Poe’s Works Religious Significance
Edgar Allen Poe has had an enduring effect on American and international literature and cinema. His work spans poetry, horror, science fiction, and he is largely credited as the inventor of the detective genre. For this assignment, I would like you to pick a couple of Poe’s works and discuss their possible religious significance.
“The Raven”; “Lenore”;
A common assumption people had about Edgar Allan Poe involves the idea that he was one of the irredeemable atheists. According to Edgar Allan Poe Society of Baltimore (2014), those who stayed close to Poe, such as J.H. Hopkins, argued that he had no religion, with art serving as his only god. However, the various aspects of his life, including upbringing and literary works tell otherwise. In particular, Poe’s poems, “The Raven” and “Lenore,” have far-reaching religious significance in literature.“The Raven” serves as one of Poe’s most famous poems. In this poem, the poet uses a variety of religious motifs to communicate about the visiting raven and his ailing wife. For example, in the fourth stanza, he speaks of “Darkness there and nothing more” (Poe, 2019). On the same note, he utilizes the fifth stanza to describe how he has dreamt dreams, which no mortal has ever dreamed before. The author also refers to the angels. By recognizing darkness and angels, Poe expresses his belief in the existence of evil and good, which serve as the key foundations of world religions, including Christianity. By referring to immortals and mortals, the poet acknowledges and appreciates the existence of a supernatural beings, who include the gods.
Besides “The Raven,” “Lenora” revolves around the death of a young, rich woman. In the first stanza, the narrator questions the reason why the bereaved, Guy de Vere, is not crying. The poet proceeds to present de Vere’s view by saying that the assembled mourners are pretentious because they are only interested in the woman’s wealth. According to him, her early death must have resulted from their hate (Poe, 2019). Here, it is evident that the poet is superstitious, with superstition viewed as one of the elements of religion. At the same time, Poe uses the third stanza to offer a piece of advice to people in attendance to consider singing a Sabbath song, a common practice among Christians. Equally important, the poet mentions afterlife in the last stanza, with de Vere expressing his confidence that after triumphing death, they will be reunited. With the identified phrases, Poe’s poems transformed literature, influencing other artists to incorporate religious aspects in their literary works.
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