Edgar Allan Poe and His Poetry of Romanticism

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Edgar Allen Poe was one of the most powerful and influential poets of the 18th century. For all millennials that love the Romantic written works and films, they have him to thank. In our society today, many romantic and suspenseful ideas he created are now engraved in our societies thinking. Modern films and novels have been incorporating romantic aspects for decades. Widely regarded as a central figure of the Romantic era and his spine-tingling horror stories, Edgar Allan Poe’s most renowned works, Annabel Lee, The Tell-Tale Heart, and the Raven shaped the Romantic Movement and continues to influence and educate both the film and novel industries.

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The literary elements of Poe’s writings have been debated since his death but have remained popular and influential. “Annabel Lee,” is one of Edgar Allan Poe’s most renowned and controversial works. In “Annabel Lee,” by Edgar Allan Poe he stated, “but we loved with a love that was more than love-I and my Annabel Lee-With a love that winged seraphs of Heaven Coveted her and me”. (line 9) Like many of Poe’s poems, he explores the theme of death in this romantic love story. The narrator is in mourning of his love, Annabel Lee. This young love is described as so strong that even angels are envious. Romanticism focuses on the narrator’s feelings instead of true logic. So emotional driven that many have found this piece is debatable. Poe was conveying a different side of love, one that is so powerful it may only make sense to a reader who has experienced, young love.

Edgar Allan Poe focused many of his works on human self-destruction, sin, the supernatural, and terror. These ideas developed into Dark Romanticism that expressed a new side of romanticism. Drawn to the dark side of the human psyche, Dark Romanticism centralized on madness and even inhumanity. Edgar Allan Poe’s “The Tell-Tale Heart,” tells the story of a man driven insane by his own guilt. In “The Tell-Tale Heart,” Edgar Allan Poe stated, “it is impossible to say how first the idea entered my brain; but once conceived, it haunted me day and night”. The man first is driven to kill an old man because of his eye and later driven to madness because of his guilt. Throughout the story, the man sees and hears things that don’t exist and become more obsessed and crazed by his own conscience.

Dark Romanticism is also portrayed in The Raven. In this story, the narrator is introduced to a bird, a raven. At first, the raven is amusing but its presence begins to torture the narrator as the poem progresses. In “The Raven,” by Edgar Allan Poe he stated, “thrilled me- filled me with fantastic terrors never felt before”. (line 14) His madness and panic creeps throughout and builds slowly in the poem. He becomes so insane, he screams at the bird. He cannot think reasonably or act with any logic. This sense of being entirely emotionally driven is common within most of his works.

Edgar Allan Poe’s most renowned works, Annabel Lee, The Tell-Tale Heart, and the Raven impacted world literature with their Romantic ideals. Each story shared a different view on love, death, and insanity. It expressed a different side to human nature, showing what true guilt, loss, and terror can hold on a person. A person completely focused on oneself and driven by irrational thoughts and emotions. For decades, Edgar Allan Poe continues to educate and impact people of all ages. As Edgar Allan Poe, once said, “With me, poetry has not been a purpose, but a passion”.

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