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Edgar Allan Poe, a well-known poet, mysteriously died one day with merely no evidence to prove how he passed. Is there still hope to find the cause of death? There are many theories as to what happened, one popular theory of the death of Poe is rabies.

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As mentioned above, Poe is explained to have died from a case of rabies. When Poe was admitted to the hospital, he was confused, delirious, and could not perform everyday actions easily. According to an article by the Associated Press, “…Poe refused alcohol and could drink water only with great difficulty. Rabies victims frequently exhibit hydrophobia, or fear of water because it is painful to swallow”. This evidence gives proof that Poe most likely had a case of rabies. Other theories are that Poe was beaten or had a brain tumor, but not being able to swallow water says otherwise. If Poe couldn’t swallow water normally, it very highly indicates that Poe died from acquiring rabies at some point in the days, weeks, or months leading up to his untimely death. Secondly, many say that Poe died from rabies because there is a good amount of evidence to prove the theory. According to ‘19 Theories on What Caused the Poet’s Demise’, “‘Poe had all the features of encephalitic rabies’, said Dr. Henry Wilde, who frequently treats rabies…”. Knowing that Poe had all the signs of rabies, it is likely that this is what caused the death of the great poet. Lastly, an article by the Associated Press states, “After an infection, the symptoms can take up to a year to appear”. Since Poe didn’t really have anything in his system to prove other theories, Poe could have been bitten a while before he got sick. That would explain no bite wound because it would have already healed. Some might argue that since there was no bite wound present that there is no way he could have had rabies. However, rabies can come on after a whole year after being bitten. Poe had all the symptoms of rabies, which imply that Poe was bitten weeks or months before his death, and the virus didn’t appear until the day he was declared sick.

As stated earlier, Poe’s unexpected death is most likely to be theorized as a case of rabies. Even though there was no bite, most likely a bite wound would have healed long before the virus attacked the body.

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The Rabies Theory of Edgar Allan Poe’s Mysterious Death: Critical Essay.
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