Facts in The Fall of the House of Usher

Facts Examples in The Fall of the House of Usher:

The Fall of the House of Usher 5

"Who slayeth the dragon, the shield he shall win...."   (The Fall of the House of Usher)

The “Mad Trist” of the fictional Sir Launcelot Canning represents a permutation of the archetypal hero myth, whose pattern has been explained and analyzed by scholars such as Carl Jung and Karl Kerényi. The pattern involves a fight with a dragon—the dragon being a symbol or metaphor for a great challenge—followed by the claiming of the dragon’s “hoard,” the reward, in this case “the shield.” The reward is often gold or, in many cases, a maiden.

"Ethelred, the hero of the Trist..."   (The Fall of the House of Usher)

In the fictitious “Mad Trist,” Poe draws on two English heroes—Sir Lancelot, a knight of the Arthurian legends who dates back to the 12th century, and Æthelred I, a 9th-century king of Wessex. Poe veils these names with slight alterations in spelling, as Launcelot Canning and Ethelred, respectively.

"the hours waned and waned away..."   (The Fall of the House of Usher)

The description of the hours that “waned and waned away” evokes the phases of the lunar cycle. When the moon spins around the earth from full to new, it is said to wane, a two week process during which it disappears from view. The waning hours thus carry a strong metaphorical undertone.

"the last waltz of Von Weber..."   (The Fall of the House of Usher)

This is an allusion to German composer Carl Maria Friedrich Ernst von Weber's (1786–1826) Invitation to the Dance, written in 1819. The narrator alludes to this beautiful and romantic piece of music to illustrate how solemn and dark his time with Roderick Usher has become: the way Usher performs casts a dark, perverse shadow upon music, such as Invitation, the narrator once thought beautiful.

"Fuseli..."   (The Fall of the House of Usher)

This is a reference to Henry Fuseli (1741–1825), a Romantic painter born in Switzerland who created terrifying and grotesque paintings. His best known painting is entitled “The Nightmare” (1781), which shows a sleeping woman with a demonic figure sitting on her chest. The vivid reaction the narrator has to Roderick’s art calls to mind the grotesque images of Fuseli.