

I read on Wikipedia that: During the same period, Edgar Allan Poe wrote, "MS Found in a Bottle" (1833) and the intriguing tale of buried treasure, "The Gold-Bug" (1843). All of these works ...
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463 views

Is the old man still alive at the end of The Tell-tale Heart?

In The Tell-tale Heart, we see the madman does kill the old man: But for many minutes, the heart beat on with a muffled sound. This, however, did not bother me. I knew it would not be heard through ...
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Why is there a focus on the atmosphere in The Fall of the House of Usher?

In The Fall of the House of Usher, Edgar Allen Poe has several spots where he talks about the gloomy, cloudy, atmosphere: As I looked at the house, it seemed to me that it was being wrapped in a ...
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2k views

What is the message of Poe's “Eleonora”?

I recently read Edgar Allan Poe's short story "Eleonora", a thinly veiled self-portrait in which the protagonist falls in love with his younger cousin, who later dies and leaves him alone. He (the ...
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5k views

What does the raven symbolize (besides death)?

Whenever I ask a friend about the symbolism of the Raven from The Raven, they always seem to say death. Is that the only thing the Raven is meant to symbolize?
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Was Poe's The Pit and the Pendulum at all inspired by A Predicament?

Poe's satirical short story A Predicament tells the story of a woman who is slowly decapitated by the minute hand of a large cathedral clock. In all its ridiculous, it was supposed to be a horror ...
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943 views

What does 'Gilead' mean in The Raven?

Poe's poem The Raven contains the following words in the fifteenth stanza: [...] tell me truly, I implore— Is there—is there balm in Gilead?—tell me—tell me, I implore!" What does 'Gilead' mean ...
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Why did Montresor want to kill Fortunato?

In The Cask of Amontillado, Montresor traps Fortunato in the catacombs, but his motives are not explicitly explained. Montresor does allude to some wrongs committed against him by Fortunato. Is it ...
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Did Poe plagiarise someone else's work when writing “The Raven”?

I've read that Poe's been accused of lifting significant elements from many authors including Elizabeth Barrett, Charles Dickens, Leo Penzoni, and Thomas Holley Chivers (and "unknown," of course). ...
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Did Lenore merely leave or is she dead?

Edgar Allen Poe's poem The Raven has the narrator mourning the loss of his love Lenore. But it's actually not entirely clear to me if Lenore merely left the narrator (for whatever relationship-related ...
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240 views

How did Madeline Usher survive without food or water?

In The Fall of the House of Usher, Madeline Usher is put in the vault for a week, without food or water, in a coffin. This is in addition to the fact that she had been sick, and so wasn't at her ...
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How many of Poe's stories are interconnected?

I'm currently (slowly!) working through the complete works of Edgar Allan Poe. Three of his stories are detective tales featuring Dupin, a possible inspiration for the more famous fictional detective ...