A Dream Within A Dream Analysis

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Edgar Allan Poe is known for his dark and gruesome writing, and his poem “A Dream Within a Dream” is not spared from this trend. The meaning of the poem reflects the title as within it the narrator is told by a parting lover that life is a dream, however the narrator is left questioning whether or not this is true after he parts from his lover. Edgar Allan Poe’s life was full of tragedy and heartbreak, becoming orphaned a year after he was born and then later losing his beloved wife shortly after he turned thirty eight (Edgar). After the loss of his wife, Poe fell into a state of mental instability and longed for the companionship of a woman, both of which is reflected in his later poems which are posthumously compiled into The Portable Edgar…show more content…
Despite the exact meaning of the poem remaining a mystery, much like the event of Edgar Allan Poe’s death a little over six months later, some of the poems meaning can also be inferred from an earlier poem written by Poe, as it is a revised version of “Imitation”, which also questions the meaning of life (Spacey). This explains how Poe may have been left questioning the reality of life after being forcefully parted from his fiance. A reader may come up with what the poem means to them from the poetic devices used. The setting in the first stanza is never specified, and aids the reader to think that the narrator’s resolution is that life is a dream by never mentioning anything that relates to a certain place or time. The last line of the first stanza is a statement and a solution to a question that has never been pondered about. There is a second stanza however, and the narrator places themself at a shore, giving physical descriptions of what he sees and implying that life may be real. There is still the use of personification, which could have been included to remind the reader of the solution that was stated in the first stanza. Ultimately, the poem ends with a question, taking back the answer that was deemed to be the solution in stanza one, and leaving the reader to wonder if life is real or an
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