What are the similarities and differences between Edgar Allan Poe and Nathaniel Hawthorne?

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Some major similarities between Edgar Allan Poe and Nathaniel Hawthorne are the time period in which they lived and wrote. Both men were prominent writers of the mid-1800s. Both were born at the start of that century, though Hawthorne lived a bit longer than Poe. They were both part of the period of American Romanticism, which reached its height in the mid-nineteenth century. Hawthorne actually wrote a definition of "romantic/romanticism," in which he emphasized the role of the supernatural or not quite realistic. Both men certainly include nonrealistic and/or supernatural elements in their works. Both writers also produced works that could be considered Gothic: most of Poe's catalogue falls into this category, while Hawthorne's "Young Goodman Brown" and The House of the Seven Gables, among other works, are Gothic texts. Both writers also theorized about literature—Hawthorne in the aforementioned definition of the romantic and Poe in his ideas about the effects of the ideal short story.

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