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He was also the first to set down a consistent set of principles about what he thought was acceptable in art and what should be essentially rejected in art. As an editor of a magazine, Poe's views on literary Edgar allan poe essay prompts were influenced by the nature of the short works of art that would appeal to the magazine-reading public.
But irrespective of his journalistic position, his critical views on the nature of what was and was not acceptable in a work of art have become famous and have had an enormous influence on subsequent writers. Among Poe's greatnesses was his ability as an editor to recognize great literature and to dismiss insignificant works.
For example, Poe was the first major, or influential, writer to recognize the genius of Nathaniel Hawthorne. Hawthorne is scarcely recognized by the press or by the public. In Poe's review of Twice-Told Tales and in his two main essays on criticism, "The Poetic Principle" and "The Philosophy of Composition," we have access to Poe's critical statements — stated, restated, emphasized, and applied to his own works "The Philosophy of Composition," for example, deals in detail with his methodology of composing his most famous poem, "The Raven"and not only does he apply his own principles to his own works but he applies them to the works of other writers for critical evaluations.
From these cited works, we can easily compile certain key principles that Poe consistently believed in and used. These include his emphasis on 1 the unity of effect, 2 his rejection of allegory and didacticism, 3 the epic poem's being a non-poem, 4 the brevity of a work of art, 5 the appeal to the emotions, 6 the ideal subject matter for art, and 7 the importance of emotional responses; in addition, each of these separate ideas is closely associated with the others.
For example, because Poe put such importance on creating an effect that would appeal to the emotions, he rejected all works of primitive art or works based on a primitive sense of art.
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Likewise, he believed that didactic writing was for the pulpit and had no place in the realm of artistic creation. Anything that appealed solely to the intellect could not be considered art because art existed in the world of the beautiful, the refined, and the aesthetic.
Consequently, Poe, as a Romantic writer, dismissed most of the literary works of the eighteenth century, a period which concerned itself mainly with satire. For Poe, satire could create no sense of the beautiful within the reader.
And also, much of eighteenth-century literature is epigrammatic something shortand Poe believed that the epigrammatic approach to art could not create a lasting emotional impression within the reader. Writings that were moralistic or allegorical were likewise unacceptable to Poe because they failed to appeal to one's sense of beauty.
More than any other principle, Poe emphasized the unity of effect that one should strive for in any work of art. For example, words and phrases that occur and re-occur in Poe's various critical writings include the following: By these statements, Poe meant that the artist should decide what effect he wants to create in the reader's emotional response and then proceed to use all of his creative powers to achieve that particular effect: Fear, for example, was often the effect Poe chose for many of his short stories and every word and every image was carefully chosen to create an effect of fear within the mind of the reader.
In much of his poetry, the effect he most aimed for was one of beauty and melancholy. Melancholy is thus the most legitimate of all the poetical tones.
And even though Poe did recognize other subjects as legitimate topics for art he did praise Hawthorne, who very rarely concerned himself with a beautiful, dying womanthe death of a beautiful woman remained Poe's favorite subject.
In his own words, he writes: In conjunction with the unity of effect, we have Poe's dictum on the appropriate length of a work of art. Poe holds that "a long poem does not exist. For this reason, Poe believed that the greatest art was contained in a poem of about lines his most famous poem, "The Raven," is lines longand Poe, in a similar vein, believed that the short story should be of a length that one could read it in one sitting.
The totality of effect, he said, was destroyed if two sittings were required for a work of art. Such long poems as Paradise Lost were, for Poe, a series of poems. If the purpose of art — a poem, or a short story — is to excite and elevate the soul, then "after the lapse of half an hour," the mind cannot sustain such pure emotion.
Consequently, Poe's theory about the length of the work of art — "to be read in one sitting" and no more than "half an hour" — has influenced many subsequent writers.
In terms of Poe's actual practice of writing literature, the reader or critic can deduce certain principles that Poe himself never set down, but that he practiced again and again as an author. For example, Poe is considered to be the father of the modern detective story. Concerning this, certain critical principles associated with the writing of the detective story are presented in the introduction to and discussions of "The Murders in the Rue Morgue" and "The Purloined Letter," yet Poe himself never wrote down a unified critical principle which should govern the writing of a detective story.
One can see, however, that the literary principles that Poe employed in writing his own detective stories, in large part, are universal principles that apply to a major portion of all detective fiction being written today.Absolutely free essays on Edgar Allan Poe.
All examples were provided by straight-A students. Check them out and get an idea for your paper. Absolutely free essays on Edgar Allan Poe.
All examples were provided by straight-A students. Check them out and get an idea for your paper. Edgar Allan Poe is one of the leading figures of American literature. He is known as a poet and a critic, but is most famous as the first master of the short story form, especially tales of . Essay on Edgar Allan Poe's Life and "The Raven" - Edgar Allan Poe was born on January 19, , in Boston, Massachusetts.
His parents David and Elizabeth Poe were professional actors. Suggested Essay Topics. 1.
How does Poe use black and white color imagery in “MS. Found in a Bottle” and “Ligeia”? How might this use of black and white imagery relate to tensions about slavery in the mid-nineteenth century? Essay on edgar allan poe the tell-tale heart.
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4. Edgar Allan Poe Essay Edgar Allan Poe - Words. Unit 7 Major Paper #3 Edgar Allan Poe was born in and from and from an early age was said to have a great talent for writing.