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Edgar Allan Poe

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Edgar Allan Poe From childhood's hour I have not been as others were (Humanities 4) Edgar Allan Poe 1809-1849 Poet, critic, journalist Gothic, science fiction ... – PowerPoint PPT presentation

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Title: Edgar Allan Poe


1
Edgar Allan Poe
  • From childhood's hour I have not been as others
    were
  • (Humanities 4)

2
Edgar Allan Poe
  • 1809-1849
  • Poet, critic, journalist
  • Gothic, science fiction, inventor of detective
    genre
  • Among first Americans to attempt to live solely
    as a writer
  • Married 13 year old cousin Virginia Clemm in 1835
  • Viriginia died of tuberculosis, 1847
  • Mysterious death 1849

3
Alone
  • From childhood's hour I have not been
  • As others were I have not seen
  • As others saw I could not bring
  • My passions from a common spring.
  • From the same source I have not taken
  • My sorrow I could not awaken
  • My heart to joy at the same tone
  • And all I loved, I loved alone.

4
Alone
  • Then- in my childhood, in the dawn
  • Of a most stormy life- was drawn
  • From every depth of good and ill
  • The mystery which binds me still
  • From the torrent, or the fountain,
  • From the red cliff of the mountain,
  • From the sun that round me rolled
  • In its autumn tint of gold,
  • From the lightning in the sky
  • As it passed me flying by,
  • From the thunder and the storm,
  • And the cloud that took the form
  • (When the rest of Heaven was blue)
  • Of a demon in my view.

5
The Haunted Palace
  • Once a fair and stately palace
  • Radiant palacereared its head.
  • In the monarch Thought's dominion
  • ...
  • Banners yellow, glorious, golden,
  • On its roof did float and flow
  • (Thisall thiswas in the olden
  • Time long ago)
  • ...
  • Wanderers in that happy valley
  • Through two luminous windows saw
  • Spirits moving musically
  • To a lute's well-tunèd law,
  • Round about a throne, where sitting
  • (Porphyrogene!)
  • In state his glory well befitting,
  • The ruler of the realm was seen.

6
The Haunted Palace
  • And all with pearl and ruby glowing
  • Was the fair palace door,
  • Through which came flowing, flowing, flowing
  • And sparkling evermore,
  • A troop of Echoes whose sweet duty
  • Was but to sing,
  • In voices of surpassing beauty,
  • The wit and wisdom of their king.
  • But evil things, in robes of sorrow,
  • Assailed the monarch's high estate
  • (Ah, let us mourn, for never morrow
  • Shall dawn upon him, desolate!)
  • ...
  • And travelers now within that valley,
  • Through the red-litten windows, see
  • Vast forms that move fantastically
  • To a discordant melody
  • While, like a rapid ghastly river,

7
The House of Usher
  • I had learned, too, the very remarkable fact that
    the stem of the Usher race, all time-honored as
    it was, had put forth, at no period, any enduring
    branch in other words, that the entire family
    lay in the direct line of descent, and had
    always, with very trifling and very temporary
    variation, so lain.
  • it was this deficiency, perhaps, of collateral
    issue, and the consequent undeviating
    transmission, from sire to son, of the patrimony
    with the name, which had, at length, so
    identified the two as to merge the original title
    of the estate in the quaint and equivocal
    appellation of the "House of Usher"an
    appellation which seemed to include, in the minds
    of the peasantry who used it, both the family and
    the family mansion.

8
The House of Usher
  • The House
  • I looked upon the scene before meupon the mere
    house, and the simple landscape features of the
    domainupon the bleak wallsupon the vacant
    eye-like windowsupon a few rank sedgesand upon
    a few white trunks of decayed treeswith an utter
    depression of soul which I can compare to no
    earthly sensation more properly than to the
    after-dream of the reveler upon opiumthe bitter
    lapse into every-day lifethe hideous dropping
    off of the veil.
  • Roderick
  • His voice varied rapidly from a tremulous
    indecision (when the animal spirits seemed
    utterly in abeyance) to that species of energetic
    concisionthat abrupt, weighty, unhurried, and
    hollow-sounding enunciationthat leaden,
    self-balanced, and perfectly modulated guttural
    utterance, which may be observed in the lost
    drunkard, or the irreclaimable eater of opium,
    during the periods of his most intense
    excitement.

