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Romanticism The Dark Romantics

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  1. Celebrated the individual, human emotions, and the imagination Hopeful about human potential Inspired by the splendors of nature Fascinated with spirituality Explored the dark side of the imagination Less optimistic about individual potential Sinister aspect to nature Fascinated with supernatural Romanticism The Dark Romantics

  2. Gothic Literature • The gothic explores the dark or uncertain side of human nature • Influenced by Gothic architecture of the Middle Ages • Characterized by gloomy settings such as castles or old, dark houses • Mysterious and sometimes violent or supernatural occurrences

  3. American Gothic Writers • Nathaniel Hawthorne • Washington Irving • Herman Melville • Edgar Allan Poe

  4. Edgar Allan Poe • Born in 1809 • Personal life marred by tragedy • Poe’s mother died when he was two • Father abandoned the family • At 20, foster mother died; had a falling out with foster father • Went to live with his aunt and her daughter Virginia • Virginia and Poe eventually married; she died several years later • Poe’s death at the age of 40, remains a mystery

  5. Best known for his short stories and poetry such as: • “The Raven” • “The Tell-Tale Heart” • “The Mask of the Red Death” • “The Fall of the House of Usher” • His works greatly influenced later writers • Credited with inventing the detective story

  6. Edgar Allan Poe’s Writing • Interested in exploring the psychology of the mind • Put characters into extreme situations • Involving murder, live burials, torture, and revenge • The mood is dark and brooding • Set in dark castles or ancient estates

  7. Poe’s “Philosophy of Composition” • Short stories and poems should be read in one sitting • “Unity of Effect”: emotional response the author wants to elicit from his reader • The death of a beautiful woman is the most poetic topic

  8. The Fall of the House of Usher • Interested in creating mood • Detailed descriptions of setting • Use of imagery and figurative language • First person point of view

  9. Think about… • How is setting used to create to desired effect? • What kind of mood is produced in the story? • What are some of the words or phrases that Poe uses to create mood? • Think about how the point of view effects the story’s emotional intensity.