compare/contrast : LUSENET : The Work of Edgar Allan Poe : One Thread

I need some help...I'm writing a compare/contrast essay on 2 poets. I wanted to do Poe...and someone else. Ist here someone of the 19th century that would be a good person to compare/contrast Poe to? I must include 3 main subjects. I was thinking ways of writing,influences,& I need one more topic. Please help! thank u

-- Anonymous, March 25, 2003


Poe was rather unique in America. it would be mostly contrast to compare him to Emerson(essayist, poet) or Longfellow(poet, playwright) with the common elements anchoring on their American identity. Byron would be good for the early Poe, though Byron actually WAS the wild person Poe only felt at times.

Mary Shelley comes to mind as one who was a rational Romantic, wrote Frankenstein fairly straight without the fantastic exagerration of style. Poe shared this apporach of reason combioned with the fantastic. Interestingly, Mary had one good poem that Poe may have borrowed and reworked for inclusion in "The Assignation" under the title "To One in Paradise". They shared heavy personal losses, career setbacks, controversies and slander, problems with remarriage prospects, illness, some drinking. Poe admired her father Godwin and Byron and Percy, the Italian scene, the democratic revolt against hte English aristocracy. Is it Muriel Sparks who wrote the biography of Mary Shelley? Her output is small and manageable. "The Last man" shows her pessimism at the end which can be compared to Poe's final state.

Science and progress critiques by Poe and Shelley. Poe's ideal love and domesticity vs. bohemian rebel Shelleys and her homely poem(more like Virginia Poe but with some beautiful lines). She is liberal and didactic, Poe conservative(though American) and anti-didactic, much greater poet and wild energy.

Another contemporary: Elizabeth Barrett(later Browning) whom Poe reviewed and would have flirted with had she not been in England. Her poetry is higher rank than most women of the time and borrowed by Poe for musicality.

I think it is easier and more interesting than going for one of the famous men of the age with massive outputs and large volumes of criticism to read. And some real connection helps focus the themes.

-- Anonymous, March 26, 2003

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