The Purloined Letter Plot Diagram

The Purloined Letter Plot Diagram
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The Purloined Letter Lesson Plans

The Purloined Letter by Edgar Allan Poe

Lesson Plans by Rebecca Ray

The short story “The Purloined Letter” is one of the first modern detective stories. It pits the cunning detective, Dupin, against a bafflingly elegant puzzle. Poe’s early “tales of ratiocination” laid the groundwork for later fictional detectives like Sherlock Holmes, Hercule Poirot, and Nancy Drew.




Purloined Letter, The

Storyboard Description

The Purloined Letter Summary - Edgar Allan Poe Plot Diagram

Storyboard Text

  • EXPOSITION
  • CONFLICT
  • RISING ACTION
  • The Prefect of the Paris police goes to see C. August Dupin, a private eye, who recently helped him solve ‘The Murders of Rue Morgue’. His new case is about a stolen letter!
  • CLIMAX
  • Plain Sight
  • A letter was stolen from a powerful lady. The main suspect is Minister D, a man who Dupin has bad blood with.
  • FALLING ACTION
  • The prefect searches the minister's apartment and comes up empty. When he returns to see Dupin, the private eye gives the prefect the letter.
  • RESOLUTION
  • You're welcome!
  • Dupin explains how he was able to think like the thief and recover the letter!
  • Dupin supplanted the letter with an identical, which reads, “So baneful a scheme, if not worthy of Atreus, is worthy of Thyestes.”
  • Dupin is able to solve the case and get revenge for a wrong committed against him by the Minister.
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