The haunted palace by Edgar Allan Poe is a piece of literature that tells of a story in a number of short regular stanzas using a traditional style.
The Haunted Palace, tries to bring out a symbolic reference to human sanity, an allegory about the human mind. Poe tries to give a descriptive view to show how one can slowly begin to have ones own human sanity decaying away as he alludes to the decaying state of the palace.
One may compare the poem contents to the life experience of the writer. In his bibliography, after his father abandons his family and his mother dies, Edgar is raised in a wealthy family, but later falls out of the relationship he had with his guardian. He is seen as an intelligent man sometimes back “banners yellow, glorious, golden” (Poe 10) these are words that the poet uses to describe his perception about himself there before . As the poem goes on the sparkling glamorous experiences taking place in
“Banners yellow, glorious, golden,
On its roof did float and flow,
(This—all this—was in the olden Time long ago,)”
During old times, but towards the end of the poem the tone and experiences change. The interpretation of the poem, The Haunted Palace, can be used to depict Poe’s unstable state of mind as depression crippled his life. In the second last stanza he writes
But evil things, in robes of sorrow,
Assailed the monarch’s high estate.
let us mourn–for never morrow
Shall dawn upon him desolate!” These few lines basically depict the literary depression state of Poe’s mind which can be traced to a series of events and there is no hope of ever reviving his happy moments tomorrow.
Poe combines several styles to complete the poem. The main style used is imagery; he uses it to explain the figurative statements of certain aspects. The head is alluded to the palace, while all the evil spirits mentioned represent the thoughts of a human beings mind.
In the poem the poet writes “two luminous windows saw Spirits moving musically” in this statement its descriptive aspect does not really make sense for a palace to have only two windows it’s vividly representing the eyes of a human being. The sanity of a man is represented by spirits being able to move musically hence freely meaning he was then a sane man and in control of his life until evil spirits invaded the palace (head) and his mind become unstable.
He offers the allegory of the last stages of his sanity mind states as he slowly begins to become insane, he describes a wild insane laughter coming out of the door which depicts the mouth. The laughter described here can not be referenced from any kind of happiness but rather to a disturbing thought for he knows his condition is fast deteriorating and he was not going to be the same man as before
Through the pale door
A hideous throng rush out forever,
And laugh—but smile no more. Edgar also incorporates the use figurative speech where personification is a device that Poe uses in line four states “radiant palace-reared its head” meaning that the palace has much greater meaning.
The palace is given the human trait of the head which is the centre of human beings faculties of intellect, emotion and reasoning. More personification expressions include “a troop of echoes whose sweet duty was but to sing” the echoes describe the thoughts. These thoughts are organized and pleasant showing an individual is sane.
There are several ways one would interpret the writers work because of the several hidden aspects about the poem. The poem can also be depicting more than the sanity state of a human being to death.
In the beginning of the poem the descriptive phenomenon brings out the party feeling of a palace where evidently people are dancing and singing all of them having a wonderful time together with the king and his monarchy an illusion of some kind of a disease will not be able to get them is presently described because the palace is defined as the most safest haven until the evil spirits are able to invade the palace and soon every one dies the insane laughter can be used to represents the kings unaware of what to do he laughs perhaps because he aware that he is defeated by what he thought could not get him.
Metaphors have widely been used in the poem to hide the direct meaning of the words used. In an example, the author writes “And all with pearl and ruby glowing Was the fair palace door,” the pearl describes the teeth since pearl are white while the ruby represents the lips with is red nature that appears to be the same with the ruby and finally the door represents the mouth.. He also writes;
Through which came flowing, flowing, flowing,
And sparkling evermore,
A troop of Echoes, whose sweet duty
Was but to sing, In voices of surpassing beauty”, these words explain that there are beautiful thoughts representing a person in a sane mind state while “The wit and wisdom of their king” describes the fact that as the king made decisions he was in his right sense of mind and that he was cautious of what he was doing. Besides metaphors, the writer also used similes to make the poem interesting to the readers “While, like a ghastly rapid river./ Through the pale door / A hideous throng rush out forever”.
All these elements have been put together in the poem to bring out an effective idyllic atmosphere that represents how a sane mind can instantly become an unstable mind. The use of his words in the poem create the atmosphere described as nightmarish and evil words used to describe this feeling include “evil dim-remembered, desolate, robes of sorrow, entombed, ghastly discordant,, mourn and hideous. Further interpretation of the poem involves a line by line interpretation. As
In the greenest of our valleys
By good angels tenanted,- good thoughts
Once a fair and stately palace— a stable state mind(head)
Radiant palace—reared its head.- head
In the monarch Thought’s dominion— stable reasoning with common sense
It stood there!
Never seraph spread a pinion
Over fabric half so fair!” – Hair on the head. These lines describe the wonderful and most pleasant experience when a person has a stable mind set (head),
“Banners yellow, glorious, golden, – hair
On its roof did float and flow, – on top of the head
(This—all this—was in the olden Time long ago,) here the poet describes his perception about himself there before.
“ And every gentle air that dallied,
In that sweet day,
Along the ramparts plumed and pallid, (15) describes the sparkling glamorous experiences of the author in the olden days
“A winged odor went away.” The odor is the smell that comes out of a human beings mouth “Wanderers in that happy valley,” are the people who are constantly seeing the king “Through two luminous windows” alludes to the eyes of the king, “saw spirits moving musically,
To a lute’s well-tuned law, (20)” represents the sanity of a man
Round about a throne where, sitting
In state his glory well befitting, – stable mind
The ruler of the realm was seen. – the king
And all with pearl and ruby glowing – pearl describes the teeth while the ruby represents the lips
Was the fair palace door,” the mouth (25)
“Through which came flowing, flowing, flowing,
And sparkling evermore, -sounds and organized thoughts
A troop of Echoes, whose sweet duty;
Was but to sing,
In voices of surpassing beauty;
The wit and wisdom of their king” (30) these words explain that there are beautiful thoughts representing a person in a sane mind state.
“But evil things, in robes of sorrow, – destructive components causing disruption in the mind
Assailed the monarch’s high estate- The thoughts in the head
(Ah, let us mourn!—for never morrow (35)
Shall dawn upon him desolate!)
And round about his home the glory;
That blushed and bloomed,
Is but a dim-remembered story;
Of the old time entombed (40), represents the unstable state of a human’s mind as depression crippled his life by undeserving thoughts
And travellers, now, within that valley; – people around the person
Through the red-litten windows see – blood shot eyes
Vast forms, that move fantastically;
To a discordant melody; While, like a ghastly rapid rive;
Through the pale door – mouth
A hideous throng rush out forever;
And laugh—but smile no more (Poe 45). Offers the allegory of the last stages of his sanity mind states as he slowly begins to become insane
Poe, Allan E. The Haunted Palace. Nottingham: Nathan Brooks’ American Museum magazine, 1938. Print.