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A Dream Within a Dream

A Dream Within a Dream

by Edgar Allan Poe

A Dream Within a Dream Questions

Bring on the tough stuff - there’s not just one right answer.

  1. Okay. It's time for the Big One. Here we go: Is it possible to know if all of life is just a dream within a dream?
  2. Does the speaker really believe all of life is a dream within a dream, or does he seem doubtful? How can you tell?
  3. What's with the wonky form? At first glance, it looks pretty straightforward: short rhyming couplets, and equal-ish stanzas. But then we realize that Poe's got some extra lines and rhymes tucked in there. What's the effect?
  4. What effect does the rhyme have on the poem's content? Does it make it seem more or less serious?
  5. Why do you think the woman is in this poem? What effect does she have on its themes and message? Is she just a metaphor, or is she a real figure?
  6. Is this poem about the nature of reality or the nature of loss? Can it be about both?

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