The Importance Of Beauty In Poe's The Raven

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Now that the dénouement for the two short stories has been found and their purpose examined, one can begin to examine how Poe uses various effects to lead the reader to it. In “The Raven,” Poe claims that beauty is the desired effect: “Beauty is the sole legitimate providence of the poem… When, indeed, men speak of Beauty, they mean, precisely, not a quality, as is supposed, but an effect.” This is important to note, as he continues telling the reader how Truth is incompatible with beauty; Beauty is of the heart and spirit, while Truth only placates the mind. When reading into Poe’s tone in his essay, one can see that he has a greater respect for the emotional—that is “excitement, or pleasurable elevation, of the soul.”11 This observation …show more content…
For “The Raven,” he decides his tone based on the effect chosen—Beauty. He said, “Beauty of whatever kind, in its supreme development, invariably excites the sensitive soul to tears. Melancholy is thus the most legitimate of all the poetical tones.” It is interesting to note that Beauty and Melancholy are very different from each other, as Beauty is often considered a positive trait while Melancholy is often considered a negative emotion. When this essay explores what Poe’s desired tone for his short stories, it will look to find it in sharp contrast with the effect that he did similarly when composing “The Raven.” The tone will also need to serve the dénouement—that is also served by the effect—as everything is meant to serve it, so knowing the dénouement allows one to see if the effect and tone found is Poe’s intended effect and tone by checking to see if they both support the …show more content…
Most of the story focuses on the party itself. The second paragraph, directly after the blood-curdling description of the “Red Death,” describes the Prince and his lavish party: “But the Prince Prospero was happy and dauntless and sagacious…The Prince had provided all the appliances of pleasure. There were buffoons, there were improvisatori, there were ballet-dancers, there were musicians, there was Beauty, there was wine.”13 Once the threat of death was established, the story goes it detail about the party itself. Occasionally, Poe will remind the reader that there is a pestilence in the outside world, but the words, the diction, the tone, all show the jovial nature of the guests and their host. So, does this indeed point to the dénouement of the story? I conclude that it does. Poe uses the tone to mimic life and how people spends life in the happiest state they can, but ever looming is the threat of death and mortality, leading to the end of the short story when everyone dies and death—the Red Death—holds “dominion over all.” The jovial tone of the story does contract with the negative

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