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English9 Gothic Fiction: Author: Edgar Allan Poe

Edgar Allan Poe

Edgar Allan Poe

Gothic literature developed during the Romantic period in Britain; the first mention of "Gothic," as pertaining to literature, was in the subtitle of Horace Walpole's 1765 story "The Castle of Otranto: A Gothic Story" which, the British Library says, was meant by the author as a subtle joke. "When he used the word it meant something like ‘barbarous,’ as well as ‘deriving from the Middle Ages.’" In the book, it's purported that the story was an ancient one, then recently discovered. But that's just part of the tale.

The supernatural elements in the story, though, launched a whole new genre, which took off in Europe. Then America's Edgar Allen Poe got a hold of it in the mid-1800s and succeeded like no one else. In Gothic literature he found a place to explore psychological trauma, the evils of man, and mental illness. Any modern-day zombie story, detective story, or Stephen King novel owes a debt to Poe. There may have been successful Gothic writers before and after him, but no one perfected the genre quite like Poe.

Edgar Allan Poe’s 'The Raven', explained like never before. In five short minutes students will learn about Poe, the poem’s literary nuances, important background information about 'The Raven' and the times in which it was written. Theme, summary and literary analysis are spelled out for students by teacher extraordinaire, Regi Sargent, as she walks us through the poem.

SOURCE: ClickView (2015) Duration 4:30, Rated E.

Books by Poe: