Literature employs art in different aspects to help pass across the message intended by most authors. In respect to the use of evil in literature amongst the two literature writers, Shakespeare and Edgar Allan Poe, the theme of evil is evident in majority of their writing and works. Therefore, Shakespeare and Edgar Allan Poe have a variety of similarity in their artistic work of literature. They both have a great deal of seminaries in writing about love that according to them has been lost in them. Shakespeare’s use of metaphors to describe the situation of the love that they have lost shows a great of mastery of the literature concepts. However, starting with Edgar Allan Poe, much has been written on the mystery of his writing. He has been criticized of different sentimental claims against him. Edgar Allan Poe uses unique mind to show the respect for the stories he creates. However, his description of different characters in his work makes him have an evil stance thereby making the readers have an impression of an evil deeper sense of his depiction of evil characters for his work.
While Poe uses a theme of love transcending all including death, it is also within the horizon of fascination of death as an emotional theme despite that he depicts it as a little mysterious and sad to be felt beyond grave. Poe believes that love is not the only reason why people live after death. He thus combines the idea of love with the mentality of one being buried alive as both literal and figurative. He believes that a man is buried in the use of hypnotic ideas while in his own body rather than being permitted to pass through death. He believes that death is suspended horrifically between life and death. Poe’s ideas are little horrific and the mysteries of potential horror ideas that he explores are evidence enough to express his use of evil in his characters of various works he explores.
Likewise, Poe explores the idea of life after death as an alley to punishment in cases of criminal acts and those acts that the individuals do not repent and be remorseful. For instance, in the literature work “Spirit”, the victims portrayed are shown as innocent while the criminal still comes back to haunt them. The murderers in most cases of his work showed no sense of remorsefulness to their horrific crimes committed. The criminals are shown to have committed perfect crime.
In an attempt to express the theme of evil in his characters, Poe introduces an idea that expresses the theme of things being double in his work. He tries to express things doubling up everywhere in his work without necessarily explaining how and from what source the things double up from. He portrays Madeline and Roderick who are doubled of one another as twins that are portrayed not to be able to live without one another. The narrator of the book finds it difficult to explain the voices he hears and the noises that are echoed by Roderick while he explains and describes the house that is observed to be vacant situation that creates a disparity between the real situation and the adaptation that is expressed through the falling of the individual stones. This he uses to symbolize the mind of Roderick that appears to have been torn apart. He also uses different characters to establish the double sides of a man to show his good and evil sides hence showing another instance of the use of evil. These antagonistic characters expressed by Poe battles for the possession of their own souls, a situation those results to the killing of one of the characters at the end.
In different view therefore, Poe is viewed in many of his created stories as a lover of evil characters. He portrays Roderick Usher with different critique features including larges eyes and funny complexities in addition to the eyes exhibiting different luminosity and palled lips. However, he also portrays a super model of a character, a combination that when coupled with the original traits given results into an evil character beyond comprehension.
However, coupled with his like of evil in the characters portrayed, Poe offers a graceful style of including fear and different tone to acquire a clear view effect that results into the a clear perception in the mind of a intelligence reader. However despite this smart move, his idea of evil still permeates his work. His life is portrayed to be clothed in a premature death of young beautiful ladies, an aspect that that does not only confirm his likeness for evil deeds and characters but also an expression of his magnificent mastery of the use of grotesque features in his work whether consciously or not thereby taking a deeper story of his ability as the beginning of his ever complex life composed of imprisonment, dreams fulfilled and unfulfilled as well as the obsession with the application of the evil characters of his dead mother.
The idea of perfect girl that Poe expresses in Ligeia is supposedly presumably insane in his expression of a woman. He uses love in a way that raises concerns and even allows this remarkable woman to live in one’s body especially that of his new life. This is however, presumably torturous to the mind and it exposes his love for evil characters especially when his spirit is moved into another person’s body. This act is coupled by a number of deaths; first the wife dies who later emerges in spirit that merges with the daughter who is conceived after the mother’s death. In this case, a supernatural being is born in the spirit of their mother and surprisingly within the body of the child. This therefore hinders that prophesy that had been made by the wife. However the husband, despite the funny occurrences and the devilish acts, still adores the daughter in an attempt to show the love for the mother who allows her to live even in death.
