Why does Poe preface his tale with an excerpt from a poem by de Beranger? What do the lines suggest, and how apt are they for the story?
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The line written in French transltes to something like: "His heart is a hanging lute, which need only to be touched to resound." There is a paradox here, The line suggests that Roderick needs the solitude of an artist while needing company of people to gain his inspiration. Usher has nobody to inspire his ceativity. Once Madeline is gone, Usher (like his house) begins to crumble. The line by DeBerange forshadows the crumbling and collapse of Roderick Usher. The collapse of the house and the man are one and the same.