What was Poe's main inspiration for most of his works?

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I am writing a research paper on Edgar Allan Poe's inspiration for some of his works...such as Annabelle Lee, The Raven, The Fall of the House of Usher, and others. I understand that his young wife was the inspiration for some...but I need more information.

-- Anonymous, June 28, 2001


Beware! It might seem logical to conclude that the tragic fate of Virginia inspired some of these works. But this is a mistake. Check the dates of publication! Actually Virginia was not the original muse source for the tragic ladies of Poe's works. When she became one of that that number it became almost too painful to directly admit. He claimed Annabel Lee to refer refer to other ladies, almost too impossible to credit. His mother, Stanard and Royster I believe provide the flesh behind behind his ideal poetic theme, especially his first lost love Royster, no matter how unworthy an object she might appear to us in retropsect.

You must read a good biography or at least the online sources at www.eapoe.org to sort out these influences. Remember that for Dante, Beatrice was not a human object so much as the muse that inspired his emotion therefore his art. His own wife had no place in those works. Similarly, Poe's females often symbolize a facet of Beauty or Soul, the ethereal ideality on the twilight borders of death and dream. The haunting nature of these creatures, the fear of death and their clinging attraction is the flip side to this.

-- Anonymous, June 29, 2001

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