Isaiah Mutakabbir Dille Senior English 2 23, March, 2013 Edgar Allan Poe Literary Analysis Edgar Allan Poe was born on January 19, 1809, Massachusetts. Poe died at the age of 40. The cause of his death is undetermined and has been attributed to alcohol, drugs, cholera, rabies, and other agents. He is most known for his poems and short stories such as The Raven, Tell-Tale Heart, and The Black Cat. Poe was one of the early American practitioners of the short story and a progenitor of detective fiction and crime fiction.
Poe used many different forms of figurative language in his poems but the one I find as his best and most used is his use of symbolism. Poe’s use of this literary element is seen all throughout his works. In one of his greatest poems, The Raven, symbolism is used very many times. Such as the main symbol in the poem which is a raven. It symbolizes never ending and mournful remembrance. Many others also agree that symbolism is Poe’s greatest form of figurative language is his use of symbolism. Such as Tyler G. who said that Poe “masters it in his every work. He also said that “in The Pit and the Pendulum, the whole story symbolizes the dark and rough time in the torture chambers. ” Another critic named Christoffer Hallqvist agrees and says that “Poe uses several symbols to take the poem to a higher level. ” In his online essay written about Poe’s use of figurative elements he is also quoted saying that Poe’s “way of interpreting signs that do not bear a real meaning, is one of the most profound impulses of human nature. ” Though many believe that symbolism is Poe’s greatest literary element others believe that it is his use of foreshadowing that should be known as his best element.
In an article on 123helpme. com it was written that Poe’s “most common literary element used …throughout many of his works is foreshadowing. ” The article also stated that When Fortunato states, “I shall not die of a mere cough”, Monstressor enthusiastically agrees with him. If you read into this meaning behind this it is direct foreshadowing that he will not die of a mere cough, but starvation and dehydration caused by Monstressor burying him in a wall will be what kills him. Though this is a good example of Poe’s use of figurative language I still believe that it s his use of symbolism that should be accredited with being his most and greatest used literary element. Poe overall is one of the post modern pioneers of symbolism. Works Cited Magill’s Survey of American Literature, Revised Edition, September 2006, p1, 10p "Edgar Allan Poe and His Use of Literary Devices. " Teen Ink. N. p. , n. d. Web. 23 Mar. 2013. "Edgar Allan Poe. " A Brief Biography of including Selected Works to Read Online. N. p. , n. d. Web. 23 Mar. 2013. "Literary Elements Used by Poe :: Essays Research Papers. " Literary Elements Used by Poe :: Essays Research Papers. N. p. , n. d. Web. 23 Mar. 2013.