A Dream by Edgar Allan Poe Meaning | Summary, Analysis, Structre and Literary Devices

Dream by Edgar Allan Poe Analysis: Edgar Allan Poe was a noticeable writer, poet, critic, and editor of American origin who was most excellent recognized for suggestive short stories and poems that captured interest worldwide.

He was born in Boston, Massachusetts, on January 19, 1809. His ingenious and imaginative way of storytelling and tales of mystery like “The Murders in the Rue Morgue” have paved the way for the story’s modern detective genre.

Poe’s work like “The Tell-Tale Heart” and “The Fall of the House of Usher,” became literary masterpieces. The poet’s work called “The Raven” (1845) has made its place among the best-known poems in national literature.

Students can also check the English Summary to revise with them during exam preparation.

Poe’s work owes much to the interest of Romanticism with the spiritualism and the occult. It owes much to his delirious dreams, to which he applied a rare talent of credible shaping fabrics out of vague materials.

On October 3, 1849, he was found in a state of semi-consciousness. Poe passed away four days later of “acute congestion of the brain.” Evidence by medical practitioners who reopened the case has shown that Poe may have been suffering from rabies.

Structure of A Dream

The poem consists of four stanzas. Each stanza consists of four lines or quatrains. These quatrains follow the rhyming scheme of ABAB CDCD EFEF GHGH.

A Dream Analysis by Edgar Allan Poe

A Dream By Edgar Allan Poe Literary Devices

Personification is how an inanimate object is given human-like qualities and traits. In the last line, “Truth” has been personified by capitalizing the first letter.

Alliteration is the recurrence of identical initial consonant sounds in serial or closely associated syllables within a group of words. The words may or may not be spelt similarly.

The phrase “While all the world were chiding” uses alliteration to use the beginning consonant of the letter w.

A Dream By Edgar Allan Poe Summary

The poet harps on the beauty of dreams and how they act as an escaping mechanism from life’s harsh realities.

The poet’s life is filled with darkness and hopelessness. A bad dream does not seem to have an adverse effect on the poet’s mental well-being.

On the contrary, a good and peaceful dream concerns the poet. These tranquil dreams seem unnatural to the poet, and he is shattered into pieces every time he wakes up from the dreams.

Although the morning light brings you back to reality after a morbid nightmare, a daydream is much more touching because it is heartfelt and a manifestation of our desires.

Dreams are essential for everyone for surviving from the difficult phases of our life. Dreams can lead people to consider that they can bring good ideas, but if the things a person dreams don’t come true, the objectives are deceiving.

Detailed Analysis of A Dream

Stanza one:

“In visions of the dark night

I have dreamed of joy departed—

But a waking dream of life and light

Hath left me broken-hearted.”

These lines describe a gloomy dream seen by the poet. The poet elucidates that the dream had “left me broken-hearted”, which indicates the severe morbidity of the dream.

He felt that “joy departed” from his life, leaving him numb and sad and filled with waves of hopelessness. However, the dream did not have a severe effect on the mind of the poet.

The poet’s life was already dark and dismal. What horrifies him is the occurrence of a daydream in his morbid life. It leaves him shattered into pieces, for he will not be able to have them.

Stanza two:

“Ah! what is not a dream by day

To him whose eyes are cast

On things around him with a ray

Turned back upon the past? ”

The poet addresses the people who cling to the events of the past. They grow a blind eye to everything happening around them, and hence their lives become nothing more than a dream.

They cannot relate to the real world around them since they are subconsciously inhabiting the past.

The poet is regretful of the past situations and is eager to change the course of those events. He does not wish to be influenced by his past.

Stanza three:

“That holy dream—that holy dream,

While all the world were chiding,

Hath cheered me as a lovely beam

A lonely spirit guiding. ”

In dire times of despair, the holy dreams served as a guiding light for the poet. He refers to dreams as “holy” because they are surreal and pleasant.

These dreams are a way for the poet to escape from the gruesome truth of life which the poet endures. Life seems more effortless and easier to live when one is sleeping and lost in the world of dreams.

In times of extreme pressure and rebuke the poet had to face from society, these holy dreams had given the poet an inspiration to live. The lively dreams were a breath of fresh air into the poet’s mundane life.

Stanza four:

“What though that light, thro’ storm and night,

So trembled from afar—

What could there be more purely bright

In Truth’s day-star? “

The poem draws a comparison between the dreams he sees and the realities of life.

He nourishes a hope that someday when he wakes up, the world will be a beautiful place to reside. The waking up from life is more natural and genuine than waking up from illusive dreams.

Daylight plays an essential role in waking you up from the harrows of a dream, but daydreams are equally important and significant in one’s life.

Summary of A Dream Analysis by Edgar Allan Poe