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

Which two or three of Poe's stories (in prose) is the theme of sacrifice most prevelant. I need this for a paper, so it would be great to get a response as soon as possible.

-- Anonymous, December 15, 2002


Ligeia, but this is the man sacrificing his second wife to resurrect his first. Morella even more darkly. The Oblong Box the man jumps after the box. This raises a point about Poe and sacrifice in his writings. Most of it, if you can call it such at all, is compulsive and involuntary too. Was this a trick question?

-- Anonymous, December 18, 2002

In various manners and intentions, Poe introduced the concept of "Sacrifice" in some of his stories and poems, e.g. in "A Tale of Jerusalem" (the animal requested for the expiatory sacrifice, and the blasphematory "joke" of the Roman army); in "The Man that was Used Up" (a kind of patriotic military sacrifice during war-actions against Indian tribes); in "The Spectacles" ("...I sacrifice every feeling for your sake..."&c, if I remember well, just as expressed in the short opening-prefatory comment on the argument of his 1827- poem "Tamerlane" {"...sacrifice the best feelings of the heart at the shrine of Ambition...}); in "The Pit and the Pendulum" (the tortured people alluded to as victims for "sacrifice"); in "Narrative of A. G. Pym" (with some episodes I cannot precise now from memory); in the original version of the "Catholic Hymn" recited by Morella ("Sancta Maria! turn thy eyes / Upon the sinner sacrifice..."); and probably others more... A really stimulating question, indeed! Good luck! Yours sincerely, Raven's Shade (Belgium).

-- Anonymous, December 21, 2002

Sorry. I see that I omit a capital one: "The Oval Portrait" (with its lover sacrificing his sweetheart's life for the ideal completion of her picture...). Perhaps the best one for your (unprecised - though about a word with several imports and significations) research ? Yours, Raven's Shade (Belgium).

-- Anonymous, December 21, 2002

The main episode in "Pym" is to be found in ch. XXII (the cannibalism- scene), as well announced with the closing sentence of the preceding one: "...((Parker)) proposed, in a few words, that one of us should die to preserve the existence of the others." Is this not a still better sample for you? And take, why not, "The Thousand-and-Second Tale of Scheherazade" and its fatal victim too... You see you may get a large choice! Yours, Raven's Shade (Belgium). P.S. I shamefully err when quoting Poe's lines: please, read "thine" instead of "thy" 'eyes', and "sinner's" instead of "sinner" 'sacrifice'.

-- Anonymous, December 22, 2002

Sorry again! Instead of "ch. XXII", please, read "ch. XII". Yours, Raven's Shade (Belgium).

-- Anonymous, December 22, 2002

To close (temporarily?) this expanding list, may we not contemplate the avenging murders by Montresor (in "The Cask of Amontillado") and Hop-Frog as expiatory sacrifices? A new way for the concept you so astutely pointed out, in any case... Yours, Raven's Shade (Belgium), flying to and fro to seek for some less noisy public cyber-café.

-- Anonymous, December 23, 2002

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