9
  • No portion of the masonry had fallen and there
    appeared to be a wild inconsistency between its
    still perfect adaptation of parts, and the
    crumbling condition of the individual stones. In
    this there was much that reminded me of the
    specious totality of old woodwork which has
    rotted for years in some neglected vault, with no
    disturbance from the breath of the external air.
  • Beyond this indication of extensive decay,
    however, the fabric gave little token of
    instability. Perhaps the eye of a scrutinizing
    observer might have discovered a barely
    perceptible fissure, which, extending from the
    roof of the building in front, made its way down
    the wall in a zigzag direction, until it became
    lost in the sullen waters of the tarn.
  • Its evidencethe evidence of the sentience of
    the housewas to be seen, he said (and I here
    started as he spoke), in the gradual yet certain
    condensation of an atmosphere of their own about
    the waters and the walls. The result was
    discoverable, he added, in that silent, yet
    importunate and terrible influence which for
    centuries had molded the destinies of his family,
    and which made him what I now saw himwhat he
    was.

10
Hypochondria Melancholy
  • To an anomalous species of terror I found him a
    bounden slave. I shall perish, said he, I must
    perish in this deplorable folly. Thus, thus, and
    not otherwise, shall I be lost. I dread the
    events of the future, not in themselves, but in
    their results. I shudder at the thought of any,
    even the most trivial, incident, which may
    operate upon this intolerable agitation of soul.
    I have, indeed, no abhorrence of danger, except
    in its absolute effectin terror.
  • In this unnervedin this pitiable conditionI
    feel that the period will sooner or later arrive
    when I must abandon life and reason together, in
    some struggle with the grim phantasm, Fear.
  • I learned, moreover, at intervals, and through
    broken and equivocal hints, another singular
    feature of his mental condition. He was enchained
    by certain superstitious impressions in regard to
    the dwelling which he tenanted, and whence, for
    many years, he had never ventured forth

11
  • He admitted, however, although with hesitation,
    that much of the peculiar gloom which thus
    afflicted him could be traced to a more natural
    and far more palpable originto the severe and
    long-continued illnessindeed to the evidently
    approaching dissolutionof a tenderly beloved
    sister, his sole companion for long years, his
    last and only relative on earth.
  • "Her decease," he said, with a bitterness which I
    can never forget, "would leave him (him the
    hopeless and the frail) the last of the ancient
    race of the Ushers." While he spoke, the lady
    Madeline (for so was she called) passed slowly
    through a remote portion of the apartment, and,
    without having noticed my presence, disappeared.

12
  • The disease of the lady Madeline had long
    baffled the skill of her physicians. A settled
    apathy, a gradual wasting away of the person, and
    frequent although transient affections of a
    partially cataleptical character, were the
    unusual diagnosis.
  • One evening, having informed me abruptly that
    the lady Madeline was no more, he stated his
    intention of preserving her corpse for a
    fortnight (previously to its final interment) in
    one of the numerous vaults within the main walls
    of the building.
  • The worldly reason, however, assigned for this
    singular proceeding, was one which I did not feel
    at liberty to dispute. The brother had been led
    to his resolution, so he told me, by
    consideration of the unusual character of the
    malady of the deceased, of certain obtrusive and
    eager inquiries on the part of her medical men,
    and of the remote and exposed situation of the
    burial ground of the family.

13
Sympathies of a scarcely intelligible nature
  • A striking similitude between the brother and
    sister now first arrested my attention and
    Usher, divining, perhaps, my thoughts, murmured
    out some few words from which I learned that the
    deceased and himself had been twins, and that
    sympathies of a scarcely intelligible nature had
    always existed between them.
  • Our glances, however, rested not long upon the
    deadfor we could not regard her unawed. The
    disease which had thus entombed the lady in the
    maturity of youth, had left, as usual in all
    maladies of a strictly cataleptical character,
    the mockery of a faint blush upon the bosom and
    the face, and that suspiciously lingering smile
    upon the lip which is so terrible in death.

14
  • Oh, whither shall I fly? Will she not be here
    anon? Is she not hurrying to upbraid me for my
    haste? Have I not heard her footstep on the
    stair? Do I not distinguish that heavy and
    horrible beating of her heart? Madman!here he
    sprang furiously to his feet, and shrieked out
    his syllables, as if in the effort he were giving
    up his soulMadman! I tell you that she now
    stands without the door!
  • Then without those doors there did stand the
    lofty and enshrouded figure of the lady Madeline
    of Usher. There was blood upon her white robes,
    and the evidence of some bitter struggle upon
    every portion of her emaciated frame. For a
    moment she remained trembling and reeling to and
    fro upon the thresholdthen, with a low, moaning
    cry, fell heavily inward upon the person of her
    brother, and in her violent and now final
    death-agonies, bore him to the floor a corpse,
    and a victim to the terrors he had anticipated.
  • Anticipated?

