The Conqueror Worm Literary Analysis

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The Conqueror Worm composed by Edgar Allan Poe evaluates the concept of death in society and how it can master its victims ‘Man’. In the poem angels gather together to watch a play that embraces this theme. This poem was published in the year of 1845 and was incorporated into Poe’s short story called “Ligeia”.
Throughout the poem various poetic devices have been utilised to convey several meanings mainly related to the theme of death in regard to mankind due to the presence of sin. Context can also be regarded as a fundamental tool in truly understanding the poem. It helps answer questions such as, why have certain words and theories been incorporated into the text, what factors influenced how Poe constructed the poem both those faced in society and in his very own soul etc.
This poem is constructed in five eight-line stanzas which follow the rhyming scheme of ‘ABABCBCBCB’. This structure can be associated to the fact that that in Poe’s day theatrical acts primarily consisted of five sections (historical context).
The first stanza introduces what the poem shall be about and acts as a type of
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By implying that men are simply puppets Poe is using metaphor to say that they have no free will or mind of their own. Alliteration is used in this stanza when: mimes, mutter, mumble and mere are mentioned. Here these four words are all linked together due to the repetition of first sounds so as to enable the reader to see more clearly the inferiority of human beings when induced in pride. The denotation of certain words such as ‘condor wings’ creates meaning by enabling one to associate the “vast formless things” who control the puppets as winged demons who only wish to harm mankind. The words, ‘invisible woe’ signify that this fate destined for mankind (to be controlled by supernatural forces) is

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