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Ch 5: Dark Romantics

About This Chapter

Watch video lessons on the dark romantics of American literature. Study themes and imagery by some of America's most famous authors, such as Poe and Melville. Take the quizzes that follow each lesson to test your knowledge of the dark romantics.

Dark Romantics

When you think of romance, do you think of rainbows, sunshine, flowers and happiness? Most people would. However, if you have ever been in love, you are likely aware that romance is not always happy or bright. Sometimes it can be quite dark. In American literature, there were some authors who penned works that were considered dark romances. Two major players in the dark romantic genre, Edgar Allan Poe and Nathaniel Hawthorne, are covered in-depth in our video lessons, along with a general introduction to this style of writing.

Just the name Edgar Allan Poe brings dark images to mind. He is well-known for his almost creepy way of approaching love. With works like Lenore and The Tell-Tale Heart, Poe solidified himself as a dark romantic writer. Our lessons will take you on a journey through his works, including The Raven, The Fall of the House of Usher and The Cask of Amontillado. You'll get a chance to dip deep within each piece, analyzing the imagery, word choices and themes, among other things. Let our lessons give you a peek inside the rather odd mind of Poe.

The Scarlet Letter is a love story at heart, despite all the turmoil and angst within its cover. Discover why this is considered a piece of romantic literature, but also how it falls into the dark romantic category. Continue studying Nathaniel Hawthorne in our lessons, and then delve into a lesson looking at Moby Dick and its author, Herman Melville. Thanks for watching!

9 Lessons in Chapter 5: Dark Romantics
The Dark Romantics in American Literature

1. The Dark Romantics in American Literature

This video introduces the characteristics of Dark Romanticism, a movement at the end of the Romantic period where literature embodied creepy symbols, horrific themes, and explored the psychological effects of guilt and sin. Authors, such as Edgar Allan Poe and Nathaniel Hawthorne, wrote short stories, poems, and novels that encouraged Americans to see evil in everything.

Edgar Allan Poe: Biography, Works, and Style

2. Edgar Allan Poe: Biography, Works, and Style

This video introduces Edgar Allan Poe, the father of the modern mystery story. Through his works, like 'The Raven' and 'The Tell-Tale Heart,' Poe reflected the characteristics of Dark Romanticism by creating horrific storylines and characters while exploring the dark, irrational depths of the human mind.

Poe's The Cask of Amontillado: Summary and Analysis

3. Poe's The Cask of Amontillado: Summary and Analysis

This video explores Edgar Allan Poe's 'The Cask of Amontillado,' a Dark Romantic short story that illustrates the horrors of evil. By breaking down the elements of plot, we can see that Poe's intentional selection of details in the story create his 'unity of effect.'

Poe's The Fall of the House of Usher: Summary and Analysis

4. Poe's The Fall of the House of Usher: Summary and Analysis

Learn how Poe uses diction, point of view, symbols, and personification to create his most celebrated short story 'The Fall of the House of Usher,' a story about premature burial, death, and sorrow.

Edgar Allan Poe's The Raven: Summary and Analysis

5. Edgar Allan Poe's The Raven: Summary and Analysis

This video introduces Edgar Allan Poe's 'The Raven.' Through Poe's use of poetic devices and dark Romantic characteristics, he is able to achieve the 'unity of effect' to appeal to critics and the masses both during his time and even still today.

Herman Melville: Biography, Works & Style

6. Herman Melville: Biography, Works & Style

Like many great people, Herman Melville was misunderstood during his time. Watch this video to find out why the author of the famous novel 'Moby Dick' died almost as a complete unknown.

Herman Melville: Moby-Dick Summary and Analysis

7. Herman Melville: Moby-Dick Summary and Analysis

''Moby Dick'' is not just a boring story about a whale. Its popularity is still strong today (guess what major coffee chain takes its name from the story) thanks to Herman Melville's raunchy jokes about sperm whales. Oh, the fact it's a great story about evil and revenge doesn't hurt either.

Nathaniel Hawthorne: Biography, Works, and Style

8. Nathaniel Hawthorne: Biography, Works, and Style

Who was Nathaniel Hawthorne? Well, besides being a brooding guy with a bit of a dark past, he was one of the most famous writers from early America. Learn more about him and his view of the Puritan belief system in this video.

The Scarlet Letter: Summary and Analysis of an Allegory

9. The Scarlet Letter: Summary and Analysis of an Allegory

See how Nathaniel Hawthorne uses allegory and symbolism to illustrate the affair and resulting guilt between a minister and a Puritan woman in his novel 'The Scarlet Letter.'

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