The Murders in the Rue Morgue
The Murders in the Rue Morgue
by Edgar Allan Poe

The Murders in the Rue Morgue Analysis

Literary Devices in The Murders in the Rue Morgue

Symbolism, Imagery, Allegory

This section is tough for "The Murders in the Rue Morgue," and for an interesting reason. There are a lot of things in this story: gold Napoleons, dresses in a bureau, paving stones, bodiless image...

Setting

As we talk about in "What's Up with the Title?," the first detective agency in the world was founded in Paris by a man Poe admires enough to the guy a shout-out in "The Murders in the Rue Morgue":...

Narrator Point of View

The narrator of "The Murders in the Rue Morgue" is clearly first person in the sense that he tells the story using "I" and only describes what he knows directly or hears in conversation. We don't h...

Genre

It was tough for us to let go of the genre of "Horror" for "The Murders in the Rue Morgue." After all, Poe is the author of " The Cask of Amontillado " (where someone gets buried alive) and "The Te...

Tone

The whole point of a good mystery story is to make you wonder, oh hey, is this detail important? Or is that? That four thousand francs has to be a clue – no? Really? OK. And what better way t...

Writing Style

"The Murders in the Rue Morgue" is an interesting mix of styles. When the narrator's just telling the story or when Dupin's talking, it takes on this really grandiose, florid (read: flowery and orn...

What's Up With the Title?

Well, you're probably not going to be shocked to discover that this story is about a group of horrific murders committed in a house located on the Rue Morgue. Rue means "road" in French, and morgue...

What's Up With the Epigraph?

"What songs the Syrens sang, or what name Achilles assumed when he hid himself among women, although puzzling questions are not beyond all conjecture."– Sir Thomas Browne, "Urn-Burial"There a...

What's Up With the Ending?

The classical detective story always ends with the dénouement, the moment when the central mystery is finally unraveled – and "The Murders in the Rue Morgue" is no exception. The last ei...

Tough-o-Meter

"The Murders in the Rue Morgue" is only thirty-odd pages long, but it packs in a lot of detail. As we get to in our "In a Nutshell" section, the point of this story is to give the reader a laundry...

Plot Analysis

Before we launch into our plot analysis, we just want to say that the layout of "The Murders in the Rue Morgue" is unconventional. It's more like a mathematical proof than anything else. There's an...

Booker's Seven Basic Plots Analysis: The Quest

Christopher Booker has identified seven forms that plots can take, and we've picked "The Quest" for "The Murders in the Rue Morgue" – why? Because what is a detective story except a quest for...

Three Act Plot Analysis

Act I is the beginning of the plot proper, when the characters commit to some course of action that's going to make up the story itself. When the narrator and Dupin come across the headline "Extrao...

Trivia

Poe's contribution to the world of detective literature in writing of "The Murders in the Rue Morgue" has been recognized with an annual prize given in his name by the Mystery Writers of America as...

Steaminess Rating

This has a G rating for sex – but definitely an R for violence. There isn't much open sexuality, but there's a lot of brutal violence: the whole description of the bloody chamber is definitel...

Allusions

Sir Thomas Browne, "Hydriotaphia. Urn-Burial; or, a Discourse of the Sepulchral Urns Lately Found in Norfolk" (epigraph)Edmond Hoyle, Hoyle's Rules of Games (2)Prosper Jolyot de Crébillon, Xer...

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