The writer, poet, and critic Edgar Allan Poe was born in 1809 and died in 1849. Eleven of Poe's short stories are discussed here. They are: “MS. Found in a Bottle,” “Ligeia,” “The Fall of the House of Usher,” “William Wilson,” “The Murders in the Rue Morgue,” “The Tell-Tale Heart,” “The Pit and the Pendulum,” “The Black Cat,” “The Purloined Letter,” “The Masque of the Red Death,” and “The Cask of Amontillado.” Elsewhere on SparkNotes, there is a separate guide for Poe's short story "The Oval Portrait."


See a complete list of the characters in Poe’s Short Stories and in-depth analyses of Roderick Usher, C. Auguste Dupin, William Wilson, and Lady Ligeia.

Literary Devices

Here's where you'll find analysis of the main themes, motifs, and symbols in Poe’s Short Stories.


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Learn more about Poe’s Short Stories by reading these mini-essays and suggested essay topics.

Further Study

Go further in your study of Poe’s Short Stories with background information about Edgar Allan Poe and the stories, as well as suggestions for further reading.