Tuesday, September 3, 2019

The Tormented Genius of Edgar Allan Poe Essay -- Literary Analysis

It has been said that one cannot be truly great till they have experienced hardship. This, perhaps, is the reason that Edgar Allan Poe is thought to be one of the greatest story tellers in all of history. His life was not sprinkled with tragedy, but completely drowned in it. From the beginning of Poe’s life till the very end, he was, according to The Haunted Man by Phillip Lindsay, â€Å"born to live in nightmares† and that Poe’s life â€Å"might [as] well have been one of [Poe’s] own creations (Lindsay 2).† Death, hardship, and betrayal followed him wherever he travelled, causing him to become a depressed alcoholic along the way. It is widely believed by literary critics that â€Å"had he not been this tortured creature seeking a coffin for a bridal-couch he would not have written the extraordinary and sometimes great tales that he did write (Lindsay 2).† Poe’s traumatic experiences with death, disease, and the people around him helpe d to shape two of his most famous stories: â€Å"The Masque of the Red Death† and â€Å"The Fall of the House of Usher† In Poe’s story â€Å"The Masque of the Red Death†, the characters cannot escape death, no matter how hard they try, in the same way that Poe and the people he loved could not escape. In the story, the prince Prospero’s kingdom is overwhelmed with â€Å"the red death†, much like Poe’s life was ravaged by tuberculosis. The prince attempts to lock out the disease by hiding away in his castle, avoiding it for several months, only to still be claimed by it at the end, brought in by an unwelcomed guest. Likewise, When Poe’s wife Virginia was in the worst of her sickness, they moved, hiding away in warmer weather with the vain hope that she would somehow survive. The red death is a disease much like tuberculosis in its sy... ....'" Literature Resource Center. Studies in Short Fiction 30.2, 1993. Web. Hutchisson, James M. Poe. Jackson: University of Mississippi, 2005. Print. Kalasky, Ed. Drew. The Fall of the House of Usher by Edgar Allan Poe. Vol. 22. Literature Criticism Online. Web. Lawrence, D.H. "The Fall of the House of Usher." Short Story Criticism. Vol. 22. 289-93. Literature Criticism Online. Web. Lindsay, Philip. The Haunted Man; a Portrait of Edgar Allan Poe. New York: Philosophical Library, 1954. Print. May, Charles E. Edgar Allan Po: A Study of the Short Fiction. Vol. 28. New York: Twayne, 1991. Print. Twayne's Studies in Short Fiction Ser. Patterson, R. "Once upon a Midnight Dreary: The Life and Addictions of Edgar Allan Poe." CMAJ.JAMC. 15 Oct. 1992. Web. Poe, Edgar Allan, and Philip Van Doren Stern. The Portable Edgar Allan Poe. New York: Penguin, 1973. Print.

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