Edgar Allan Poe Rhetorical

During the Romantic Era, the Dark Romantics sought to oppose the ideas of the Transcendentalists, who believed in following one’s own heart alone. A quintessential Dark Romantic, Edgar Allan Poe uses literary devices, the theme of death, and the creation of a paranoid mood to exemplify insanity and evil in humans. “The Raven,” “The Fall of the House of Usher,” and “The Oval Portrait,” all show the dangers of following human intuition alone, contradicting the ideas of the Transcendentalists.

“The Raven,” a creepy and heart pumping poem by Poe, uses the literary devices anaphora and alliteration to emphasize insanity. The poem follows the recount of the narrator, who, while trying to grieve the death of a lady named Lenore, encounters a raven which haunts his spirits and drives him to insanity. Poe uses anaphora in “The Raven” by ending all 18 stanzas with “nevermore,” “nothing more,” or “evermore.” By following this theme, Poe successfully shows the train of thought experienced by the narrator as he first tries to calm himself down but later falls to insanity and believes his visitor the raven to be the Prophet telling him he will see his beloved Lenore “nevermore.”

Academic anxiety?
Get original paper in 3 hours and nail the task
Get your paper price

124 experts online

Alliteration is used to add to the paranoid tone of the entire poem. By using phrases such as “while I nodded, nearly napping” (3) and “surcease of sorrow” (10), Poe plays with the reader’s mind and with the speakers tongue to add to the rhythm and nervous tone of the poem. By using both alliteration and anaphora in “The Raven,” Edgar Allan Poe shows the steep drop into insanity that the human mind can encounter, as the narrator, when left alone with just his thoughts, falls to craziness.

In “The Fall of the House of Usher,” Poe emphasizes death and creates an overpowering paranoid mood to, once again, create the setting of human insanity. Poe’s descriptive setting and imagery add to the gloomy tone; however, Poe directly describes the paranoia saying, “a sense of insufferable gloom pervaded my spirit” (312). He also creates a feeling of death throughout the short story. The house itself seems as if it is dying as it is surrounded by a sick misty glow. The two main characters, Usher and the Lady Usher, are also dying. The theme of death and the gloomy mood add to the insanity of the house and of the characters. Usher stays in his house though he feels it is making him insane. Later in the story, it becomes apparent he is fully insane as he puts his his twin in a coffin in the basement, comes to realize she is still alive, but says nothing. The gloomy and paranoid mood and theme of death in “the Fall of the House of Usher” expose the insanity of the human mind.

Lastly, in “The Oval Portrait,” Poe cleverly uses literary devices and a gloomy mood to show the hazards of the human mind. Poe uses alliteration such as “stupor which was stealing over my senses, and to startle me at once” and “mighty marvel” to add to the setting and mood of the story. He then uses a paranoid mood to add to the strangeness of the story, describing in haunting detail the room as “commingled and grandeur which have so long frowned among the Apennines, not less in fact than in the fancy of Mrs. Radcliff.” Then, as the gloomy mood had been established, Poe shows his theme to not trust human intuition by showing the insanity that took over a painter who painted for long hours a portrait of his wife while she meanwhile deteriorated and died in front of him.

Edgar Allan Poe uses the theme of death, literary devices, and the creation of a gloomy and paranoid mood to emphasize his overarching theme: following human intuition alone is dangerous. In this way he contradicts the ideas of Transcendentalists and stresses his own ideas and the ideas of Dark Romantics. Some authority should control people because the human mind can easily slip into insanity.

This essay was written by a fellow student. You may use it as a guide or sample for writing your own paper, but remember to cite it correctly. Don’t submit it as your own as it will be considered plagiarism.

Need a custom essay sample written specially to meet your requirements?

Choose skilled expert on your subject and get original paper with free plagiarism report

Order custom paper Without paying upfront

Edgar Allan Poe Rhetorical. (2016, Jun 12). Retrieved from https://graduateway.com/edgar-allan-poe-rhetorical-essay/