"The Haunted Palace" is a poem written by Edgar Allan Poe in 1839. The poem fits the definition of Romanticism in many ways. "The Haunted Palace" is a Dark Romantic poem which is a sub-genre of Romanticism. "The Haunted Palace" can relate to all of Poe's writings in that it has Dark Romanticism characteristics. Some of these characteristics of Dark Romanticism would include writing with feelings and emotion instead of using logic and reason. "The Haunted Palace" has a dark tone, especially towards the end of the poem, it uses dark imagery, and it has a tragic ending. "The Haunted Palace" could be related to Poe's life because the poem is about being on top of the world and then getting sick or having some type of evil come over you. This relates to Poe's life because he was pretty happy in all of his marriages, but then something went wrong causing it all to go bad. Edgar Allan Poe's life, writing style, and the qualities of Dark Romanticism all tie into his poems and short stories which have helped him to become one of the most famous Dark Romantic poets of American Literature.

The definition of Romanticism is basically writing that portrays feelings and emotion rather than logic and reason (Romanticism). This definition helped to lead to Dark Romanticism which portrays not only the author's feelings about things, but also his/her fears (What). Dark Romanticism reaches down into the author and readers' souls, and it takes their deepest fears and puts them into a story. Whether the fear is of loosing a loved one, dying of a terrible sickness, or becoming trapped forever, Dark Romanticism does a pretty good job of taking those fears and putting them in black and white. Edgar Allan Poe's "The Haunted Palace" portrays Dark Romanticism in many ways. The poem starts out nice and happy, but then the main character of the poem takes a turn for the worst (Poe, "The Haunted"). An unknown evil takes over the main character and dooms him for the rest of his life. He soon dies, and all the people who loved him die, either really die or die metaphorically, along with him (Poe, "The Haunted"). This particular poem, " The Haunted Palace", touches the fear of dying or being taken over by an unknown evil. Everyone is afraid of death whether they want to admit it or not. This poem shows what could happen when someone of high authority that was once loved by everyone, falls to a great evil.

"The Haunted Palace" has a great figurative meaning which helps in portraying some Dark Romantic qualities. The poem starts with:

"In the greenest of our valleys
By good angels tenanted,
Once a fair and stately palace-
Radiant palace- reared its head.
In the monarch Thought's dominion-
It stood there!
Never seraph spread a pinion
Over fabric half so fair!
Banners yellow, glorious, golden,
On its roof did float and flow,
(This- all this- was in the olden
Time long ago,)
And every gentle air that dallied,
In that sweet day,
Along the ramparts plumed and pallid,
A winged odor went away"(Poe, "The Haunted").

The literal meaning of this stanza tells about a palace that sits in a very lush valley. It says that the palace was once very fair and stately and that it was so good that angels would go there. The king who lived there ruled with reason and common sense. On top of the palace are flags of yellow and gold, and when the wind blew, the smell of angels would float away. The figurative meaning of this stanza is pretty close to the literal meaning. One of the only differences is that the palace is not really a palace, it is a king. The king does live in a palace that is in a lush valley. He ruled with reason and common sense. The yellow and gold flags on top of the palace are actually the king's hair because the palace represents the king.

"Wanderers in that happy valley,
Through two luminous windows, saw
Spirits moving musically,
To a lute's well-tuned law,
Round about a throne where, sitting
(Porphyrogene!)
In state his glory well-befitting,
The ruler of the realm was seen" (Poe, "The Haunted").

This stanza, the second stanza of "The Haunted Palace", tells about men and women who walk by the palace and see all the people in it having fun and dancing. "Through two luminous windows" (Poe, "The Haunted") talks about "through the eyes of the wanderers" they saw the palace dwellers dancing, and they saw the king, which has now been identified as Porphyrogene, "in state his glory well-befitting" (Poe, "The Haunted"). This past quote means that the king is seen as a very good man which is very fitting for him because he really is a great king.


"And all with pearl and ruby glowing
Was the fair palace door,
Through which came flowing, flowing, flowing,
And sparkling evermore,
A troop of Echoes, whose sweet duty
Was but to sing,
In voices of surpassing beauty,
The wit and wisdom of their king" (Poe, "The Haunted").

This stanza's figurative meaning is that the "pearl and ruby glowing was the fair palace door"(Poe, "The Haunted") is the king's mouth and his teeth. He and the rest of the people in his palace sing with beautiful voices of how great a king he is.

