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    Dark Romanticism in the Short Stories “The Raven” and “The Masque of Red Death” by Edgar Allan Poe

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    In both stories ‘The Raven’ and ‘The Masque of Red Death’ by Edgar Allen Poe there were multiple examples of dark romanticism. Dark romanticism is a subgenre of the American Renaissance literary time period along with transcendentalist. Edgar Allen Poe was most known for his writings that he did in dark romanticism which had very evil characteristics. For example at the beginning of The Masque of the Red Death he shows how horrifying this story will be in stanza 1 line 2 when he states “Blood was its Avatar and its seal.” This one statement of many shows how much horror and immorality will be witnessed in the story.

    He continues with individualism when the prince states “Who dares” in paragraph 1 line 1. He continues to say “Who dares insult us with this blasphemous mockery? Seize him and unmask him…” This is an excellent example of individualism because everyone else around him fears the masked man. He further proves this when in paragraph 13 line 11 when it is stated “… he rushed hurriedly…while none followed him…” The presence of evil was further expressed when in the last paragraph first sentence the author states “And now was acknowledged the presence of the Red Death”

    This justifies how evil the disease was all along. It is further justified when in the last paragraph third sentence “And one by one dropped the revelers in the blood bedewed halls of their revel.” Throughout the whole story of The Masque of Red Death Poe evilness and wickedness is portrayed similar to how he does in The Raven.

    In the story The Raven he shows ways of evil as well but not as much as he does in The Masque of the Red Death in my opinion. For example in stanza 1 line 1 he infers that he is in pain by saying “Once upon a midnight dreary, while I pondered, weak and weary.” By saying this he shows pain but not as gruesome as it is shown in The Masque of the Red Death. In this story he shows that he has a feeling that someone is there very often in the beginning. For example he says “While I nodded, nearly napping, suddenly there came a tapping” in line 3 stanza 1. As the tapping continues he tries to find what it is in line 1-2 stanza 3 when he says “Presently my soul grew stronger; hesitating then no longer, Sir, said I, or Madam, truly your forgiveness I implore;”

    As the tapping seems to get louder he continues to search for what it is and returning to the door each time based on the text in the last line in the 6th stanza which reads ‘Tis the wind and nothing more!” This time when he opened the door he saw the Raven according to stanza 7 line 2 “In there stepped a stately Raven of the saintly days of yore.”

    Based on the text in stanza 8 line 5 he is shocked to learn that the bird can speak when he says “With such name as “Nevermore.” I find it very ironic that all the bird can say is “Nevermore” according to stanza 9 line 6 which states “Then the bird said “Nevermore,” once again. Although it isn’t as evil as the Masque of the Red Death towards the end it becomes evil when he states in the first line of stanza 12 “Prophet! said I, thing of evil!-prophet still, if bird or devil!” He refers to a form of self-reliance in stanza 14 line 5 when he says “Take thy beak from out my heart, and take thy form from off my door!”

    Both of the stories The Masque of the Red Death & The Raven contain dark romanticism. They both have a theme that consists of evil and pain which is one of the things that relates all of Edgar Allen Poe’s stories together. They all show wicked and/or gruesome behaviors in different ways which is a form of dark romanticism.

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    Dark Romanticism in the Short Stories “The Raven” and “The Masque of Red Death” by Edgar Allan Poe. (2023, Mar 12). Retrieved from https://artscolumbia.org/dark-romanticism-in-the-short-stories-the-raven-and-the-masque-of-red-death-by-edgar-allan-poe/

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