Edgar Allan Poe And Dark Romanticism

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In the 19th century European Romanticism influenced the American writers and gave rise to a new epoch in the literature. The authors of that period put emphasis on individual and intuition, at the same time focusing on emotions and spirituality. The latter was especially visible in the philosophy of transcendentalism. This movement, however, encountered opposition in Dark Romanticism which was closely connected to Gothicism. The popularity of Gothic fiction has its origin in Henry Walpole's Castle of Otranto published in 1764. With the beginning of the 19th century Gothicism ceased to have negative connotations and started to be received enhusiastically (Birkhead 1920: 16-17). Its most famed subgenre, horror fiction, was popularised in America…show more content…
Jones (2015: 72) draws attention to H.P. Lovecraft who admits his work being indivisible from his forerunners. Edgar Allan Poe and Howard Phillips Lovecraft are considered to be the most prominent writers in the genre of fantasy and horror fiction. The works of Poe were a great inspiration for Lovecraft, who on many occassions used not only themes and motives included in Poe's stories, but also the words and style of the former author. Furthermore, Lovecraft even wrote a poem about Poe. Thus, as Robert Bloch mentions in his article "Poe & Lovecraft", the comparison between the two writers is inescapable for, in terms of their work, interests and also personal life, they shared a lot in common. Bloch (1973) also draws attention to the fact that "[b]oth Poe and Lovecraft were acute observers of the scientific and pseudo-scientific developments of their respective days, and both men utilized the latest theories and discoveries in their…show more content…
An analysis of their short stories "The Masque of the Red Death", "The Outsider" and "The Rats in the Walls" shows the monstrous elements which are inherent in both writers' works, although, the focus on particular subjects differs from one another's. Therefore, despite the multiple common features of Poe's and Lovecraft's works, their stories consist of characteristic for the authors fears and obsessions which they use to enhance the monstorus. Evidence for this tendency can be sought in the recurrent themes of the pieces. In Poe's story the main role plays death, whereas Lovecraft reveals his dread of otherness and hereditary evil.

1. Edgar Allan Poe's "The Masque of the Red Death"

In Edgar Allan Poe's short story "The Masque of the Red Death" published in 1842, the main character, Prince Prospero, invites his friends to his abbey to isolate himself and his companions from the fatal disease which spreads over the city. The protagonist is indifferent to the suffering and death prevailing outside and escapes from the reality into entertainment. After around half a year, he decides to organise a masked ball which is intruded by the mysterious figure, the harbinger of the Red
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