Poe's Stories

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Appears both in The Murders in the Rue Morgue and in The Purloined Letter as the clever companion of the narrator of those two stories. His highly creative, observant and analytical mind allows him to perceive where the police are going wrong, and stay one step ahead of the criminals. He loves of riddles, mathematics and poetry, and the Prefect mocks him a poet (despite the fact that the Prefect is hopeless to solve the cases without Dupin's aid. He has a strange sense of humor and very eccentric habits (his love of nighttime for example). In The Purloined Letter, he is rivaled by Minister D___, a man with a similar "poetic" but who acts not to solve crimes but commit them. Dupin does seem to feel a sense of competition with Minister D___, giving him an added incentive to solve the crime with flair.

Auguste Dupin Quotes in Poe's Stories

The Poe's Stories quotes below are all either spoken by Auguste Dupin or refer to Auguste Dupin. For each quote, you can also see the other characters and themes related to it (each theme is indicated by its own dot and icon, like this one:
Rivals and Doppelgangers Theme Icon
). Note: all page and citation info for the quotes below refers to the Penguin Classics edition of Poe's Stories published in 2006.
The Murders in the Rue-Morgue Quotes

Had the routine of our life at this place been known to the world, we should have been regarded as madmen – although, perhaps, as madmen of a harmless nature. Our seclusion was perfect. We admitted no visitors.

Related Characters: Narrator (The Murders in the Rue Morgue; The Purloined Letter) (speaker), Auguste Dupin
Page Number: 242
Explanation and Analysis:

In this passage, the narrator of the story establishes the time that he has spent with Auguste Dupin, the great detective. Dupin is a prototype for Sherlock Holmes--he's smart and sophisticated, but he's also an incredibly odd, eccentric person (and Poe arguably invented the modern detective story through the character of Dupin). Dupin and the narrator live together in a house and stay up late every night reading and putting their minds to use. While they're both highly intelligent people, their behavior could easily be mistaken for insanity.

It's a mark of Poe's devotion to eccentricity and strangeness that even in a story about a detective--supposedly a paragon of rationality and self-control--the characters seem like "madmen" trapped in a sinister, isolated house. Dupin and his friend use their intelligence to solve crimes, but intelligence is not enough--intuition and eccentricity of imagination are vital in understanding the world, a surprising reminder of Poe's own eccentric worldview.

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Auguste Dupin Character Timeline in Poe's Stories

