Man's Need For Woman In The Works Of Edgar Allen Poe

2228 words - 9 pages

Man's Need For Woman in the Works of Edgar Allen Poe

   In the beginning, there was Adam.  Adam felt incomplete in the Garden of Eden and needed a companion.  Eve was created and Adam had his woman.  Edgar Allen Poe experimented with man's eternal necessity and drew his final conclusion near the end of his literary career.  With the publication of Eureka, Poe made his final realization that tied every one of his love driven short stories together and triumphantly proclaimed: "I have no desire to live since I have done Eureka.  I could accomplish nothing more" (n. pag.).  Kenneth Graham puts it best:  "For Poe, the most notable glimpse of eternity available to man is in the beauty of woman, always ephemeral, always melancholic" (2760).  With this idea in mind, Poe shows the consequences of losing the love of one's life through his short stories and his poetry, and also tries to bring reason to his own troubled life.  In the works of Poe, a man without his love becomes a man without the most vital part of his spirit and collapses in a horrifying manner. 

"For Poe, the most notable glimpse of eternity available to man is in the beauty of woman, always ephemeral, always melancholic" (Graham 2760).

            Poe's obsession with dying women stems from his own life.  His mother died when he was only three.  His first love, Elmira Royster was forbidden from associating with him by her father.  His child-wife, Virginia, who was also his cousin, died at the age of 24.  Just when he found Elmira once again, who was by this time a widow, he died of his own health problems.  These stinging losses, especially that of his mother, left a subconscious scar in his already convoluted psyche.  Poe's personal history compelled him to write stories that paralleled his own life. 

An important piece in Poe's repertoire of love stories is "Ligeia."   Lady Ligeia is the narrator's first wife.  She is "the one," his one true love.  She is infinitely beautiful: "the skin rivaling the purest ivory...I regarded the sweet mouth. Here was indeed the triumph of all things heavenly...the eyes...They were, I must believe, far larger than the ordinary eyes of our own race" (Selected 27).  She, however, dies of a debilitating disease and the narrator marries Lady Rowena.  Rowena cannot compare with Ligeia, and Ligeia's spirit comes back to poison the new wife.  The narrator does little to stop this, and he and his wife kill Rowena.  On the day of her death, Ligeia's spirit enters the body of Rowena and the narrator is reunited with his lost love.  The striking similarities to his own love life are well noted:  "Poe had experienced the ecstasies of extreme spiritual love" (Lawrence 152).  The narrator was so deeply in love with Lady Ligeia that he killed his new wife Rowena.  He succumbs to a wanton act of murder, or spiritual replacement.  "Ligeia" is the most famous of a series of love stories that Poe wrote, including "Morella", "Berenicë", and...

Find Another Essay On Man's Need For Woman in the Works of Edgar Allen Poe

Contributions of Edgar Allen Poe Essay

1616 words - 6 pages Poe was an American poet who contributed many great pieces of literature to our society. His works illustrate and portray a realm of both paranormal and morbid beauty. In each poem usually lies a demonic undertone, that frequently summed up to a type of conclusion that can in one way or another pertain to h is life’s reminiscences. A common choice of topic for Poe was his love for his wife Virginia, who tragically died of tuberculosis. His poems

Autobiographical elements in the works of Edgar Allan Poe

1507 words - 6 pages characters in his works reflected his inability to enjoy the drug like mostpeople and his regard for alcohol as an instrument of destruction.The most defining factor in the path Edgar Allan Poe chose for hisliterature was the death of a loved one. He experienced death at a very youngage with his biological mother and possibly his father passing away before heturned three. Another key loss was that of Virginia Clemm, his wife andcousin, at a

Edgar Allen Poe

1234 words - 5 pages became a success. "Sunday morning on October 7, 1849, Poe was found lying unconscious outside Ryan's Saloon in Baltimore and grasped, "Lord help my soul," as he passed away" (Loveday 5). All Edgar Allen Poe left was his famous literature pieces, for readers to enjoy. Works Cited Poe, Edgar Allen. "The Cast of Amontillado." Literature: Approaches to Fiction, Poetry, and Drama. 2nd ed. N.p.: McGraw-Hill Humanities Social, 2006. 144-48

Edgar Allen Poe

1175 words - 5 pages (Poe 410). William, Edgar's older brother, had been living with the grandfather, David Poe, Sr., because at the time of his birth, his parents did not have the money to care for him. Edgar moved to Richmond, Virginia, with the Allans, where he slept in his own bedroom in the apartment above his stepfather's store. Edgar never got along with his foster father, argued with him, and hardly showed any affection. John Allan once even described his son as

Edgar Allen Poe.

