Poe's "The Conqueror Worm": Deeper Meaning To the Poem
We often call Edgar Allen Poe one of the fathers of terror and mystery. His twisted, Macabre tales and poems are filled with great detail and often end with a dismal twist. "The Conqueror Worm" is one example of his masterful rhymes and tells how a play on life turns into reality for mankind.
The setting is a theater but it is not just a site for plays. Poe describes it to be that way to trick the reader, but the theater is actually the setting for mankind. We play our lives in this stage for everyone else to see. Lines three through six describe the crowd and how they are there to see "a play of hopes and fears." If people would look beyond the point of reading the line just to understand the words, they would see that the play is actually the lives of everybody in society. I say this because everyone has their own hopes like getting a good job, succeeding, having a family and ultimately dieing happily. Along with their hopes, everyone also has their personal fears.
The characters of the poem are also some very meaningful keys in showing the hidden meaning. The first stanza describes the crowd that has gathered to watch the enactment of our human lives. Lines three and four states "an angel throng, bewinged, and bedight in veils, and drowned in tears." Poe is stating that a group of angels is going to watch the spectacle put on for them, although they are already drowning in the tears from plays before. The orchestra that plays for them is another set of characters that have meaning. They represent the background in everyone's life by "playing the music of the spheres." A third set of characters that show hidden meaning is the "Mimes, in the form of God on high." They denote the people that inhabit the earth. Poe describes them as "Mere puppets they, who come and go at bidding of vast formless things." The vast formless things are the ideas that we have. Ideas like the things that we...
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