• Join over 1.2 million students every month
  • Accelerate your learning by 29%
  • Unlimited access from just £6.99 per month

how poe and goethe create suspense and tension in their poems.

Extracts from this document...


Gothic poetry draft "Once upon a midnight dreary, while I pondered, weak and weary." (1) In this initial line from Edgar Allan Poe's "The Raven," the poet creates suspense because the person in the poem is thinking deeply. Pondering deep thoughts puts the reader in suspense because one wonders what those thoughts could possibly be. One's suspense is intensified by the fact the reader also does not know what is making the person in the poem "weak". Suspense and tension are common aspects of gothic literature. In "The Raven," the disheartened narrator is searching for a way to bring his deceased wife back from the dead by scanning through books of black magic. Suddenly, a raven enters the room, interrupting his thoughts. The narrator believes the raven possessing arcane knowledge can disclose the secret of effect, a reunion with Lenore. The Raven, however, answers with the enigmatic word 'nevermore.' The narrator is left in madness and, haunted by the raven's enigmatic words. In this essay, I will compare and contrast "The Raven," with another gothic poem, Johann Wolfgang Von Goethe's "The Erlking." I will also show how the two poets create suspense and tension in their poems by using a series of poetic devices. ...read more.


The Erlking creates suspense because the reader is not sure if the creature is real or whether it kills the boy. Poe similarly uses his characters to add to the suspense. In "The Raven" the antagonist or the conflict in the poem is the raven. "Tell me what thy lordly name is on the Night's plutonian shore!" (47) "Quoth the Raven, "Nevermore." (48) The above quote shows how Poe expresses suspense in his poem. He does this because he leaves us in suspense to the true identity of the Raven at the end of lines 47 and 48. Similar to "The Erlking," one does not know whether the raven is real or whether it has supernatural powers. Another way that Poe and Goethe create tension is at the climax of the poems. Goethe's poem creates suspense at the end because it is not revealed whether the Erlking is real or whether the child was hallucinating. The reader is also not made aware of how the boy dies, leaving the reader's tension unrelieved. Reaching the house, in fear and dread: (31) But in his arms the child lies dead." (32) "But in his arms the child lies dead." ...read more.


Rhythm increases the suspense of the poem making one anticipate what is forthcoming. Both poets also embrace onomatopoeia in their poems to create suspense and tension. There are only two instances in which Goethe uses onomatopoeia in his poem. "...What the Erlking's whispering in my ear?" (14) The word "whispering" is clearly onomatopoeia, as the reader easily imagines he or she is listening to the words as spoken by the creature. The creature was speaking to entice him or her to accompany it further into the dark woods. Poe uses onomatopoeia far more frequently than Goethe does. "And so faintly you came tapping-tapping at my chamber door,"(22) The onomatopoeia word "tapping," creates sound imagery for the reader and might feel as though someone is tapping on their own door. They do not know who is tapping on the door so by creating sound imagery will make the reader feel as though they are in the poem, therefore creating suspense. In conclusion, both poets use similar techniques and poetic devices to create suspense and tension in their poems. Both poets use gothic atmospheres that have an equal effect on creating suspense and tension. However I think that Goethe's use of poetic devices are more effect than the use of Poe's poetic devices ?? ?? ?? ?? Amy.Savigar Mr.Swanson. 10G1 14/10/08 ...read more.

The above preview is unformatted text

This student written piece of work is one of many that can be found in our GCSE Miscellaneous section.

Found what you're looking for?

  • Start learning 29% faster today
  • 150,000+ documents available
  • Just £6.99 a month

Not the one? Search for your essay title...
  • Join over 1.2 million students every month
  • Accelerate your learning by 29%
  • Unlimited access from just £6.99 per month

See related essaysSee related essays

Related GCSE Miscellaneous essays

  1. how does Edgar allan poe and Goethe use poetic devices to create suspense and ...

    "'Tis some visitor," I muttered, "tapping at my chamber door, (B) Only this and nothing more."' (B) Edgar Allan Poe, in his poem, "The Raven," creates a highly tensioned, imbalanced atmosphere through his use of repetition and a carefully chosen internal rhyme scheme.

  2. War Poems

    and that it is our duty to remember them and the honourable thing they did, fighting for their country.

  1. How does William Shakespeare create a sense of tension within the play Romeo and ...

    This leads to him forecasting his own death. With Romeo thinking about death, it allows the audience to recognise that Romeo's destiny is death and so dramatic irony is constructed. Evidently, Romeo as a character doesn't know that he is going to die, but the audience do and so further tension is built.

  2. William Blake Poems

    In "The Chimney Sweeper" (Experience) the boys appearance is described yet in a different way to that of the innocence poem, his health is described first as "happy" but this is talked about in the past tense. Blake is touching on the illnesses Chimney Sweepers got, such as cancer.

  1. english literature

    Holland thinks that we defend in many ways; we repress our fears and our painful thoughts or feelings, we deny sensory evidence or we isolate one emotion or idea from another. Expectations are our fears and wishes.Fantacies is what the individual puts out from himself into the outside world.

  2. GCSE Essay Cultural Poems

    No board says it: but my feet know...' tells you that he knows it is because nothing has changed since the last time he visited. In this verse, the tone begins to change from description to feelings of anger and hatred.

  • Over 160,000 pieces
    of student written work
  • Annotated by
    experienced teachers
  • Ideas and feedback to
    improve your own work