1089 words - 4 pages United States in 1820, he continued to study in privateschools. He attended the University of Virginia for a year, but in 1827 hisfoster father, "displeased by the young man's drinking and gambling" (Untermeyer555), refused to pay his debts and forced him to "return to Richmond to find hissweetheart, (Sarah) Elmira Royster" (Woodberry 24) and work as a clerk. Poe,disliking his new duties, he quit his job and went to Boston. There, his firstbook

Edgar Allen Poe Obituary

623 words - 2 pages Edgar Allan Poe (January 19, 1809 - October 7, 1849) Edgar Allan Poe passed away at the age of 40 in Baltimore on October 7 in 1849. Although he has is gone from us, his great literature stays with us forever. His literary works hold a remarkable amount of thought and meaning behind them, almost as if he left a piece of himself in every story he wrote. Edgar was born in Boston on January 19 in 1809.He had two parents that were . David was born


1126 words - 5 pages " to this and similar questions, the narrator began to understand that his wife would never return. and he would never be free of sadness and pain. At the end of the poem the raven "still is sitting, still is sitting." This reveals a lasting message of despair that the storytelling still never be in peace. The poem "The Raven," by Edgar Allen Poe depicts a man's physiological state of mind during his transition from depression back into normal

Edgar Allen Poe

1176 words - 5 pages dismemberment, mutilation and cannibalism were common in his stories, could it be possible that Poe had a thirst for torture like his characters did? Perhaps because of his tormented life, Poe only had the ability to write in the dark, demented tone that has made his works so popular. Maybe that was merely what Poe enjoyed writing about, or was best at writing. Maybe he himself wanted his stories to be a puzzle, not unlike his life. "That he can ever be categorized neatly biographically or artistically is not to be expected…" (qtd. In Bloom). Only a person who experienced similar traumas can possibly fully understand the meaning of the tales of Edgar Allen Poe.

Edgar Allen Poe

700 words - 3 pages that have not been used before. Edgar Allan Poe is known for his new and strange stories and is one of the first people that comes to mind when one is thinking about the Romantic Period. Poe owes much to the concern of Romanticism with the occult. With an air of objectivity his works are closely supported on his own abilities of imagination as evidenced in these two short stories.Works CitedDekker George, The American Historical Romance, New York , NY: Cambridge UniversityPress, 1990. PrintPoe, Edgar Allen. (1999). The Story and its Writer., Charters, A. (5th ed.) Boston: BedfordSt. Martin's. 1146-1154. Print

Edgar Allen Poe - 2051 words

2051 words - 8 pages Edgar Allen PoeEdgar Allen Poe is considered one of the most brilliant and original writers of all time. He has written many short stories and poems that have been loved and criticized by people around the world. Where did Poe's talent come from? How has Poe captured the attention and manipulated the emotions of millions of people? To answer these questions we must look at his childhood as well as when he began writing.Edgar Poe was born in

Edgar Allen Poe: Beware

1129 words - 5 pages Why do people read Edgar Allen Poe? Because they like to be scared. Poe does a magnificent job creating terror in his stories. The prevailing themes are presented in Poe's works through mood, character, fate, and mental disturbances, and these four topics frighten many people. First off, this essay will state why people are scared after reading Poe's stories and poems because of his characteristics corresponding to the main character or narrator

Similar Essays

Comparing Works Of Edgar Allen Poe

1773 words - 7 pages Death-Despair-Revenge: A Recipe for a Good Drama "Scorching my seared heart with a pain, not hell shall make me fear again." Edgar Allan Poe, Tamerlane, Part II Death, despair, and revenge, these three words form a treacherous triangle to any reader who dare enter the mind of Edgar Allen Poe. In many of his works these expressions seem to form a reoccurring theme. Comparing the works "The Mask of the Red Death" and "The Cask of

The Mysterious Death Of Edgar Allen Poe

2776 words - 11 pages the time period would have been blurry. It would have been virtually impossible for some one who didn't know Poe to recognize him on the street, proving that it may have been possible for this to have been his demise. Another theory of what caused Poe's death is that he was beaten up, either by strangers or someone he knew, and left for dead. In his book "Midnight Dreary: The Mysterious Death of Edgar Allan Poe", John Walsh blames the

Biography Of Edgar Allen Poe Essay

1797 words - 7 pages Biography of Edgar Allen Poe      Edgar Allen Poe was one of the most successful writers of all time. He is known for his tales of the mysterious and macabre. He is reported to be the first master of the short story form (Edgar Allen Poe). About 12 of his works are known for their flawless literary construction. Poe had a rough childhood which definitely contributed to his writing.      Poe

The Great Edgar Allen Poe Essay

1657 words - 7 pages inheritance was willed to his second wife and the two children that he fathered with her. Allen left out Great Poe with nothing and this did not go on forgotten by Edgar. The anger and defiance in Poe’s character was evident but his works and the way that he wrote out his name. Although Poe had two last names only one was spelled out and actually written out for people to remember. Most of Poe’s work was signed “Edgar A. Poe” instead of “Edgar