stories about women? : LUSENET : The Work of Edgar Allan Poe : One Thread

Does anyone know of any stories by Edgar Allan Poe that feature a woman as the main character?

-- Anonymous, February 18, 2003


Dear Alex,

There are several stories by Poe which feature women as the main/a main character, and these are easily identified since Poe uses the woman's name as a title. Thus we have the following tales (in no particular order): "Berenice," "Eleonora," "Ligeia," "Morella." There is also Poe's character the Signora Pysche Zenobia, a sort of caricature, or humourous character, who features in "How to Write a Blackwood Article," and "A Predicament." Other stories which feature strong or memorable women characters (though they may not be the main character) are "The Fall of the House of Usher," and "The Assignation."

There you are, Alex. Hope this helps. Happy reading!!

In any sincerity, and with kindest regards:


-- Anonymous, February 19, 2003

Thanks a lot, but for our performing arts course my group are performing a tribute to Edgar Allan Poe, but we are focusing on the horror stories. We are using "the fall of the house of usher" "The Raven" and "The Tell-tale heart" but we need a story with a female main character. Any ideas? thanks Alex

-- Anonymous, February 19, 2003

There are no stories actually where the woman, even the main character, is important in her own right. We do not get directly into her mind. But of them all, Ligeia is the best. We have Ligeia, her strength and statements and love. Then poof, we are left with the pristine ghost, the obsession of the narrator and the resurrection. As a play she probably haunts every scene like a chesire cat with her eyes(second poem "To Helen" goes with this in time and theme). It is the experience, the will of Ligeaia that possesses the narrator and leads to his ritualizing a cruel sacrifice of his hapless second wife, another real woman who dies and is replaced by the man's "ideal". And, in a sense, the will and the whole of the narrator dies and disappears into the ideal of Ligeia as well. And does anything supernaturalreally happen except in the increasingly mad mind of the man? Lots of dramatic possibilities for a small cast. Two scenes. The ideal place of his first marriage and the degenerate wildness of the second.

What we know of Ligeia is very scant but important. Her not surrendering of will to death overcomes the narrator at least, and very Poe-like, he cannot mourn or shake off Ligeia. The dead never die for Poe but they survive in very terrible and unconsoling fashion. The woman as the ideal of art makes this incredibly important for a Poe story, which he thought his artistic masterpiece. Beatrice, Muse...but as a wife or woman in her own right? I hate doing this, but perhaps the death of his mother when he was too young to mourn or complete the grieving process marked this wellspring of inspiration, being caught in unrequited grief and love.

-- Anonymous, February 21, 2003

Moderation questions? read the FAQ