Scepticism In The Dream Within A Dream

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INTRODUCTION

Scepticism is any questioning or doubting attitude towards the ideas and beliefs of the society, which may or may not be based on facts. And although Edgar Allan Poe was one of the most famous and important pioneers of gothic-themed dark romantic literature, he did venture into different subject genres in a number of his works, most notably his 1849 poem, “A Dream Within a Dream”, which in spite of still sounding darkly mysterious, typical of Poe, it does embrace philosophical scepticism and borderline nihilism.
Edgar Allan Poe was an American writer, belonging to the period of American Romanticism. He wrote novels, short stories, poems, literary journals and even plays – being widely read in all these forms till today. His work,
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Yet its words, when combine into lines, project the deepest of meanings – the meaning of life and existence, doubt in reality, time and its brevity. The afterimage in a reader’s mind is almost always dark and melancholy, leading to a state of isolation and thoughtfulness, which is exactly what the poet seems to be in when he wrote the poem. Now, before we get to critically analysing the theme of scepticism in the poem, it is of acute importance that we understand the poem’s technical…show more content…
The lines are well-rhymed in a simple and effective, though irregular way, with the rhyme scheme following as – ‘a-a-a-b-b-c-c-d-d-e-e’ for the first eleven lines comprising the first stanza; and – ‘a-a-b-b-c-c-c-d-d-e-e-f-f’ for the next thirteen line stanza. Just like the difference in the number of lines of the two stanzas and the irregular rhyme scheme, nothing about this poem follows any sort of definite form or style. A majority, but not all, of the lines happen to be in iambic trimeter, that is, having three feet. For example, the sixteenth line, “How few! Yet how they creep,” with stress on ‘few’, ‘how’ and ‘creep’. These inconsistencies give the poem a whimsical and dreamy feel, yet at the same time, present images and make the poem flow fluently in a manner which is as starkly real and unexpected as the very nature of life itself. Also, the language is genuine and easy, with more emphasis on sound, flow and collective imagery than fragmented meanings of groups of words individually. So, just for the sake of comparison, the poem, on the whole, can be considered to be like a black-and-white monochrome picture, which, without any fancy colours, epitomises simplicity but certainly adds more depth and mystery to its subject. It is important, as well, to take note of the fact that this poem happens to be one of Edgar Allan Poe’s last as it was written and published in 1849, the

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