In Richard III, Shakespeare’s uses a character that gives an idea of the question as to whether the character is evil in whatever nature expressed that is expressed in the speech given by the character. There are images that are not pleasing to the eye when Richard recognizes that he is never a lover again but rather a determined individual to prove villain. With Macbeth introduced in the play, she is portrayed as an ambitious and protagonist Scottish character aimed at gaining the throne. However, Richard III does not express the redeemed qualities in the play.
Through Richard, Shakespeare shows the malformation of various segments is the sources of evil and other wicked ways. These deformities are constantly manipulating people for sympathetic reasons just as other characters are portrayed to be manipulated throughout the play. It is because of this that Richard III does not explore various causes of evil in the mind of different human but rather chooses to explore the operations of evil that depicts the how the introduction of evil in the mind controls the methods evil uses to manipulate and control and affect others just for its own gain.
The play is thus centralized in the idea that the Richard’s victims in the play are subjected to their own destruction. Just as a lady, the character Ann tries to enable herself to be seduced by Richard, despite being privy to the idea that Richard would kill her. Likewise, it is evident in the play that other characters are allowing themselves to be taken by the charismatic nature of Richard and thereby neglect the fact that the individual is dishonest and violent in majority of his behaviors. These behaviors are echoed in Richard’s association with the audience in the play. Despite the fact that the audience may be thrown away by Richard’s actions, Richard employs brilliance, and other revealing monologues that make most of the audience to like him and wish him success despite the wide open malice expressed in his behaviors.
Through Richard’s exploration of language, he uses this idea to enable him influence various people to enable him achieve the political powers. It is therefore evidence that despite the fact that language may not be a necessary tool for the acquisition of the political power, Richard disapproves this fact by using language as a necessary weapon through the application of the necessary skills to enable him confuse, manipulate and control different people around him. Through his emphatic skills and mastery of language, Richard uses this to his advantage to woo one of the characters, Lady Ann, and have Clarence imprisoned to enable Woodviles stay away from his lane. Through Clarence’s death, Richard is able to have Hasting executed through employing the act of language in a non risky level to him. Richard thus uses language to defend himself and to act as a show when the prince matches his different skills at the wordplay thereby enabling the ability of seeing through the different schemes. Richard employs violence in this case to act as an accusation against his enemies including the prince who are then easily put to death sentence.
Richard and other characters are portrayed as angry, self absorbed and insecure with Richard being an egocentric monarch that is portrayed in his acts of monologue with the insensitive plot to rule the world through his mass destruction, terror and death. A woman is portrayed to marry a monarch after killing the husband because the husband admits that something is pretty. The monarchy is enhanced and various killings including those of nephew and nieces as well as brothers just for the sake of monarchial promotion.
In conclusion therefore, the two writers William Shakespeare and Edgar Allan Poe are great lovers and employs great use of characters that exhibit deep sense of evil mentality. The plays are filled with themes of betrayal and death in addition to barbaric behavior of killings among different characters that employs different tactics to achieve their goals; some were viewed and criticized as pure egocentric notions of achieving personal gains through using different characters in the play.
Meyers, Jeffrey. Edgar Allan Poe: His Life and Legacy. Cooper Square Press, 2001
Thomas, Dwight & David K. Jackson. The Poe Log: A Documentary Life of Edgar Allan Poe, 2008.
Thomas, Dwight and David K. Jackson. The Poe Log: A Documentary Life Shakespeare, 2009.
Wilbur, Richard. "The House of Poe," collected in Poe: A Collection of Critical Essays, edited by Robert Regan. Englewood Cliffs, NJ: Prentice-Hall, Inc., 2007.