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The Oval Portrait Summary - Class 11 NEB English Note

The oval Portrait Summary

Summary of The Oval Portrait 

“The oval portrait is a horror story which was written by a famous American writer, poet, literary critic, and editor Edger Allan Poe. This is an example of a frame narrative because there is a story within a story. The story primarily deals with the relationship between life and art are inseparable because life creates art. After the art is created life becomes immortal through it.

The narrator enters the chateau, a large village house with the help of his servant because he is wounded in his leg though we don`t know what kind of wound he has. It was nighttime, so they have to use candlelight in the room. They go to a corner of the building in a small room where there is enough decoration but the room is abandoned. The narrator sees many paintings on the wall. As he wants to take a rest on a bed, his eyes fall upon a painting.

The narrator wants to observe the painting by bringing a candelabrum near the painting. But he cannot understand the painting clearly. He sees a history book on the pillow that describes the painting and trophies on the wall. This particular painting is about a young woman who is ripening into womanhood. In painting, she sits on the sofa patiently. There is a man beside her who seems to be painting a portrait of a woman in an oval-shaped frame. After reading a book, he gets the information that it is about paint and his wife.

The woman in the painting was the painter`s wife. She was very beautiful, perhaps the most beautiful in the world. Her evil time started when she got married to the painter. The painter wanted to capture her beauty in his painting. As he painted her portrait, he forgot his real life and dedicated his time to the painting. In one sense, he got married to the painting. Her rivals were her portrait and the brushes that were used to paint the portrait. She was extremely disappointed by his changed attitude but she thought that it could disturb the work. She remained silent but she grew pale and feeble. She became sick. She hide her desire and waited for her husband to love her back. As he was filling the colors in the painting and finishing his work, her colors were removed from the body. At last, he was shocked to know that she was dead. He realized his mistake and regretted it but was too late.

In this way, the story shows the relationship between art and life. Life becomes immortal through art. But life is always more important than art. The painter was wrong to focus on the art ignoring his real life.


Also Read : The Oval Portrait Exercise


"This is the short story( The oval Portrait) written by Edger Allan Poe. In this article you will find the short summary of the story which is useful for the class 11 NEB student. You can give feedback in the comment section. We will implement further in the upcoming article."

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