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The Conqueror Worm Analysis

Author: Poetry of Edgar Allan Poe Type: Poetry Views: 2269

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Lo! 'tis a gala night

Within the lonesome latter years!

An angel throng, bewinged, bedight

In veils, and drowned in tears,

Sit in a theatre, to see

A play of hopes and fears,

While the orchestra breathes fitfully

The music of the spheres.

Mimes, in the form of God on high,

Mutter and mumble low,

And hither and thither fly-

Mere puppets they, who come and go

At bidding of vast formless things

That shift the scenery to and fro,

Flapping from out their Condor wings

Invisible Woe!

That motley drama- oh, be sure

It shall not be forgot!

With its Phantom chased for evermore,

By a crowd that seize it not,

Through a circle that ever returneth in

To the self-same spot,

And much of Madness, and more of Sin,

And Horror the soul of the plot.

But see, amid the mimic rout

A crawling shape intrude!

A blood-red thing that writhes from out

The scenic solitude!

It writhes!- it writhes!- with mortal pangs

The mimes become its food,

And seraphs sob at vermin fangs

In human gore imbued.

Out- out are the lights- out all!

And, over each quivering form,

The curtain, a funeral pall,

Comes down with the rush of a storm,

While the angels, all pallid and wan,

Uprising, unveiling, affirm

That the play is the tragedy, "Man,"

And its hero the Conqueror Worm.


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||| Analysis | Critique | Overview Below |||

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Poe's describing the "Madness, Sin, and Horror" of human nature that ends in death.
The theater's the world, the Mimes are us, the theater curtain a funeral pall, and the Conqueror Worm is death.
The angels watch. And weep.

| Posted on 2015-01-22 | by a guest

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I believe that The Conqueror Worm brings out the felling of death from Poe. The worm represents death and that mankind could easily be destroyed and the heavens would just watch and let it happen. Take the poem your own way, that's what I think.

| Posted on 2014-11-10 | by a guest

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The domestic dog (Canis lupus familiaris)[2][3] is a subspecies of the gray wolf (Canis lupus), a member of the Canidae family of the mammalian order Carnivora. The term \"domestic dog\" is generally used for both domesticated and feral varieties. The dog has been the first animal to be domesticated[4] and has been the most widely kept working, hunting, and pet animal in human history. The word \"dog\" may also mean the male of a canine species,[5] as opposed to the word \"bitch\" for the female of the species.

DNA evidence shows an evolutionary split between the modern dog\'s lineage and the modern wolf\'s lineage around 100,000 years ago. The oldest archeological specimens date to 33,000 years ago, but only specinims from 15,000 years ago have been genetically linked to the modern dog\'s lineage.[4][6][7][8] Dogs\' value to early human hunter-gatherers led to them quickly becoming ubiquitous across world cultures. Dogs perform many roles for people, such as hunting, herding, pulling loads, protection, assisting police and military, companionship, and, more recently, aiding handicapped individuals. This impact on human society has given them the nickname \"Man\'s Best Friend\" in the Western world. In some cultures, dogs are also a source of meat.[9][10] In 2001, there were estimated to be 400 million dogs in the world.[11]

Most breeds of dogs are at most a few hundred years old, having been artificially selected for particular morphologies and behaviors by people for specific functional roles. Through this selective breeding, the dog has developed into hundreds of varied breeds, and shows more behavioral and morphological variation than any other land mammal.[12] For example, height measured to the withers ranges from 15.2 centimetres (6.0 in) in the Chihuahua to about 76 cm (30 in) in the Irish Wolfhound; color varies from white through grays (usually called \"blue\") to black, and browns from light (tan) to dark (\"red\" or \"chocolate\") in a wide variation of patterns; coats can be short or long, coarse-haired to wool-like, straight, curly, or smooth.[13] It is common for most breeds to shed this coat.

| Posted on 2013-04-09 | by a guest

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Doesn\'t matter your accomplishments, your social status, whether your rich or famous. You\'re just worm food. And to the worm, you are its hero for being dinner.

| Posted on 2012-09-04 | by a guest

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to me it talks about no matter how high and powerful you are and no matter how many people you know and no matter how many people fear you or like you, you are still to fear death and wonder why you were put here to die be it a tragic death or not.

| Posted on 2012-01-23 | by a guest

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i think this poem shows how mankind becomes caught up in mistakes and things that hold no meaning and ignore the more serius death that comes along with sin,horror and madness.

| Posted on 2011-11-19 | by a guest

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\"Mimes, in form of God on high\" designates humanity, which, according to Genesis, was made \"in God\'s image\".

| Posted on 2011-10-27 | by a guest

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Mimes, by definition, are entertainers who tell tales wordlessly. Here they have assumed the appearance of God, to enact but not narrate the \"story of Man.\" God does not speak to us (in direct opposition to the Bible\'s definition of God as Logos, The Word). Formless entities are the chance element in our chaotic existence. Inevitably the story of mankind, and the stories of individual human beings, ends in death. The Conqueror worm symbolizes the worms that legendarily feast on corpses. All the rest of it is the nonsense of Poe\'s drunk-ass babbling.

| Posted on 2011-04-06 | by a guest

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uh oh. poor poe. sounds like he missed \"the yellow brick rd.\" maybe he chocked on an apple thrown by one of those evil trees or maybe one of those evil flying monkeys snatched him up for a trippy ride to the wicked witches house...i think if he would have followed the Oompa Loompas down the yellow brick rd he would have finally made it to OZ where ANNABEL LEE tirelessly awaited him.

| Posted on 2011-03-02 | by a guest

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This story is simply informing us on life in a general aspect. Poe is stating that, the seraphim\'s(which are angels), are looking down on us. The heavens metaphorically speaking, are watching our life, as if it was a movie, or back in Poe\'s era, a play. The play consists of tragedies, and happiness. The angels are crying, because they know what is going to happen, and when our time is up, where we will go. In the end, the overall undertaker of ghouls and souls, is the devil, Satan, Demons. Poe was a depressed man, who sought nothing less than death itself. This expresses his fews on death. Though his work was filled with fine brilliance, he struggled his whole life fighting acceptance and love. This is most logically why his poems and short stories result in death, or tragedies. He never felt the loving connection with anyone close to him. This poem is describing his outtake of heaven and hell, and which one is more dominant for those who live in tragedy. Thus his work was outstanding, his life reflecting through it tells another story.

| Posted on 2011-01-22 | by a guest

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it could also be about witch hunts in England or in the colonies.

| Posted on 2010-10-27 | by a guest

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I think the poem is about how to God and the angles we are just for entertainment and when they get bored with the certain show they send out the worm which represents death. When we die it is like switching acts of a play, or even just changing plays, new characters and new scenery.
8th grader

| Posted on 2010-10-26 | by a guest

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I believe that Edgar is signifying that in 2012, many cows will fly in the form of worms.

| Posted on 2010-10-25 | by a guest

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Edgar's parents were both into acting, and his poem uses "theater" metaphors throughout it to deal with Human life on a universal scale. His poem seems to imply that Humans life is mad folly ending in hideous death, the universe is controlled by dark forces man cannot understand, and the only Supernatural forces that might help are powerless spectators who can only affirm the "Tragedy" of the scene.
-Kyrie x

| Posted on 2010-07-11 | by a guest

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It seems to be about death and how it is inevitable. We run around in circles chasing things we will never reach until we finially reach madness and the only thing that can free us is death. The conqueror worm is the hero because it is the only thing that can free us of our own madness. We are the tragedy because it is inevitable and we cause our own problems.

| Posted on 2010-06-30 | by a guest

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I find that the poem is making a statement more about god and his angels, and less about humanity itself. It is known that one day mankind will end. We do not know when, or how, but it definately WILL. This poem is about those who are responsible for us, the angels. They watch our lives similar to how we would watch a play. they are maddeningly saddened by our toils through life. "An angel throng, bewinged, bedight
In veils, and drowned in tears..." However, they miss the true meaning of human life. They cannot grasp the values of living, loving, and one day daying. These values are the "phantom" poe mentions. it is not the mimes who chase this phantom, but the angels. However, i pity them, not the mimes. We live fruitful lives, and hopefully we all pass without regrets. these angels will never even have the joy of truly knowing life. "It shall not be forgot!
With its Phantom chased for evermore,
By a crowd that seize it not" "it" here is the play itself. the crowd is that of the angels. they will never "seize", or grasp, this phantom of meaning, nor do they truly care.

| Posted on 2010-01-27 | by a guest

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This poem is personifing Death as the "conqueror worm" and that we are all just game to the angels that watch us like our sorrows are amusing. We are around and around chasing the Phantom which slips through our grasp like smoke. The Phantom is happiness, hope, and peace, which eludes us throughout life. Then the conqueror worm takes pity of us in our helpless, disparing state and relives us of our suffering. This, while being a rather hopeless and depressing view of life, has an interesting view of death, a hero in ever sense. this poem has a sound and rythym that makes this poem flow and become powerfull in our minds, like he is right next to you, speaking the words into your ears.
Katelyn Chastang
10th grade

| Posted on 2010-01-05 | by a guest

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“The Conqueror Worm” by Edgar Allan Poe is a poem in which Poe is relating life altogether as a pointless play for the amusement of the Angels, who watch as the shapeless forms who act as “Mimes, in the form of God on high,” control the poor “puppets,” which are men. The play of life is a tragedy, and so the heavenly beings weep at the hopes and fears of the insignificant. The hero is the Conqueror Worm, because he ends the misery of the tragic life of “Man.” Life is the play and death is the finale, who swallows his victim and ends the pointlessness of life and the tragedy of man. Poe wrote this poem, not because of occurrences in his life, but because his outlook on life altogether is a tragic play, a pointless game, that is heroically ended by the Conqueror Worm, who represents death.
hailey curry
8th grade

| Posted on 2009-01-13 | by a guest

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What poe is trying to say is that by using the mimes as us, we are only pawns in a greater world, while we do nothing relevant. "the conqueror worm" is his representation of death. It is a hero because it ends our pointless existence.

| Posted on 2008-11-17 | by a guest

.: hot_punk13 :.

The Conqueror Wormn is a poem that show Poe's belief that life is merely a play an death the finale. Angels watch the tragedy until the "conqueror worm," or death, playing the role of the hero comes and ends the tragic play. Using a worm in place of death is saying that worms as decomposers who feed on dead organisms are the final link in the chain of the life that humans are a part of

| Posted on 2008-02-06 | by a guest

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this poem is saying that all of humainity's struggles are for nothing. we just go in circles, and cause nothing but horror and sin, while being pawns for greater beings. The worm is a representation of death. it is regarded as the hero because it ends the that we, the villians, cause. all in all, it seems that poe regards all life as tragedy, and death as the hero comes to promise no more suffering. Poe feels that life is nothing but a play, an interesting story, but nothing truly important. he also seems to believe that angels are doing nothing. just watching, and letting the "shapeless beings" (probably demons, or fate) do it's work, while they sit and cry for humanity. overall, a depressing peom, but an interesting look at death, which is usually regarded as the evil being.

| Posted on 2005-07-11 | by thor_s avatar

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