Abstract

Like his other tales and stories, Poe's “The Murders in the Rue Morgue” lends itself to rhetorical analysis. In fact, the story's “air of method” derives in large part from the sophisticated rhetoric of Poe's protagonist, C. Auguste Dupin. However, this “air of method” masks a suggestion of madness in Poe's story of ratiocination. Putting aside the story's principal theme of ratiocination, the heavy metal band Iron Maiden looks behind Poe's “air of method” and develops the theme of madness in its song “Murders in the Rue Morgue,” whose unreliable narrator is reminiscent of Poe's narrator in “The Tell-Tale Heart.” Thus, instead of an “air of method,” the song, with its frenzied tempo, possesses an “air of madness.” Nonetheless, the narrator's rhetoric is as important to the song as Dupin's rhetoric is to Poe's “The Murders in the Rue Morgue.” The song, in short, is the scene behind the scene. “Murders in the Rue Morgue” adapts a narrator not unlike Poe's narrator in “The Tell-Tale Heart” to a setting not unlike the setting of Poe's “The Murders in the Rue Morgue.”

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