The timeline below shows where the character Auguste Dupin appears in Poe's Stories. The colored dots and icons indicate which themes are associated with that appearance.
The Murders in the Rue-Morgue
The Gothic Style Theme Icon
...discussion will be relevant to the story to follow and now introduces us to Auguste Dupin, his friend, with whom he is spending time in Paris, a man of high class... (full context)
Rivals and Doppelgangers Theme Icon
The Gothic Style Theme Icon
...their daily routines, you’d think the pair suffered from madness. They kept completely to themselves. Dupin especially was obsessed with night time, and soon, the narrator feels the same way, and... (full context)
Rivals and Doppelgangers Theme Icon
The Gothic Style Theme Icon
Self, Solitude, and Consciousness Theme Icon
The narrator of "Rue-Morgue" comments that Dupin has a particular analytic ability and enjoys using it while they are out, observing the... (full context)
Rivals and Doppelgangers Theme Icon
The Gothic Style Theme Icon
Self, Solitude, and Consciousness Theme Icon
The Power of Memory Theme Icon
Both parties are deep in thought, when suddenly Dupin interrupts with a comment strangely matching the narrator’s, about a “little fellow”, who would do... (full context)
The Gothic Style Theme Icon
Self, Solitude, and Consciousness Theme Icon
Next, Dupin explains the series of events that lead him to think of Chantilly. The narrator of... (full context)
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Self, Solitude, and Consciousness Theme Icon
The Power of Memory Theme Icon
Now for the final flourish, Dupin knows that the actor Chantilly recently got a review, in which the reviewer discusses his... (full context)
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The Dead and the Living Theme Icon
The Gothic Style Theme Icon
Remember all this was just an example of Dupin’s skill. Now we skip to the evening in question, when they are absorbed by a... (full context)
Rivals and Doppelgangers Theme Icon
The Gothic Style Theme Icon
...no further evidence found, and one man called Le Bon arrested but without much reason. Dupin seems very interested in the process of the investigation and asks the narrator for his... (full context)
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The Gothic Style Theme Icon
Dupin says that the crime cannot be judged on the inept way that the investigation has... (full context)
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Dupin suggests they enter into an investigation of their own, for amusement if nothing else, but... (full context)
Rivals and Doppelgangers Theme Icon
The Gothic Style Theme Icon
Dupin then asks the narrator of "Rue-Morgue" whether he noticed anything peculiar in the newspaper report.... (full context)
The Dead and the Living Theme Icon
The Gothic Style Theme Icon
Dupin tells the narrator of "Rue-Morgue" that he expects to be met by someone who is... (full context)
Rivals and Doppelgangers Theme Icon
The Dead and the Living Theme Icon
The Gothic Style Theme Icon
First, the question of the voices heard. Dupin says that the voices couldn’t have been the women and the murders could not have... (full context)
Rivals and Doppelgangers Theme Icon
Dupin says that this discovery about the voices leads singularly to the suspicion he is now... (full context)
The Gothic Style Theme Icon
Dupin says that they must not be deterred by how impossible this option looks. Each of... (full context)
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The Gothic Style Theme Icon
...by climbing out onto the lattice structure – one could also enter this way. But Dupin is eager point out the extreme difficulty of this move. Not only has the suspect... (full context)
The Gothic Style Theme Icon
Dupin is now concerned with the interior of the apartment. Obviously, the women’s belongings are strewn... (full context)
Rivals and Doppelgangers Theme Icon
The Dead and the Living Theme Icon
The Gothic Style Theme Icon
Now with all this is mind, Dupin draws the attention of the narrator of "Rue-Morgue" to the method of the crime, the... (full context)
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The Dead and the Living Theme Icon
The Gothic Style Theme Icon
Dupin sums all these details up for the narrator of "Rue-Morgue" and asks him what he... (full context)
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Dupin shows the narrator of "Rue-Morgue" an excerpt from a Cuvier text about the Ourang-Outang, whose... (full context)
Rivals and Doppelgangers Theme Icon
The Gothic Style Theme Icon
The narrator of "Rue-Morgue" wonders how Dupin knows already that the sailor is from a Maltese vessel. Again, Dupin has made a... (full context)
Rivals and Doppelgangers Theme Icon
The Gothic Style Theme Icon
...man has a sailor’s appearance, muscular and hardy, and greets them in a French accent. Dupin pleasantly invites him in and compliments him on the species that has brought him here. (full context)
Rivals and Doppelgangers Theme Icon
The Gothic Style Theme Icon
The sailor seems worried when Dupin asks how old the animal is. He says he can’t be sure. Dupin pretends to... (full context)
Rivals and Doppelgangers Theme Icon
The Dead and the Living Theme Icon
The Gothic Style Theme Icon
...hours, until, very late, the sailor comes to the Madames’ apartment and sees just what Dupin foretold – the ape entered the room using the lightning rod. The sailor followed but... (full context)
Rivals and Doppelgangers Theme Icon
...The Prefect of the police knows he’s been beaten, but he’s obviously quite annoyed at Dupin’s skill. Dupin knows that the Prefect’s wisdom is shallow but that he is a “good... (full context)
The Purloined Letter
Rivals and Doppelgangers Theme Icon
This story, like "The Murders in the Rue-Morgue," concerns Dupin, and the period of time that the narrator of "The Purloined Letter" spent with him... (full context)
Rivals and Doppelgangers Theme Icon
The Gothic Style Theme Icon
...the Prefect announces that he comes on official business and needs help with a case, Dupin extinguishes the light. It’s another of his fancies that good thinking is better done in... (full context)
Rivals and Doppelgangers Theme Icon
...the case is so simple that its resistance to solution has the police very confused. Dupin suggests that its very simplicity might be what’s causing their trouble. The Prefect finds this... (full context)
Rivals and Doppelgangers Theme Icon
...stole the letter, in her full view, and replaced it with his own replica document. Dupin notes that because the royal lady is aware of the theft it gives the thief... (full context)
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The Prefect explains what has been done so far in the investigation, and Dupin comments on the police’s habitual thorough investigations. The prefect says it was necessary to search... (full context)
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Dupin thinks they should have known that the Minister would be too clever not to expect... (full context)
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...the letter is not after all within the apartment. The prefect agrees. He now asks Dupin for advice but all Dupin can say is to search the apartment again. He asks... (full context)
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...is disappointed to admit no further developments. He made another thorough search but found nothing. Dupin asks how much the reward is and the prefect says that he will personally pay... (full context)
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The prefect disregards Dupin’s story but says that he is serious about the reward. Dupin then calmly asks the... (full context)
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Self, Solitude, and Consciousness Theme Icon
Dupin then explains himself to the narrator of "The Purloined Letter". He says that he had... (full context)
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The Gothic Style Theme Icon
...the accuracy of the guess depends on the accuracy with which the opponent is judged. Dupin says that the police only think about what they would have done in the situation,... (full context)
Rivals and Doppelgangers Theme Icon
The Gothic Style Theme Icon
Self, Solitude, and Consciousness Theme Icon
...the Minister as a fool, because he is a poet. All fools are poets, says Dupin, but it does not necessarily follow that all poets are fools. The narrator remembers that... (full context)
Rivals and Doppelgangers Theme Icon
The Gothic Style Theme Icon
Dupin explains that he finds fault with forms of thinking that are not abstractly logical. He... (full context)
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Dupin returns to the Minister. He knows that, because the minister has fooled the Prefect, he... (full context)
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Dupin reminds the narrator of "The Purloined Letter" what he said to the prefect when he... (full context)
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The more Dupin considered the intelligence of the Minister, the more he believed that the best way he... (full context)
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The Gothic Style Theme Icon
Self, Solitude, and Consciousness Theme Icon
Dupin mentions that if you saw the Minister at home, you’d think him one of the... (full context)
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Dupin purposely left a gold snuff box on the Minister’s table so that he could return... (full context)
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Self, Solitude, and Consciousness Theme Icon
The narrator of "The Purloined Letter" is unclear why Dupin replaced the letter, rather than just stealing it. Dupin explains that the Minister is a... (full context)
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The Power of Memory Theme Icon
Dupin is, however, curious to know how the Minister will react to the replacement letter, which... (full context)