The Assignation : LUSENET : The Work of Edgar Allan Poe : One Thread

My question is about Poe's "The Assignation" Does anyone believe that the young man who the narrator visits committed suicide and poisoned the narrator as well? Could anyone shed some light on this story? Thanks a lot.

-- Anonymous, June 04, 2001


Woman trapped in marriage tries to kill own child, thinking herself to be delivered to the prison across the way. Hopefully executed? The young man who had known her rescues the child so THAT self-destruction falls apart. Her husband ignores her completely. The baby is taken away. "Thou hast conquered". So by his act she must go with HIS plan, to meet in the ideal world of dreams at an agreed upon hour. The poem says it all. That his love had been carried off to a tragic marriage. The only escape lies in a dream beyond this world modeled on the past dream of their unrequited love in London. Many of Poe's poems of lost love, dreams, the beloved ideal, waters, death are here typified. Aphrodite- the daystar is usually a becon of hope and the promise of light and life to the poet. Lots of symbolism in this story.

Baudelaire in his short prose poems would fictionalize a poem in a story, as Poe does here. People expecting less, that is an interesting plot, probably are left at the bottom of the canal, unrescued by the complex last speech of the poet to the narrator. The narrator himself only gets it at the very end, foreshadowed not too explicitly in the opening paragraph from the perpective of the event having happened already. The narrator like the reader, is left in the shadows of the deadly tryst, life's melancholy state like the portrait of the Marchesa.

To understand the couple, you have to feel the emotion they protray, revealed gradually and confirmed in its depth and ideality by the sudden fall of the curtain.

-- Anonymous, June 13, 2001

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