Edgar Allan Poe (1809-1849). Be sure to take notes, or I just may haunt you!. A segment of his obituary….
Be sure to take notes, or I just may haunt you!
“Edgar Allan Poe is dead. He died in Baltimore the day before yesterday. This announcement will startle many, but few will be grieved by it. The poet was known, personally or by reputation, in all this country; he had readers in England, and in several of the states of Continental Europe; but he had few or no friends; and the regrets for his death will be suggested principally by the consideration that in him literary art has lost one of its most brilliant but erratic stars.”
-The New York Tribune, Oct. 9, 1849
What does this obituary reveal about how Poe was viewed by many of his contemporaries?!
Oh those haunted eyes…
However, today Poe is recognized as a writer who had a huge influence on the American consciousness, especially in his use of the supernatural, strong rhythm, and striking images.
Heavy, sensory adjectives such as dull, dark, and soundless along with “d” alliteration establish mood.
During the whole of adull, dark, and soundless dayin theautumnof the year, when the clouds hungoppressively lowin the heavens, I had been passingalone, on horseback, through asingularly drearytract of country; and at length found myself, asthe shades of the evening drew on, withinview of the melancholy House of Usher.
This is the first sentence of the story “Fall of the House of Usher”
Even nature, through the clouds, is oppressively pushing down on the narrator.
Autumn implies decay and impending death
Isolation is emphasized through diction: “alone”, “singularly”
The phrase “shades of evening” again emphasizes the weight of the sky pulling down with nightfall.
The whole sentence leads up to the phrase “the melancholy House of Usher.” It is clear that not only is the house is fully entwined with the depressing and heavy natural world surrounding it, but the house also is personified: the house gives the viewer a sense of melancholy and the house itself is melancholy
What Romantic qualities does this painting have?
Think about shape, light, color, contrast, theme
What about this one?