The Death, By Edgar Allan Poe Essay

The Death, By Edgar Allan Poe Essay

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“The death, then, of a beautiful woman is, unquestionably, the most poetical topic in the world” (Poe, “Philosophy”). Edgar Allan Poe is a well known author for his gothic styled writing. His stories focus on death and grief as well as guilt. In the story “Ligeia” (1838), and the poem “Annabel Lee” (1849), Poe expresses his love and loss of the women he cared about most. Poe saw women as beautiful figures because of the women in his life, and he depicts this through his short stories and poems.
Poe had three prominent women in his life his mother, his aunt, and his wife. His mother’s name was Elizabeth Arnold; she was a traveling actress and was very devoted to her job. She was noted for her beauty, her singing voice and her theatrical talent (MacLean). Poe’s mother died right before his third birthday from tuberculosis. Not knowing his real mother greatly influenced his writing, whether that is because he longed for a relationship with his real mother, or wondering what she may have been like we may never know. Poe’s father never played a role in his life because he abandoned his family shortly after Poe was born. After both of his parents died, Poe was taken in by a tobacco merchant by the name of John Allen. He didn’t have a good relationship with the Allen’s and eventually made his way to his aunt Maria Clemm who took Poe in as her own and raised him.
Another woman, who was prominent in his life was his wife Virginia. She was the daughter of Maria Clemm, which makes her Poe’s cousin. They married when Virginia was only a teenager. She influenced his writing greatly, he even wrote a poem, “Eulalie”, which was about how he enjoyed being married to her. Poe and Virginia had a great life together, so you can imagine how distraug...


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...d wife. Poe may have been known for his dark and mysterious writing, but one thing is for sure, through his dark writings he makes the women seem as though they are the only good thing. He makes sure to focus on their physical beauty as well as their spiritual beauty as well. As Poe writes, he makes it seem as though nothing good will ever last; that these characters have these amazingly perfect women, but it will never last long. Like the story “Ligeia” Poe starts with having the focus on this beautiful women, but then her death sets the dark and mysterious tone. In “Annabel Lee” the focus is on her beauty and how beauty can still come out of death with the nature scenes reminding the narrator of his “beautiful Annabel Lee”. The death of a beautiful women is a very poetical topic, and I think Edgar Allan Poe did a great job in expressing that topic in his writings.

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