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Analysis


Symbols, Imagery, Wordplay

Form and Meter

The meter of "A Dream Within a Dream" is a complicated affair. Every line in the poem (except line 11, which we'll get to) contains three feet (tri = three), and the dominant foot is the iamb. Line...

Speaker

The speaker of "A Dream Within a Dream" is one of those really philosophical dudes. He's the kind of guy who likes to pick up things and stare at them, searching for their deeper meaning. Okay, tha...

Setting

"A Dream Within a Dream" contains two stanzas and two different settings. Well isn't that convenient? We don't know a whole lot about where the events of the first stanza take place as the speaker...

What's Up With the Title?

Dreams are weird enough as it is, but a dream within a dream? No thanks. When we see a poem with that as the title, we can't help but groan just a little bit. We expect the poem to be an account of...

Calling Card

Edgar Allan Poe takes the cake when it comes to mystery. From houses spontaneously combusting ("The Fall of the House of Usher") and letters going missing ("The Purloined Letter") to bizarre halluc...

Tough-o-Meter

The language in this poem is pretty straightforward and simple, and so are the sentences. This poem does get a little tricky, though, when it comes to content. All that we see and seem is but a dre...

Trivia

Even the Mystery Man's death was mysterious. Nobody is really sure how Poe died. Some suspected causes include: alcoholism, severe beating, and brain lesions. (Source.) Well it's no wonder Poe was...

Steaminess Rating

"A Dream Within a Dream" is a very philosophical poem, so there's not really any room for sex.

Allusions

Plato, Theaetetus (5, 10-11, 23-24)Aristotle, Metaphysics (5, 10-11, 23-24)Descartes, Meditations on First Philosophy (5, 10-11, 23-24)
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