Metzengerstein By Edgar Allan Poe

Metzengerstein By Edgar Allan Poe

Metzengerstein by Edgar Allan Poe is a short ghost and gothic story about Baron Frederick Metzengerstein. It is a supernatural fiction book with a gothic atmosphere. Metzengerstein was published in 1832 in the Philadelphia’s magazine Saturday Courier. The phantasmagoric tale takes place in Hungary, where the two ancient and illustrious aristocratic families, Berlifitzing and Metzengerstein, had conflicted for centuries. 

The Ancient Prophecy In Metzengerstein by Edgar Allan Poe

The origin of this hostility might be found in an ancient prophecy saying: “A lofty name shall have a fearful fall when, as the rider over his horse, the mortality of Metzengerstein shall triumph over the immortality of Berlifitzing.” The prophecy predicted the victory of the more powerful house, the Metzengerstein family. Baron Frederick Metzengerstein was eighteen years old. Frederick inherits the vast estates and several castles, such as Château Metzengerstein, the big castle where he lives. Following his succession, Frederick perpetrated “shameful debaucheries“, and on the fourth night of his sovereignty, a fire destroyed the stables of the Castle Berlifitzing. 

The Spell Of The Tapestry With the Magic Horse

Frederick’s attention is drawn to a tapestry on a wall depicting “an enormous, and unnaturally colored horse” that belonged to his ancestors and whose rider was wounded by the hand of the Metzengerstein family. Frederick falls into a state of hypnosis and anxiety. At a certain point, the horse in the tapestry seems to move and stare at Frederick. “The longer he gazed the more absorbing became the spell.” The eyes of the horse “wore an energetic and human expression, while they gleamed with a fiery and unusual red.” Frederick was astonished and terrorised. 

An Endless And Indissoluble Friendship

Frederick becomes friends with the horse, one of his father’s favourites. From that moment, Frederick conducts a solitary life inside his estate, avoiding social events and meeting with others. He divides his life with his unique and beloved horse in everlasting devotion. During a night storm, Frederick rushes into the woods with his beloved horse, disappearing. The end of the story is a breathtaking and fantastic twist. This short horror and gothic novel is an incredible masterpiece of literature. 

Trivia About Metzengerstein By Edgar Allan Poe

Metzengerstein by Edgar Allan Poe is “A Tale in Imitation of the German”, and German Gothic horror tales inspired it. Metzengerstein was the first published novel by Edgar Allan Poe. At the beginning of the book, there is a citation by Martin Luther in Latin that means: “Living I have been your plague. Dying, I shall be your death.” It is unclear if this novel is a satirical version of the Gothic stories. There are elements such as the gloomy castle and a wicked atmosphere that are typical of Poe’s horror stories. The features of Frederick are those of a cruel and wicked sovereign. Indeed, he has common traits with the devilish and ghostly horse, inciting fear and terror. Frederick has a destructive power and is terrifying as well as his beloved horse. 

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