Setting

The short story “William Wilson” by Edgar Allan Poe is set for the most part in England. It begins in a small town, where William grew up and attended his first school. Another important scene in the story, of William being exposed as cheating at cards, takes place at Oxford University. The last scene takes place in Rome, Italy, during the Carnival in 1835. 

All the settings in the story help create an atmosphere specific to gothic literature, through the vivid descriptions and feelings of nostalgia. This is shown in William’s description of his first school:

It was in a large house about three hundred years old, in a small town in England, among a great number of big trees (…) it was a dream-like and spirit-quieting place (…) At this moment I seem to feel the pleasant coolness under...

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