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Edgar Allan Poe

Edgar Allan Poe

Jump to an article on Edgar Allan Poe from Encarta Encyclopedia

Encarta Intro Edition
Poe, Edgar Allan

The Edgar Allen Poe of popular legend is austere, forbidding, and even somewhat frightening. The real Poe, raised to be a Southern gentleman, led a life touched by tragedy and imbued with a profound sadness that led him to use his imagination as a "defense against a pitiless world."

The major themes of Poe's work were pride, beauty, love-and their conqueror-death. Poe is the originator of the American Gothic horror tale, mystery, and science fiction. The gripping susoense and horror of Poe's style is found in his greatest stories; "The Cask of Armontillado", "The Fall of the House of Usher", "The Masque of the Red Death", and "The Pit and the Pendulum" catapult the reader inro a horrible nightmare. "The Tell-Tale Heart is the centerpiece of macabre literature. This supernatural tale is eerily gothic; ittells the story of a man cursed by his own conscience after he murders his elderly employer and buries the body beneath the floorboards. The man, at first delighted by his crime gradually becomes horrified and is betrayed by his own madness.

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