Edgar Allan Poe (1809

Bell Ringer
Answer each question.
Which type of vocabulary review did
you benefit from the most? Why?
 Which type of vocabulary review was
not helpful to you? Why?
 What is your first impression of your
independent reading book? Are you
going to enjoy reading it? Why or why
Edgar Allan Poe
Early Life
Poe was born in Boston on January 19,
1809, his parents’ second child.
 In December 1811, his mother died at
twenty-four, and her husband
disappeared completely.
 Poe was taken in by John Allan, a
successful and stable Richmond
Poe spent most of 1826 at the University of
West Virginia, doing well in his studies, but
running up gambling debts and drinking.
Poe returned to Richmond to find his
sweetheart, (Sarah) Elmira Royster, engaged.
He was admitted at West Point in 1830, but
got himself expelled by missing classes and
roll calls.
By 1831, Poe had already published three
versions of his early poetry.
He married his young cousin Virginia
Clemm, who was only thirteen.
 During the last two years of his life, Poe
was seriously ill--perhaps with a brain
lesion--and drinking steadily.
 On Election Day, October 3, 1849, he
was found senseless near a polling
 Poe was taken to a hospital and died on
October 7, “of congestion of the brain.”
Characteristics of the Gothic Genre
Poetry, short stories, or novels designed to thrill readers
by providing mystery and blood-curdling accounts of
villainy, murder, and the supernatural.
include wild and desolate landscapes, ancient buildings
such as ruined monasteries; cathedrals; castles with
dungeons, torture chambers, secret doors, and winding
stairways; apparitions, phantoms, demons, an atmosphere
of brooding gloom; handsome heroes and heroines who
face off against corrupt aristocrats, wicked witches, and
hideous monsters.
The term Gothic comes from the idea that most of the
stories take place in Gothic (Medieval, Germanic) style
Other elements of the Gothic
Hidden Evil
– Unspeakable, mysterious crimes, including incest and
Obsession with Death
– Ghosts, blood, body parts
Maniacal Laughter
The Discovered Manuscript
– gives responsibility to someone else
– the grotesque--people who don’t look right are capable of
activity beyond the norm
“The Raven”
pg. 330
 Inference
 Allusions
 Onomatopoeia
 Symbol
 Rhyme Scheme
Important Allusions
 Pallas
 Plutonian
 Nepenthe
 Balm
in Gilead
 Aidenn
Pallas Athena is the ancient Greek
goddess of wisdom.
This is an allusion to the Roman god of
the underworld (Pluto). The adjective
"Plutonian" is meant to make us think
of all the scary things that one
associates with the underworld:
darkness, death, the afterlife etc.
This is an allusion to a mythological
drug that you might take to forget your
 In the Odyssey, Homer describes
nepenthe in exactly this way, as a drink
that will take away all sadness.
Balm in Gilead
This is a Biblical allusion to a region in
ancient Palestine that made a healing
 The balm = the ointment
 Gilead = the place
Means Eden or heaven in Arabic.
Describe the feelings that come to mind after
reading these words:
Make some guesses about the setting and
atmosphere of the poem:
• What time of day is it?
• What time of year?
• How is the author feeling?
• Is he alone or with other people?
In what ways does Poe’s use of
sound devices contribute to the
creation of a single effect?
Poe’s use of alliteration, internal rhyme,
repetition, and onomatopoeia gives a
musical quality to his work. Poe’s use of
these devices creates a hypnotic effect
that draws the readers into the
speaker’s world.
Internal Rhyme
An internal rhyme is a rhyme or
multiple rhymes which occur within a
line, rather than in the typical end-word
rhyme structure.
“Eagerly I wished the morrow; -- vainly
I had sought to borrow.” (line 9)
Works Cited
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