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Themes

For starters, keep in mind that this poem is called "The Haunted Palace." So there's a spooky, ghost-like atmosphere around this work from the very start. As we continue, we meet more and more of the spirits who used to live in the palace, and the ones who live there now. In one sense, this is just a way for Poe to talk about the human brain and what can go wrong with it. On the other hand, no one loves a good ghost story more than Poe, so this fits right in with his general vibe. It's a bootiful fit. Get it? Anyone? …is this thing on?

Questions About The Supernatural

  1. Are the many kinds of spiritual creatures in this poem (angels, spirits, Echoes, etc.) really different, or are they just different names for the same idea? Why do you think so?
  2. Is this a ghost story? Why or why not?
  3. There are plenty of spirits in this poem, but is there anything that seems to you like spirituality or religion? Is there any hint of some kind of supernatural plan or order? If so, what? If not, why not?
  4. Do you believe in haunted houses? Do you think the speaker of this poem does? Or is he really talking about something else? If so, what?

Chew on This

Try on an opinion or two, start a debate, or play the devil’s advocate.

While "The Haunted Palace" is full of angels and spirits, there is no order or plan in the supernatural world of this poem—chaos and chance reign supreme. It's every king named Thought for himself.

Back away from the Ouija board, Shmoopers. The spirit world in this poem is purely a metaphor for human life and the human mind. The speaker shows no interest in fully describing or organizing the spiritual beings that inhabit the poem.

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