Edgar Allan Poe?s ?The Philosophy of Composition?
347 words (1 double-spaced pages)
- - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -
Shortly after Edgar Allan Poe had completed his masterpiece, “The Raven” and sold it for $15 in 1845, he composed an essay entitled “The Philosophy of Composition”. In the essay, he claims that writing a poem was a methodical process, much like solving a mathematical problem. Poe emphasized that a poem should be read and enjoyed in one sitting, thus concluding that a poem should be around 100 lines long (The Raven was 108 lines long). Poe also states that his method of writing a poem consists of writing it backwards. Each section of the poem relies heavily upon alliteration and alternating interior rhythms.
Poe used a method to appeal to both popular and critical tastes by hitting upon the most melancholic of all subjects: the death of a beautiful woman. "The death…of a beautiful woman is, unquestionably, the most poetic topic in the world – and equally is it beyond the doubt that the lips best suited for such topic are those of a bereaved lover". Of all the themes, he chose death, because it was an emotion that everyone can relate to. Poe believed that the most poetic use of the theme death was the death of a beautiful woman. Having the theme and subject planned out, he composed his poem backwards, adding uses of the word “nevermore”. The alliteration of “nevermore” builds tension, stanza by stanza. Poe wanted to create poetry of feeling, to be able to relate the reader with the narrator.
However, it has been suggested that “The Philosophy
” was a hoax, and it is unlikely that it is an account of his poem, “The Raven”. Scholars are skeptical because he enjoys revealing his secrets a little too much in that he loved to explain and analyze his writing skills. He was likely to have come up with the idea of this essay when he was writing “The Raven”. Whether this is true or not is irrelevant, because the importance of the essay is the fact that it presents a theory of composition and a new perception of Edgar Allan
How to Cite this Page
"Edgar Allan Poe?s ?The Philosophy of Composition?." 123HelpMe.com. 26 Jul 2016
If you'd like to save a copy of the
paper on your computer, you can COPY and PASTE it into your word
processor. Please, follow these steps to do that in Windows:
1. Select the text of the paper with the mouse and press Ctrl+C.
2. Open your word processor and press Ctrl+V.
123HelpMe.com (the "Web Site") is produced by the "Company". The contents of this Web Site, such as text, graphics, images, audio, video and all other material ("Material"), are protected by copyright under both United States and foreign laws.
The Company makes no representations about the accuracy, reliability, completeness, or timeliness of the Material or about the results to be obtained from using the Material. You expressly agree that any use of the Material is entirely at your own risk. Most of the Material on the Web Site is provided and maintained by third parties. This third party Material may not be screened by the Company prior to its inclusion on the Web Site. You expressly agree that the Company is not liable or responsible for any defamatory, offensive, or illegal conduct of other subscribers or third parties.
The Materials are provided on an as-is basis without warranty express or implied. The Company and its suppliers and affiliates disclaim all warranties, including the warranty of non-infringement of proprietary or third party rights, and the warranty of fitness for a particular purpose. The Company and its suppliers make no warranties as to the accuracy, reliability, completeness, or timeliness of the material, services, text, graphics and links.
For a complete statement of the Terms of Service, please see our website. By obtaining these materials you agree to abide by the terms herein, by our Terms of Service
as posted on the website and any and all alterations, revisions and amendments thereto.