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The Fall of the House of Usher

by Edgar Allan Poe
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In “The Fall of the House of Usher,” Poe includes a set of verses written by Roderick. How does this poem contribute to the story’s theme? Do they share any similarities?

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Roderick Usher’s poem “The Haunted Palace” echoes several themes in Edgar Allan Poe ’s story. The overall idea of a dwelling that is afflicted by spirits could easily apply to the Ushers’ home as well as the fictional palace. The eerie quality and fantastic apparitions also convey Roderick’s frame...

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Roderick Usher’s poem “The Haunted Palace” echoes several themes in Edgar Allan Poe’s story. The overall idea of a dwelling that is afflicted by spirits could easily apply to the Ushers’ home as well as the fictional palace. The eerie quality and fantastic apparitions also convey Roderick’s frame of mine, which is not quite anchored in everyday reality. The nostalgic longing for brighter, better days also resonates with Roderick’s current grief over his sister’s death, as he reflects on their former happiness. The harmony of their life, and their entire family line, may be symbolized by the monarch’s “glory” and his “wit and wisdom.”

In the fifth stanza, the poem changes abruptly, and Roderick’s real-life concerns now appear: “Ah, let us mourn” and “the old time entombed.” The tone changes to “discordant” and the people who rush out of the house are “ghastly” and “hideous”—foreshadowing the narrator’s flight at the story’s end.

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