Please wait while we process your payment
If you don't see it, please check your spam folder. Sometimes it can end up there.
Don’t have an account?
Create Your Account
Sign up for your FREE 7-day trial
Already have an account? Log in
Choose Your Plan
$4.99/month + tax
$24.99/year + tax
Save over 50% with a SparkNotes PLUS Annual Plan!
for a group?
Get Annual Plans at a discount when you buy 2 or more!
$18.74 /subscription + tax
Subtotal $37.48 + tax
on 2-49 accounts
on 50-99 accounts
Want 100 or more?
for a customized plan.
You'll be billed after your free trial ends.
7-Day Free Trial
Renews February 12, 2023
February 5, 2023
Discounts (applied to next billing)
This is not a valid promo code.
(one code per order)
SparkNotes Plus subscription is $4.99/month or $24.99/year as selected above. The free trial period is the first 7 days of your subscription. TO CANCEL YOUR SUBSCRIPTION AND AVOID BEING CHARGED, YOU MUST CANCEL BEFORE THE END OF THE FREE TRIAL PERIOD. You may cancel your subscription on your Subscription and Billing page or contact Customer Support at firstname.lastname@example.org. Your subscription will continue automatically once the free trial period is over. Free trial is available to new customers only.
For the next 7 days, you'll have access to awesome PLUS stuff like AP English test prep, No Fear Shakespeare translations and audio, a note-taking tool, personalized dashboard, & much more!
You’ve successfully purchased a group discount. Your group members can use the joining link below to redeem their group membership. You'll also receive an email with the link.
Members will be prompted to log in or create an account to redeem their group membership.
Thanks for creating a SparkNotes account! Continue to start your free trial.
Your PLUS subscription has expired
A voyage in the South Seas is swept off course by a hurricane, and the narrator responds to the life-threatening turn of events.
“Ligeia” describes the two marriages of the narrator, the first to the darkly featured and brilliant Lady Ligeia; the second to her racial opposite, the fair and blonde Lady Rowena. Both women die quickly and mysteriously after their marriage ceremonies, and the narrator’s persistent memories of Ligeia bring her back to life to replace Lady Rowena’s corpse.
A woman also returns from the dead in “The Fall of the House of Usher.” The story’s narrator is summoned by his boyhood friend Roderick Usher to visit him during a period of emotional distress. The narrator discovers that Roderick’s twin sister, Madeline, is also sick. She takes a turn for the worse shortly after the narrator’s arrival, and the men bury Madeline in a tomb within the house. They later discover, to their horror, that they have entombed her alive. Madeline claws her way out, collapsing eventually on Roderick, who dies in fear.
Poe again takes up the theme of the twin in “William Wilson.” The narrator discovers that a classmate shares not only the name William Wilson but also his physical build, style of dress, and even vocal intonation. A fear of losing his identity drives the narrator to murder his rival, but the crime also mysteriously brings about his own death.
In this detective story, Poe introduces the brilliant sleuth C. Auguste Dupin. When the Paris police arbitrarily arrest Dupin’s friend for the gruesome murders of a mother and daughter, Dupin begins an independent investigation and solves the case accurately. Uncovering evidence that goes otherwise unnoticed, Dupin concludes that a wild animal, an Ourang--Outang, committed the murders.
Obsessed with the vulture-like eye of an old man he otherwise loves and trusts, the narrator smothers the old man, dismembers his body, and conceals the parts under the floorboards of the bedroom. When the police arrive to investigate reports of the old man’s shrieks, the narrator attempts to keep his cool, but hears what he thinks is the beating of the old man’s heart. Panicking, afraid that the police know his secret, he rips up the floorboards and confesses his crime.
Captured by the Inquisition, the narrator fends off hungry rats, avoids falling into a giant pit, and escapes the razor-sharp blades of a descending pendulum. As the walls of his cell are about to close in and drive him into the pit, he is saved by the French army.
When the narrator hangs a cat he had formerly adored, the cat returns from the dead to haunt him. The narrator tries to strike back at the cat but kills his wife in the process. The cat draws the police to the cellar wall where the narrator has hidden his wife’s corpse.
In this sequel to “The Murders in the Rue Morgue,” Dupin recovers a stolen letter to foil a villain’s plan. The police attempt thorough investigations but come up with nothing. Identifying with the criminal mind, Dupin discovers evidence so obvious that it had gone unnoticed.
A bloody disease called the Red Death ravages a kingdom. Prince Prospero retreats to his castle and throws a lavish masquerade ball to celebrate his escape from death. At midnight, a mysterious guest arrives and, as the embodiment of the Red Death, kills Prospero and all his guests.
The vengeful Montresor repays the supposed insults of his enemy, Fortunato. Luring Fortunato into the crypts of his home with the promise of Amontillado sherry, Montresor entombs Fortunato in a wall while the carnival rages above them.
Ace your assignments with our guide to Poe's Short Stories!