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Edgar Allan Poe: life
Choose the correct alternative to complete the sentences.

1. Edgar Poe was born in Boston in 1809, the son of poor actors. His father, who was an alcoholic, left his family and his mother ________ soon after.
2. Edgar was brought up by the Allans, where his ________ name comes from.
3. After attending school, he went to the University of ________, where he ran into debt by ________, and when his new family refused to pay, he left for Boston, where he published his first works.
4. He did not receive much money from his first collections, so he decided to ________.
5. He then moved to Baltimore where his ________ lived. He fell in love with his cousin Virginia, who embodied the morbid ideal celebrated in Poe's poems. They married in 1836: Virginia was ________ and he was 27.
6. When Virginia died, Poe's health declined rapidly because of his ________, which led him to an early death in 1849.
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Edgar Allan Poe: works
Tick the features related to Poe's tales.
A: Detective stories
B: Dupin
C: Inductive method
D: Gothic
E: Magic
F: Horror
G: Lupin
H: Rationalisation
I: Irrational
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Edgar Allan Poe: works
Match Poe's works with their correct description.

1. Poe's only novel: ________.
2. A collection that appeared in 1840: ________.
3. The poem that made him famous throughout the USA: ________.
4. An essay containing his aesthetic theories: ________.
5. A tale where the narrator's punishment is brought about by the incessant beat of the heart of the man he has killed: ________.
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Edgar Allan Poe's creative spirit
Read the following sentences and say whether they are true or false.
A: Poe thought that art was the only method to give order to a shapeless world.
B: Human reason was, in his opinion, divided into intellect, conscience and soul.
C: He believed that intellect was concerned with truth, conscience with duty and soul with beauty.
D: According to Poe, poetry is closely related to truth and morals.
E: Poe exalted beauty in a period in which poetry was intended to instruct.
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Edgar Allan Poe: tales
Choose the correct alternatives to complete the sentence.

Poe's tales
A: can be seen in two groups.
B: can be divided between 'tales of ratiocination or detection' and 'tales of ghosts'.
C: of the first group exerted little influence on the development of the detective story.
D: introduce the character of a private detective, Monsieur Dupin, who is able to solve crimes by reasoning logically and analysing people from a psychological point of view.
E: of the second group go beyond the Gothic tradition because the 'horror' does not just come from the outside, but most of all from inside the self.
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Edgar Allan Poe: setting and characters
Complete the passage with the correct information.

Poe's stories are characterised by a ________ setting: his characters are rarely seen in ________; they often live in a small confined place or walled into ________, others are buried prematurely.
His most memorable characters withdraw from ________ life to cultivate a life of their own cut off from the ________.
In this condition they develop an exceptional ________ of the senses and lose their sanity, and often their ________.
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Edgar Allan Poe: themes
Choose the correct alternatives to complete the sentence.

According to Poe, perverseness
A: is among the most common themes of the tales.
B: is the impulse to creation which rules the dark side of human behaviour.
C: is an impulse which is hidden in every part of the universe.
D: is an expression of morality.
E: is strongly related to conscience which is its most powerful agent.
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Edgar Allan Poe: themes
Complete the passage with the correct information.

Among the most important themes of Poe's tales are the fusion of ________ and death, of creation and ________, and the theme of the ________ that is an anticipation of the modern 'split personality'.
Poe was also attracted to death: he was convinced that man's ________ of death is connected to the fact that a body decays after it stops ________.
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Edgar Allan Poe: style
Choose the correct alternative to complete the sentences.

1. Almost all the tales are narrated in the ________ person.
2. The tales become long ________ which describe a great variety of moods and sensations.
3. Among the feelings involved in Poe's tales are ________, fear, hatred and ________.
4. Movement ________ given by the development of a series of images.
5. ________ is created by the relationship between cause and effect.
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Edgar Allan Poe: the single effect
Read the text below and find the seven mistakes in it.

In Poe's short poems the world of the imagination coexists with the spirit of religion. He explained his approach in The Philosophy of Composition: the story should be long and read in a single sitting because the reader should be distracted from the unity of the work. The characters should be shown in a moment of happiness rather than while developing and maturing. The setting was often intricate and the writer's task was to render atmosphere and situation in a convincing way. Poe often used the 'single effect', a person or an object that distracted the reader.
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