Explication of "The Haunted Palace" and the Life of Poe
When most are asked to name a famous poet, a majority of people instantly think of the great Edgar Allan Poe. He was also an author, editor, and literary critic during the early nineteenth century, but his reputation today rests primarily on his dark, lyric poetry. "The Haunted Palace" is one such poem that Poe is remembered for, and is actually part of "The Fall of the House of Usher," one of his most famous short stories. In the poem, Poe uses a decrepit and haunted palace as a metaphor for insanity. Ironically, Poe himself was speculated to have suffered from the mind-altering effects of alcoholism, drug usage, brain congestion and possibly rabies. The physical decline of the mansion depicted in "The Haunted Palace," in my opinion, was the foreshadowing of Poe's own mental and physical decline.
The life of Edgar Allan Poe was riddled with sorrow and grief, which was reflected in his literary works. He was born Edgar Poe, his parents being traveling actors at the time, but after being abandoned by his father and the death of his mother he was orphaned by John and Frances Allan of Richmond, Virginia, although he was never formally adopted. " Mr. Allan would rear Poe to be a businessman and a Virginia gentleman, but Poe had dreams of being a writer in emulation of his childhood hero the British poet Lord Byron" (Poe Museum). When Poe attended the University of Virginia, he excelled in his classes, but could not afford to continue his schooling. After returning home, he learned that his fiancée had become reengaged while he was gone. Poe did eventually find love, although it was with first cousin, Virginia, who was only fourteen at the time of their marriage. Unfortunately, she later died of tuberculosis; the same disease that claimed his mother, brother, and foster-mother. To cope with his pain and loss, Poe turned to alcohol and drug usage. Shortly before his death, Poe was found on the streets of...
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