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I CANNOT, for my soul, remember how, when, or even precisely where, I first became acquainted with the lady Ligeia. Long years have since elapsed,...

What similarities do you see in this story to “Ligeia”? What is the nature of Usher's relationship to Madeline? In what ways is the House of Usher a "palace of imagination"? Interpret this description of Roderick Usher: "By the utter simplicity, by the nakedness of his designs, he arrested and overawed attention" (324). What function does Usher's song, "The Haunted Palace," serve in the story? In what ways does Usher resemble Poe? What do these similarities suggest? Why does the entire house collapse at the end of the story?


  • 1. What kind of woman is Ligeia? In what ways does she resemble a Muse? You may choose to define the term muse in your answer.
  • 2. What is the nature of the narrator's fascination with Ligeia?
  • 3. How effective is language in this tale?
  • 4. How do the images help Poe create an effect in this work?
  • 5. Why do you think the narrator of this story, like many others in Poe's tales, is not named?      

“The Purloined Letter”

Write a one-page analysis of the story.  I want you to evaluate the literary aspects of the story.  You may choose to compare it to more familiar Poe stories.  The only way to not receive credit for this part of the assignment is to simply provide plot summary.  I want your ideas and opinions.

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