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Prague Journal of English Studies

The Journal of Charles University, Faculty of Education

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From One Master of Horror to Another: Tracing Poe’s Influence in Stephen King’s The Shining

Maroš Buday
Published Online: 2015-08-04 | DOI: https://doi.org/10.1515/pjes-2015-0003


This article deals with the work of two of the most prominent horror fiction writers in American history, namely Edgar Allan Poe and Stephen King. The focus of this study is put on the comparative approach while tracing the influence of Poe’s several chosen narratives in King’s novel called The Shining (1977). The chosen approach has uncovered that King’s novel embodies numerous characteristics, tendencies, and other signs of inspiration by Poe’s narratives. The Shining encompasses Poe’s tales such as “The Masque of the Red Death”, “The Fall of the House of Usher”, and “The Black Cat” which are shown to be pivotal aspects of King’s novel. The analysis has shown that the aforementioned King’s novel exhibits Shakespearean elements intertwined with Poe’s “Masque of the Red Death”, the Overlook Hotel to be a composite consisting of various Poesque references, and that The Shining’s protagonist is a reflection of autobiographical references to specific aspects of the lives of Poe and King themselves.

Keywords: Edgar Allan Poe; Stephen King; The Shining; Shakespearean elements; autobiographical elements


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About the article

Published Online: 2015-08-04

Published in Print: 2015-07-01

Citation Information: Prague Journal of English Studies, Volume 4, Issue 1, Pages 47–59, ISSN (Online) 2336-2685, DOI: https://doi.org/10.1515/pjes-2015-0003.

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© Faculty of Education, Charles University. This work is licensed under the Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivatives 3.0 License. BY-NC-ND 3.0

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