15
  • Suddenly there shot along the path a wild light,
    and I turned to see whence a gleam so unusual
    could have issued for the vast house and its
    shadows were alone behind me. The radiance was
    that of the full, setting, and blood-red moon,
    which now shone vividly through that once barely
    discernible fissure, of which I have before
    spoken as extending from the roof of the
    building, in a zigzag direction, to the base.
  • While I gazed, this fissure rapidly widenedthere
    came a fierce breath of the whirlwindthe entire
    orb of the satellite burst at once upon my
    sightmy brain reeled as I saw the mighty walls
    rushing asunderthere was a long tumultuous
    shouting sound like the voice of a thousand
    watersand the deep and dank tarn at my feet
    closed sullenly and silently over the fragments
    of the House of Usher.

16
Masque of the Red Death
  • But the Prince Prospero was happy and dauntless
    and sagacious. When his dominions were half
    depopulated, he summoned to his presence a
    thousand hale and light-hearted friends from
    among the knights and dames of his court, and
    with these retired to the deep seclusion of one
    of his castellated abbeys. This was an extensive
    and magnificent structure, the creation of the
    prince's own eccentric yet august taste.
  • They resolved to leave means neither of ingress
    or egress to the sudden impulses of despair or of
    frenzy from within. The abbey was amply
    provisioned. With such precautions the courtiers
    might bid defiance to contagion. The external
    world could take care of itself. In the meantime
    it was folly to grieve, or to think. The prince
    had provided all the appliances of pleasure.
  • All these and security were within. Without was
    the Red Death.

17
  • It was in this apartment, also, that there stood
    against the western wall, a gigantic clock of
    ebony. Its pendulum swung to and fro with a dull,
    heavy, monotonous clang and when the minute-hand
    made the circuit of the face, and the hour was to
    be stricken, there came from the brazen lungs of
    the clock a sound which was clear and loud and
    deep and exceedingly musical, but of so peculiar
    a note and emphasis that, at each lapse of an
    hour, the musicians of the orchestra were
    constrained to pause, momentarily, in their
    performance, to harken to the sound and thus the
    waltzers perforce ceased their evolutions and
    there was a brief disconcert of the whole gay
    company
  • and then, after the lapse of sixty minutes,
    (which embrace three thousand and six hundred
    seconds of the Time that flies,) there came yet
    another chiming of the clock, and then were the
    same disconcert and tremulousness and meditation
    as before.

18
  • Even with the utterly lost, to whom life and
    death are equally jests, there are matters of
    which no jest can be made. The whole company,
    indeed, seemed now deeply to feel that in the
    costume and bearing of the stranger neither wit
    nor propriety existed. The figure was tall and
    gaunt, and shrouded from head to foot in the
    habiliments of the grave.
  • The mask which concealed the visage was made so
    nearly to resemble the countenance of a stiffened
    corpse that the closest scrutiny must have had
    difficulty in detecting the cheat. And yet all
    this might have been endured, if not approved, by
    the mad revellers around. But the mummer had gone
    so far as to assume the type of the Red Death.
    His vesture was dabbled in blood and his broad
    brow, with all the features of the face, was
    besprinkled with the scarlet horror.

19
  • There was a sharp cry and the dagger dropped
    gleaming upon the sable carpet, upon which,
    instantly afterwards, fell prostrate in death the
    Prince Prospero. Then, summoning the wild courage
    of despair, a throng of the revellers at once
    threw themselves into the black apartment, and,
    seizing the mummer, whose tall figure stood erect
    and motionless within the shadow of the ebony
    clock, gasped in unutterable horror at finding
    the grave cerements and corpse-like mask which
    they handled with so violent a rudeness,
    untenanted by any tangible form
  • And now was acknowledged the presence of the Red
    Death. He had come like a thief in the night. And
    one by one dropped the revellers in the
    blood-bedewed halls of their revel, and died each
    in the despairing posture of his fall. And the
    life of the ebony clock went out with that of the
    last of the gay. And the flames of the tripods
    expired. And Darkness and Decay and the Red Death
    held illimitable dominion over all.
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