Edgar Allan Poe: The Death Of A Beautiful Woman

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“The death of a beautiful woman is, unquestionably, the most poetical topic in the world” was a statement by Edgar Allan Poe. It is a very strong statement, for death, in the non-literary world, is not typically associated with anything poetical. In fact, many would argue that death is the opposite of poetical. If poetical means, according to the Oxford English Dictionary, “having an imaginative or sensitive emotional style of expression”, then it can be said that death is unpoetical. Death is the end of one’s emotions, and in non-literal terms, death can be the lack of emotions. However, for Poe, death is poetical. And not just any death, but rather the death of a beautiful woman— by beautiful we will assume he refers to the women he admires, the women he found beautiful on the inside, because death is also the end of all external appearances. In any case, if one is familiar with Poe’s style, we will know that the death motif was nothing new in his stories, neither was the death of his female characters. Nevertheless, to understand why he had the audacity of presenting the death of a woman as something poetical, it is necessary to know more about his personal life. Poe had experienced the death of important female figures (or “beautiful women”) all through his life so it would make sense that, being a writer who would often mirror his personal experiences on his works, he would not only make such a statement, but also present stories about the death of women. This is the
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