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William Wilson

William Wilson

by Edgar Allan Poe

Identity Quotes

How we cite our quotes:

Quote #1

Let me call myself, for the present, William Wilson. The fair page now lying before me need not be sullied with my real appellation. (1)

William struggles to understand his own identity in this text; but now we, too, are faced with a similar difficulty.

Quote #2

Oh, outcast of all outcasts most abandoned!—to the earth art thou not forever dead? to its honors, to its flowers, to its golden aspirations?—and a cloud, dense, dismal, and limitless, does it not hang eternally between thy hopes and heaven?

William repeats the same ideas his double uttered at the end of the text.

Quote #3

Of this church the principal of our school was pastor. With how deep a spirit of wonder and perplexity was I wont to regard him from our remote pew in the gallery, as, with step solemn and slow, he ascended the pulpit! This reverend man, with countenance so demurely benign, with robes so glossy and so clerically flowing, with wig so minutely powdered, so rigid and so vast,—-could this be he who, of late, with sour visage, and in snuffy habiliments, administered, ferule in hand, the Draconian laws of the academy? Oh, gigantic paradox, too utterly monstrous for solution! (6)

This passage hints at the paradox of the two William Wilsons.

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