"But evil things, in robes of sorrow,
Assailed the monarch's high estate.
(Ah, let us mourn!- for never morrow
Shall dawn upon him desolate!)
And round about his home the glory
That blushed and bloomed,
Is but a dim-remembered story
Of the old time entombed" (Poe, "The Haunted").

Now is when the story takes a turn for the worst. Before we had examples of just Romanticism with the great lush valley and the people singing about how they love their king, but now we start to see a little bit into the darker side of Romanticism. Evil things take over the king, and he dies of a sickness. The rest of the palace is soon only remembered for how it once was, and it becomes very dark and dim.

"And travellers, now, within that valley,
Through the red-litten windows see
Vast forms, that move fantastically
To a discordant melody,
While, like a ghastly rapid river,
Through the pale door
A hideous throng rush out forever
And laugh- but smile no more" (Poe, "The Haunted").

This stanza, the final stanza of the poem, tells how travellers that come by the palace find that it is haunted. "Through the red-litten widnows" (Poe, "The Haunted") describes the eyes once again, but this time they are red which can represent evil or anger. The travellers see forms (or otherwise known as ghosts) dancing to music through the windows. "Through the pale door" (Poe, "The Haunted") - the door being the king's mouth again, but this time it is pale from death - comes an evil laugh.

Poe's life could have an effect on this poem in that you can kind of relate them to his marriages. Poe was always a very happy man when he was married (Biography). Who would not be? Unfortunately for Poe, a lot of his relationships ended pretty badly(Biography). This fact can relate to the poem, "The Haunted Palace". In "The Haunted Palace", the main character, the king, has a very good and rewarding life (Poe, "The Haunted"). Soon though, an evil comes over, causing to fall ill or become injured. The king soon dies, causing his whole palace to fall under a sad spell (Poe, "The Haunted"). To relate all of this to Poe's life, the king's life would represent Poe's relationships, and the palace would represent Poe. In the beginning of his marriages, they were very good and rewarding. Unfortunately, something bad happens to the marriage, causing it to fall apart. Poe them comes out of the marriage sad and depressed.

"The Haunted Palace" can relate to a lot of Poe's other works. One piece that it can relate to is "The Raven". "The Raven" has a very dark core to the story, just like "The Haunted Palace". In "The Raven" a strange evil comes over the main character, just like the main character in "The Haunted Palace" (Poe, "The Raven"). Unlike in "The Haunted Palace", "The Raven"'s strange evil is a little raven. The raven repeats the word "Nevermore" (Poe, "The Raven") to the main character whenever he asks a question. The two poems are also related because they can both be tied back to Poe's relationships. In "The Raven", the main character misses his lost love Lenore, and he asks the raven if he will ever see her again (Poe, "The Raven"). The raven answers with "Nevermore" dooming the main character to a life full of dispair and uncertainty (Poe, "The Raven").

Through all of Poe's literary works, he has become one of the most well known Dark Romantic poets of American literature. Poe ties a lot of his poems or short stories to his personal life, especially to his marriages. Poe uses several Dark Romantic qualities like fear, darkness, dispair, loosing someone, and death. Poe finds a way to dig deep into the readers' darkest fears and turn them into a reality in a short story or poem. His ability to do this has made him one of the most famous writers in American history.

-Caroline Shaw
A4 332 English

Works Cited:

"Biography" PoeStories.com.:An Exploration of Short Stories by Edgar Allan Poe. Disign215 Inc. 2005. http://poestories.com/biography.php.

"Romanticism". A Guide to the Study of Literature: A Companion Text for Core Studies 6, Landmarks of Literature. English Department, Brooklyn College. 2009. http://academic.brooklyn.cuny.edu/english/melani/cs6/rom.html.

Poe, Edgar Allan. "The Haunted Place". PoeStories.com.:An Exploration of Short Stories by Edgar Allan Poe. Design215 Inc. 2005. http://poestories.com/read/hauntedpalace.

Poe, Edgar Allan. "The Raven". Glencoe Literature. Comp. Jeffrey Wilhelm. American Literature. Ed. Columbus: McGraw-Hill. 2010. 263-273. Print.

"What is Dark Romanticism?" Obscure Wonders. 2007. http://hem.passagen.se/hehe/what_is_dark_romanticism.htm.