This essay discusses the life and works of Edgar Allan Poe. His life was tarnished by misfortunes early in life and it can be discerned in his own works. After his parents’ death, Edgar was adopted by Frances and John Allan, a rich trader in Richmond, Virginia…
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From the very beginning of Poe’s authorial vocation, he adored creating verses for the most important persons in his life. Soon after, when he reached maturity and understood life’s unpleasant realities, his narratives became more disquieting and darker, possibly because of his overindulgence in alcohol and drugs. His horror tales are still regarded as one of the most chilling and frightening tales ever written, and, due to this, several literary scholars contemplated on the possible sources of these dark themes. Numerous literature activists and historians have assumed that his problematic love life was the root whereas others have pointed to his drug and alcohol addiction. The root of his unusual literary genius is most probably a mixture of these assumptions; however, the main contributing force is the death of several of the nearest and dearest people to him and the maltreatment he suffered from other people; this, reasonably, casted a shadow on his viewpoint.Because personal misfortune was a persistent shade of Poe’s life, his artistic creations manifested the darkness infused by such unending grief. Poe implanted this in his famed masterpiece Alone: “From childhood’s hour, I have not been as others were; I have not seen as others saw; I could not bring my passions from a common spring.” As mentioned above, several of the most significant persons in his life were a vast source of influence because of their deaths. His reaction to death consistently included more heightened addiction to alcohol and drugs...
Nevertheless, since the deaths happened prior to the drugs and alcohol addiction, it was only death which occupied the utmost position in his life, bringing about series of self-destruction that sooner or later put an end on his own existence (Kennedy, 2001). In spite of his personal misfortunes, nevertheless, he stays as one of the most treasured and broadly celebrated of all American authors. His disturbing and frightening tales and poems will survive through ages and be read by innumerable people from various societies and different eras, a reality which would have certainly given some spring of calm for this agonized, gifted, and disturbed individual. Nevertheless, since the deaths happened prior to the drugs and alcohol addiction, it was only death which occupied the utmost position in his life, bringing about series of self-destruction that sooner or later put an end on his own existence (Kennedy, 2001). In spite of his personal misfortunes, nevertheless, he stays as one of the most treasured and broadly celebrated of all American authors. His disturbing and frightening tales and poems will survive through ages and be read by innumerable people from various societies and different eras, a reality which would have certainly given some spring of calm for this agonized, gifted, and disturbed individual. Almost every well-known author that came after Poe, embodying practically all national literatures, was familiar with him, and writers who were not personally influenced by his idea were compelled somehow to recognize it, if simply in a feat of denial (Kennedy, 2001). The reputation and significance of Poe as an author were at first freed from the nasty rumors of Rufus Griswold, his literary architect, by the determined attempts of Charles Baudelaire, a French writer (Magistrale, 2001). The influence of Poe on 19th century French literature was instant and intense. He was one of the several American authors that French culture has recognized without conditions. Until the 20th century, the French renditions of Poe’s works and associated literary analysis were the spring of the literary renown of Poe in France, all over Europe, and across the globe (Magistrale, 2001).
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In fact an in-depth analysis of Poe’s works along with his life reveals that the personality disorder, “wounded ego” and “ruptured psyche” of Poe’s protagonists shares his personal as well as real life experiences. Poe’s protagonists are endowed with psychological defects that are supposed to result from a mind which is fraught with fright, haunted with the trepidation of losing the most loved ones and the anger of being abused.
Edgar Allan Poe was born on January 19, 1809, in Boston, Massachusetts. It is believed that Poe was named after a character in Shakespeare’s King Lear, as this was the play that Poe’s parents were performing in around the time that Poe was born. Poe had an elder brother and a younger sister. Poe’s father had abandoned his family in 1810.
He was schooled at Chelsea and subsequently moved to university of Virginia in order to get expertise in Latin and poetry. During those days, he used to compose some tales and short stories. Despite the adoption, he couldn’t get adequate financial support from his foster father; and that forced Poe to cease his studies.
Edgar Allan was then adopted by a Richmond merchant, John Allan. Even at the young age of five, Poe was said to write genuine poetry already (Liukkonen, par.2). At age 13, Poe had composed several poems which was enough to publish a book. He has always dreamt to become a writer and he idolized the British poet, Lord Byron (Poe Museum, par.3).
He is also greatly renowned as a poet (Kennedy, 2001). His psychologically gripping stories exploring the profundities of the human consciousness gained him remarkable prominence. His life was tarnished by misfortunes early in life and it can be discerned in his own works’ dark emotions, an anguished and at times fearful fascination with brutality and death and absolute admiration of the pleasant yet terrible enigmas of life (Magistrale, 2001).
Apparently, the work of Poe as a poet, a critic and an editor had a greatly impacted on American as well as international literature. In deed, he was one of the first American writers who became a key figure in world literature.
In a letter to Mr. Allan (April, 1833) Poe writes about loveless bleak world where he was suffering from isolation and destitution: “Without friends, without any means, consequently, of obtaining employment, I am perishing — absolutely perishing for want of aid… For God’s sake, pity me and save me from destruction (O’Neill 7).
Although this collection did not receive an instant success, Poe’s career in literature progressively improved and he produced other poems and books that were greatly successful. A close analysis of his literary works, especially his poems reveal an emphasis on tales of mystery and macabre, and moments of sadness.
There are many critics who add critical value to his work stating that understanding the deeper meaning of his literature is challenging. There can be a number of reasons which can be underlining factors of why Edgar Allan adopted a particular way of writing.
The nineteenth century had more than its fair share of poets and novelists such as Emily Dickinson, Nathaniel Hawthorne, and D.H. Lawrence. Among them was a man named Edgar Allan Poe, one of the most celebrated writers of his own time as well as today.
Both of Edgar's parents were actors.
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