Edgar Allen Poe's Use of Diction

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Edgar Allen Poe's Use of Diction Born in 1809, losing his parents and contact with his siblings before the age of three, Edgar Allen Poe had no idea that he was destined to be a great writer. Before he mysteriously died in 1849, he wrote many tales, including poems and short stories, which immortalized his name. The Raven was one of Poe's greatest poems that brought him much fame. Poe's The Raven displays his poetical prowess through the use of his method to writing, diction and literary techniques. Like others held in the spotlight, Poe's talent and works were analyzed by critics. A few critics thought his popularity was just luck; however, other critics acknowledged Poe's intellect. Poe, in response to some criticism on his construction of The Raven, wrote his "Philosophy in Composition," as seen in Macdonald's book (116-128). His purpose was to prove that a standard pattern to writing existed in The Raven. Poe began The Raven with his common theme of death which is prevalent in many of his works. In the case of this poem, it is a person mourning the death of his beloved. This theme most likely originated from his unstable family life as a child and the diminishing health of his wife who gave him emotional stability. These circumstances possibly led Poe to drink alcohol and take drugs, as suggested by Braddy, and influenced him to create such a morbid theme (1-6). Next, Poe decided on a word to center the poem around; this word was "nevermore." Braddy suggested that Poe devised this word because he would soon never be able to hold his wife, Virginia, again (10). Poe held steadfast to his method and needed a person or thing to say this word. He first thought of a parrot, but then moved onto the idea of... ... middle of paper ... ...ny, 1935. 500-504. Braddy, Haldeen. Three Dimensional Poe. El Paso: Texas Western Press, 1973. 1-19. Davidson, Edward H. Poe: A Critical Study. Cambridge: The Belknap Press of Harvard University Press, 1957. 76-104. Halliburton, David. Edgar Allen Poe: A Phenomenological View. Princeton: Princeton University Press, 1973. 46-49, 104-107, 122-149, 176-185, 368-369. Jacobs, Robert D. Poe: Journalist & Critic. Baton Rouge: Louisiana State University Press, 1969. 434-443. Macdonald, Dwight. Poems of Edgar Allen Poe. New York: Thomas Y. Crowell Company, 1965. 77-80, 107-135. Pahl, Dennis. "De-composing Poe's 'Philosophy.'" Texas Studies in Literature and Language. Ed. Tony Hilfer, and John Rumrich. Vol. 38, no. 1. University of Texas Press, 1996. 1-23. Thompson, G.R. Poe's Fiction. Madison: The University of Wisconsin Press, 1973. 96-101.

In this essay, the author

  • Opines that alterton, margeret and hardin craig, edgar allen poe, new york: american book company, 1935.
  • Analyzes how poe's the raven displays his poetical prowess through his method to writing, diction and literary techniques.
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