The narrator proceeds to ask the raven a series of questions to which the raven only responds “nevermore,” driving the man mad with its lack of answers. The poem ends presumably with the raven still sitting on the bust in the mans house. The questions the man asks are all purposely self-deprecating and demonstrate a strong loneliness that exists in him. This possibly represents Poe trying to relieve himself of some guilt and loneliness. Also, the narrator begins the poem as weak and weary, but becomes so grief-stricken that he ends in madness much like Poe at the end of his life. When a persons life is dark, it is expected that their creative works will be dark as well, and Poe certainly fits this belief.
One of Poes most famous stories is “The Cask of Amontialldo.” The story is about a man, Montresor, who plans on killing his friend Fortunato over an unnamed insult. Montresor lures Fortunato into his trap by telling him he thinks he has a “pipe” of Amontialldo in his mansions catacombs and would like his friends opinion on the matter. After an exhausting trip through the catacombs in which Montressor has already gotten Fortunato drunk, Montressor tells Fortunato that the Amontialdo is right ahead. Unsuspecting and drunk, Fortunato goes forward where Montressor chains him up without much effort. Then, as Fortunato screams for help, Montressor is delighted as he entombs his friend with a stonewall, knowing no one will hear his screams.
At the end of the story, it is revealed that it is now fifty years from the incident and Montressor shows no remorse. If nothing else, this story illustrates Poes immense sense of the macabre in that he caused one character to entomb another over a seemingly minimal confrontation. This work, one of Poes greatest, will live on in infamy if for nothing else other than the fact that Montressors motivation will remain a mystery — just as Poe felt as though he was not understood or appreciated in much of his life, no one will truly understand or appreciate the action of this story.
Dreary, frightening, and depressing are three words that encompass Edgar Allan Poes entire career as an author. His difficult life included being torn away from family members, poverty, alcoholism, and little critical success, all of which contributed to this body of depressing yet compelling work. Though his work is not the most uplifting, something about Edgars work still manages to grab a hold of peoples hearts and minds even 150 years after his death. Much of his current popularity revolves around the mystery of his life, particularly its end — though, like “The Cask of Amontillado” and “The Raven,” he will live on forever in print.
Giordano, Robert. “Biography of Edgar Allan Poe.” Accessed 2 October 2010. http://poestories.com/biography.php
Poe, Edgar Allan. “The Cask of Amontillado.” Accessed 2 October 2010. http://poestories.com/read/amontillado.