Symbolism of The Sphinx : LUSENET : The Work of Edgar Allan Poe : One Thread

I have a paper due on the 9th about The Sphinx and it is all done but the symbolism. So I am wondering if anyone knows what the symbolism is in the story The Sphinx. Please hurry.

-- Anonymous, April 08, 2003


A regional ice storm delayed me too long. The main symbol I suppose is the beast itself as a "sphinx" that is synonymous with "riddle" which the narrator's friend solves rather easily as a misperception of a bug bearing that name and a "death's head" marking. This is probably a not too subtle reference back to the death head of "The Gold Bug" of few years prior.

The story of Oedipus is referred to in the search for an "omen", sickness in the land and Oedipus's fateful encounter with the Sphinx. The narrator needs help because he is too fraught with romantic melancholy and jumps to a fantastic misperception. Oedipus had no such insight to block his solution to the riddle of the Sphinx. Note as in "The Gold Bug" a Dupin like friend does the analysis, a modern Tiresias.

-- Anonymous, April 09, 2003

Dear Mandi,

The myth of the Sphinx is linked with the Raven's wings and goes directly to the vampire's legend.

The fact that the Raven is a type of vampire is unknown to him at first, and that he doesn't actually want, but wants his shade. He also doesn't know that the person he saw thought he imagined when playing with his rival as a child was the Raven's shade.

The Raven's shade (soul) was separated from his body in 1878 in Egypt, when he enters a sealed tomb that is inhabited by Nekhat a very powerful Egyptian vampire that was entombed there because there was no known way to kill him. The vampire attacks the Raven and separates body and soul, leaving the body to wander the earth as a kind of vampire, and leaving the soul to wander the earth as a shade of what he was and no memory.

Yours truly

-- Anonymous, April 12, 2003

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