What Does The Conqueror Worm Symbolize

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POETRY PRESENTATION The famous poet, Edgar Allan Poe, was born in Boston, MA on January 19, 1809. Poe’s life was plagued with unfortunate circumstances and false hopes. His mother and father were both traveling actors, but he possessed no memory of his biological parents. Before Poe had turned three years old, both of his parents had died. At this point he was separated from his siblings, and sent to live with distant relatives John Allan, a successful Tobacco merchant, and his wife, Frances Allan in Richmond, VA. Poe went on to attend the University of Virginia and performed very well academically. However, Allan had not provided a substantial amount of money for Poe’s tuition. After a continuous struggle to find money, Poe dropped out…show more content…
In line 6, Poe describes the event as a “play of hopes and fears” to symbolize traits of life. Then he goes on to use this “conqueror worm” to possibly symbolize the grim reaper, or the devil himself. He also mentions the rush of a storm (line 36) to symbolize Armageddon, or the end of the world/mankind. Imagery in this poem includes the description of the throng of angels (line 3) in the first few lines. He describes them as being dressed up, in veils, and drowned in tears. Imagery is also used when acknowledging the music of the orchestra. These examples of imagery, along with the characterization of the worm as being blood-red and writhing, or squirming (line 27) help establish the overall theme of…show more content…
This is evident through the constant mentions of tears, sobs, and appearance of being pallid and wan (line 37) in the audience. Poe even compares the closing curtain to a funeral pall (line 35) to add to the tone of loss and grief. The reader of this poem experiences a mood of angst and terror. Poe not only refers to humans as mimes without control of their own lives, but he also describes intricately the death of all humans by a large worm. Also, he refers to the killer of mankind as a hero, rather than the villain of the story. All of this together creates an uneasy, fearful emotion within the reader. The Conqueror Worm can easily be related to the poem Little Apocalypse by Charles Wright. Both portray the relatively quick and effortless termination of a civilization by another force. Both also use symbolism, imagery, and metaphor to represent certain aspects of the destroyed civilization. However, in The Conqueror Worm, the audience is affected greatly by this event, while in Little Apocalypse; the event described seems to have little to no effect on the

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