Poe Essay

Poe Essay

Discussion of the prompt:  Write a 750+ – word essay analyzing how Poe’s represents the ideals of the Dark Romantics.  Each paragraph should include at least one quote (preferably two).  You can go over the word count if you need to (and many of you will).Remember the equation to use when quoting:

Tag + quote + cite + explanation = good support

The narrator starts the story by saying, “True! – nervous—very, very dreadfully nervous I had been and am; but why will you say that I am mad? The disease had sharpened my senses – not destroyed – not dulled them” (Poe 199). This is proof that he is mad because….

 Grading Criteria:

  • Have an introduction with a clearly worded thesis (with points of support)
  • Have at least one quote per paragraph (“A” papers must have more)
  • Move beyond summary and into analysis: focus on a single, primary idea / concept / theme / motif across multiple texts. You can include other texts like “The Cask of Amontillado” or “The Raven” if you’ve read them before.
  • This assignment is worth a MAJOR GRADE (remember, this is where a bulk of your grade comes from—get it in!).
  • Follow MLA format: name info in upper left corner, double space, write in ink, 1” margins, etc.
  • Dark Romantic Essay Rubric (attached)

 Possible Prompts:

  • Focus on any of the main ideas of the Dark Romantics as evidenced in the stories.
    • They were Anti-Transcendentalists and believed that the “Truths” of nature are not good and harmless
    • The conflict between good & evil
    • The psychological effects of guilt & sin
    • The madness of the human psyche
    • The idea that horror & evil resided behind the facade of social respectability
  • Analyze similarities between protagonists in the two stories.
  • Argue that we are basically good or basically evil using his texts for support.
  • Compare / contrast Poe with Emerson or Thoreau. Use quotes like “Nature never wears a mean appearance” or “Trust thyself! Every heart vibrates to that iron string!” to compare with some of Poe’s quotes.