Edgar Allan Poe And The Death Of Beautiful Women Analysis

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“Edgar Allen Poe and the Death of Beautiful Women” Edgar Allen Poe was a deeply troubled man. From a young age he struggled with a love life that would slowly tarnish his mind. Poe frequently turned to controlled substances and alcohol to help sooth his pain. Poe’s only true solace from the harsh reality to which he was doomed to live was through his writings. Poe helped developed several major literary genres including American gothic style and the American Detective Story. Both his short stories and poems are littered with themes expressing deeply macabre scenes such as mutilation, gore, and criminal insanity. However, one of his most prominent and well known topics in Poe’s writing deals with the death of beautiful women. This is directly …show more content…

However, this love like many in Poe’s stories wasn’t meant to last. Ligeia died young after woman falling victim to some unknown illness. This death by unknown illness is viewed to correlate directly with Poe losing so many women he loved to tuberculosis. After losing her, the protagonist finds a new love named Rowena and remarries. Rowena is opposite of Ligeia in every conceivable way. She is shorter in stature, her hair is blonde, and her eyes are of a vibrant blue. This new marriage was doomed from the start. In addition to being a couple plagued with constant fighting the narrator turns to heavy opium use to sooth his pain. The use of mind altering drugs is something Poe did in real life after the love of his life Virginia Clemm Poe: however, drugs never interfered with his writing. Both Fruzsina Iszaj and Zsolt Demetrovics explain how Poe turned to drugs to cope with his sadness with the quote, “His wife suffered tuberculosis and died an early death in 1847. Poe’s alcohol and laudanum use worsened this time, but he remained productive.” (4) In the story the holy matrimony of the narrator and Rowena and enrages the unholy spirit of the witch, Ligeia. At the end of the story Ligeig comes back to life to exact her revenge on the man who wronged her by resurrecting herself with Rowena’s corpse after she too fell victim to the …show more content…

In Poe’s own life no durg could ever fully numb him to the pain of all his loses. His only true solace from his despair was in literature and his writings. Poe believed that visual art allowed the spirit to transcend the plane of reality to which it was stuck. In the Raven the narrator closely resembles Poe in this aspect. The narrator spends many a night reading long forgotten literature in an attempt to forget his own troubles after his loss. This is explained beautifully by Poe with the line “Eagerly I wished the morrow;- vainly I had tried to borrow, / From my books surcease of sorrow- sorrow for the lost Lenore.” (Poe 9-10) No matter how hard he tries; however he can shake the crushing despair that has a firm grip on his emotions. One dreary night the narrator gained an unsuspecting visitor. This visitor came in the form of a raven that flew into his window. The raven torments the man reminding him of his insecurities, his flaws, and his loss. The raven accomplishes all these things by rhythmically answering his pleas with but one word, to quote the raven “nevermore.” Just like the narrator will nevermore see the face of his dead love, he too will never be free from his despair. For as long as the man lives much like Poe he

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