26 pages 52 minutes read

Edgar Allan Poe


Fiction | Short Story | Adult | Published in 1849

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Authorial Context: Edgar Allan Poe

Edgar Allan Poe is among the most influential authors in contemporary literature, specializing in the Dark Romanticism subgenre, which looks at the sinful side of human nature. Throughout his life (1809-1849), Poe endured difficult experiences that often bled into his work. Poe most often wrote about fear, sorrow, isolation, and death, as in his most famous work, “The Raven.” Many of these themes are present throughout “Hop-Frog” too, and some may argue that certain elements of the story are autobiographical.

The title character of “Hop-Frog” is forcibly taken from his home and to a new country where he’s an outsider. Likewise, Poe had an unstable home life. His father left his mother when he was young, and she passed away shortly afterward. He was left in the care of his wealthy godfather, John Allan, and his wife, separating Poe from his siblings. Poe and Allan had a rough relationship, often quarreling over money. Poe eventually had to drop out of school because Allan had gambling debts and no longer sent Poe money. Through this lens, the character of the king is most likely Allan, the man who gave Edgar Allen Poe his surname, like the king renamed his new jester Hop-Frog.