Edgar Allan Poe Style Analysis

By: Jack Edwards

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Language Style (Metaphor)

Edgar Allan Poe uses metaphors in all three of his works. In "A Dream Within a Dream" he uses multiple metaphors, one example is "That my day have been a dream" (Line 5). Here he is comparing his day with a dream because this girl made it so happy. Another example is "How few! yet how they creep/ Through my fingers to the deep" (Lines 16-17). In these lines he is comparing holding on to dreams with clasping grains of sand on the beach and how he can't hold on to even a piece of either of them.


Edgar Allan Poe also uses metaphors in "A Dream". An example of this is "That holy dream (Line 9)" and "A lonely spirit guiding" (Line 12). Here he is comparing his dream to a holy spirit by talking about how his dream guides him like a spirit. Another example of this is "What could there be more purely bright/ In Truth's day-star?" (Lines 15-16). Here he is relating his dreams to the sun, and how the sun pokes through a storm like his dreams poke through reality.


Edgar Allan Poe uses multiple metaphors in "Dreams". One example of this is "Oh! that my young life were a lasting dream!" (Line 1). Here he is comparing his dreams to his life as a young child and later discusses the idea of eternal dreams. Another example is "That dream was as that night-wind- let it pass." (Line 26). Here he is comparing his dreams to a night wind passing by and how they both come over him at night and leave a lasting image on him.

Language Style Part 2 (Imagery)

Edgar Allan Poe uses imagery in all three of his works. In "A Dream Within a Dream" he uses imagery multiple times, one example is "Of a surf-tormented shore" (Line 13). Here he is trying to get the reader to picture a beautiful beach with crashing waves. Another example is "Grains of the golden sand-" (Line 15). In this line he is creating an image of the sand on the beach, and the color of the sand.


Edgar Allan Poe also uses imagery in "A Dream". An example of this is "In visions of the dark night" (Line 1). In this line he is using dark as a descriptive word to give the reader a better image of the night and the setting he is describing. Another example of imagery is "What thought that light, thro' storm and night," (Line 13). Here he is creating a scene where he is contrasting the light and the darkness of the storm and creating an image of the light poking through the storm.


Edgar Allan Poe also uses imagery in "Dreams". An example of this is "For I have revell'd, when the sun was bright/ I' the summer sky," (Lines 13-14). In this example Poe uses descriptive words like "bright" and "summer" to create an accurate image of the sunny day to the reader.

Syntactical Style (Rhyme Scheme)

Edgar Allan Poe uses rhyme scheme in all three of his poems as a syntactical device. In "A Dream Within a Dream" the lines in the first stanza have an AAABBCCDDBB rhyme scheme. "All that we see or seem/ Is but a dream within a dream." (Lines 10-11). In "A Dream" the lines in the first stanza follow an ABAB rhyme scheme. "In visions of the dark night/ I have dreamed of joy departed/ But a waking dream of life and light" (Lines 1-3). In "Dreams" the lines in the last stanza follow an AABBCCDD rhyme scheme. "I have been happy, tho' in a dream./ I have been happy- and I love the theme:" (Lines 27-28). Edgar Allan Poe uses rhyme schemes in his poems to make them flow and feel more coherent. The easy flow and transitions that the rhyme scheme create allow the poems to feel smooth which goes with the common theme of dreams.

Thematic Style

Edgar Allan Poe has a common theme of comparing and contrasting dreams with reality in his poems. Metaphors are Poe's primary comparison tool. He uses metaphors to compare elements and details of dreams with the reality he lives. The entire poem "A Dream Within a Dream" is a huge metaphor, comparing his dreams with clasping sand in his hands and trying to hold on to a piece. He also uses Imagery to build up the reader's visions of the dreams in the poem and give the reader a good vision to compare and contrast with. He uses a lot of imagery in "Dreams" when he compares his dreams to "night-wind" (Line 26). Poe also uses rhyme schemes alongside imagery to create the imagery of a dream in his poems. He uses the ABAB rhyme scheme in "A Dream" to create a coherent flow. Edgar Allan Poe uses all of these poetic elements to compare and contrast dreams with reality in his poems.
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