The Life of Edgar Allan Poe Essay

The Life of Edgar Allan Poe Essay

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The Life of Edgar Allan Poe


Edgar Allan Poe is considered to be the father of the short story by many. Over the course of his life, he wrote hundreds of short stories and poems. His writing style is unique and influenced by the tragedies that occurred over the course of his life. In fact, he is most well known for writing morbid stories and gruesome, dismal poems. Indeed his writing habits were heavily influenced by his life. His life was full of depression, angst, and woe. Many of the people he cared for fell victim to deadly plagues and diseases. To cope with this pain, Edgar Allan Poe sought comfort in the bottom of a bottle. In his times of depression he would drink heavily and become sick for days at a time. In between his fits of alcoholism and depression, he wrote. When he wrote, he wrote well. Edgar Allan Poe led a life full of tragedy and troubled times. Although he kept an air of dignity and pride around him, he often felt very lonely and depressed. This feeling of desperation greatly influenced his unique and often morbid writing style.

Edgar Allan Poe had very humble beginnings. Within the first three years of his life, he lost both of his parents and was separated from his siblings. Edgar Allan Poe’s parents had a background that can be credited for his imagination and love of writing poems and short stories. His parents, David and Elizabeth Poe, were both actors and stage performers. Although poor, David and Elizabeth were well known on the stage,
and played as important characters in assorted plays including comedies and Shakespearean dramas. David Poe preferred to take on minor roles in plays, but was credited by critics as good nonetheless. Elizabeth scored many lead actress roles, but still the two only had enough money to live poorly. They were too poor to care for their firstborn son, William Henry Poe, and had to send him off to his grandparents who were to care for him. On January 19, 1809, Edgar Poe was born. Edgar’s father was suffering heavily from alcoholism, and eventually left Elizabeth to care for her son alone. Elizabeth, however, was showing signs of tuberculosis and was pregnant with a third child. She was struggling to support her family by playing various theatrical roles for money. Soon she was too weak to continue acting. The owner of the theater company she worked for placed adds in newspapers to rais...


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...aring, the man orders to bird to vacate his door and his life, and “Take thy beak from out my heart.” The bird does not leave and the poem ends describing how the bird’s looming shadow crushes the man’s soul beneath it, trapping the man forever in a state of gloom and misery.

So it was that Edgar Allan Poe led a life filled with misery, depression, loss, and heartbreak. He sought respect from his foster father and fame among his peers. But because of the ravages of alcohol, he drank all of his blessings away, and what he was left with, abandoned him. His life long dream was to own his own magazine but his lifelong financial problems kept the dream always just out of reach. He did however manage to become the father of the short story, and the first comprehensive detective story author. During his time, his literary works were overlooked or slandered by his many enemies. But now, to this day, Edgar Allan Poe is a household name. His works such as “The Raven” are known to almost everyone for their rhythmic meter and captivating emotions. The tragedies in Edgar Allan Poe’s life left him lovesick and depressed, and compelled him to write about tales of beauty, love, and loss.

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