Beauty and Nightmare in Dreamland and a Dream Within a Dream by Edgar Allen Poe

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Edgar Allen Poe’s juxtaposition between beauty and nightmare in “Dreamland” and “A Dream Within A Dream” reveals his perpetual struggle between mania and depression. Losing both of his parents at the age of eight, Poe went on to suffer from the ill judgement of a gambling addiction and social isolation during his stay at Virginia University ( After leaving the university, he obtained literary fame through his poetry, fiction, and criticism. However, Poe consistently squandered opportunities for much needed wealth by antagonizing important figures. The rash and antisocial habits of Edgar show a compelling diagnosis of mania. This mania, coupled with his fascination with death, general irritability, and eventual suicide verifies his the depressive part of bipolar disorder ( Poe’s extreme highs and lows as a result of his manic depression enabled him to write the warped and wonderful poetry for which he is famous.
Wheeling between fear and wonder, the author’s tone and word choice in “Dreamland” results from a bipolar episode. The word choice of “skies of fire”...

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