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Seminar paper from the year 2015 in the subject English - Literature, Works, grade: 2,3, University of Bonn, language: English, abstract: The current work seeks to portray women's characters as they are depicted in the short stories "Ligeia" (1838) and "The Oval Portrait" (1842). There seems to be a connection between Poe's mother, whom he did not really know, his foster mother and the premature death of his wife with Ligeia's portrayal. The second story follows Poe's personal view that the most poetical topic in the world is the death of a beautiful woman. Approaches to questions such as who are these women and what do they symbolise; what position do they have in the narrator's life and how does their presence or absence affect his feelings within the sequence of events; and what interpretations can we offer with regard to the Gothic background and Poe's life will be offered.