Cotton Nero A.X.4 - Susan Welstead [.pdf]

Lewis as a Medievalist - Masako Takagi

The case - Sebastian Sobecki [.pdf]

The narrator has made a journey into the underworld of the mind and is nearly destroyed by it; however, he manages to escape and turns to watch as the "House of Usher" crumbles into "...the deep and dank tarn."

A fierce storm raged outside, and neither Roderick nor his friend were able to sleep.

Shoaf - Anniina Jokinen [, ] - Fred Griffiths - David V.

The hero of the tale was Ethelred who must break into the dwelling of the hermit and slay the dragon who guards the palace of gold with a silver floor in order to capture the brass shield which hung upon its wall.

His friend tried to calm him by reading from the  by Sir Launcelot Canning.

As his friend read, it seemed that "...from some remote portion of the mansion, there came indistinctly to [their] ears what might have been, in its exact similarity of character, the echo...of the very sound[s] that Sir Launcelot had so particularly described."

and the Good Parliament of 1376 - Gwilym Dodd [.pdf]

He has not seen Roderick since they were children; however, because of an urgent letter that he received from Roderick which requested his aid, the nameless narrator decides to make the long journey.

Said I not that my senses were acute?

"Surely, [a] man had never before so terribly altered, in so brief a period, as had Roderick Usher!" He had a "cadaverousness of complexion; an eye large, liquid, and luminous; lips...very pallid; a nose...with a breadth of nostril unusual in similar formations; of moral energy; hair of a...weblike softness and tenuity; these features, with an inordinate expansion above the regions of the temple, made up altogether a countenance not easily to be forgotten."

I heard them--many, many days ago--yet I dared not--"

When Madeline supposedly "dies" and is placed in her coffin, the narrator notices "a striking similitude between brother and sister...." It is at this point that Roderick informs his friend that he and the Lady Madeline had been twins, and that "sympathies of a scarcely intelligible nature had always existed between them." Due to limited medical knowledge or to suit his purposes here, Poe treats Madeline and Roderick as if they were identical twins (two parts of one personality) instead of fraternal twins.

I tell you that she now stands without the door!"

It is easy for the reader to become "the friend" in Poe's story as both the narrator and the reader invite "madness" as they are drawn into the underworld of the mind where fantasy becomes reality.

(See Style and Interpretation )

Twice near the end of the story, Roderick calls the narrator "Madman!" However, the narrator escapes, to watch both the tenants and the house of Usher disappear into the tarn, an underworld which is their true home.

The narrator is a boyhood friend of Roderick Usher.

"...[F]or many years, he had never ventured forth--in regard to an influence whose supposititious force was conveyed in terms too shadowy here to be restated...."