Concept

The Conqueror Worm

Résumé
"The Conqueror Worm" is a poem by Edgar Allan Poe about human mortality and the inevitability of death. It was first published separately in Graham's Magazine in 1843, but quickly became associated with Poe's short story "Ligeia" after Poe added the poem to a revised publication of the story in 1845. In the revised story, the poem is composed by the eponymous Ligeia, and taught to the narrator in the fits of her death throes. Synopsis An audience of weeping angels watches a play performed by "mimes, in the form of God on high", and controlled by vast formless shapes looming behind the scenes. The mimes chase a "Phantom" which they can never capture, running around in circles. Finally, a monstrous "crawling shape" emerges, and eats the mimes. The final curtain comes down, "a funeral pall", signaling an end to the "tragedy, 'Man'", whose only hero is "The Conqueror Worm". Publication history "The Conqueror Worm" was first published as a stand-alone poem in the Janu
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