Analysis Of Annabel Lee By Edgar Allan Poe

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“A genius of macabre operatic plots and suspenseful pacing, Edgar Allan Poe earned the title of father of modern horror literature” (Snodgrass). Surrounded by death from an early age, Edgar Allan Poe’s work focused on classical gothic themes such as star struck lovers, isolation, and death. One of his most famous works, “Annabel Lee,” published in 1849, encompasses all three of these themes and reveals Poe’s desire to reunite with his beloved “Annabel Lee.” Due to the ambiguity throughout the poem, critics disagree about the identity of Annabel Lee; however, most critics agree Annabel Lee represents an important female figure in Poe’s life, either his mother, Rosalie, or his wife, Virginia.
Fully comprehending and identifying the underlying
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He then moved to Norfolk where his mother raised him after his father left. Later, he moved to Charleston. His mother died in Charleston, leaving him orphaned. Rosalie suffered a violent death, which later influenced Poe’s writing. Poe witnessed “…her slightness and beauty; her illness and consumption; her pallor and wasting; her blood-spittings and finally her cold, white, dead body” (Bonaparte). After his mother’s passing, Poe lived with foster parents and begin immersing himself in gothic literature, particularly pieces by E.T.A. Hoffmann, William Beckford, and John Neal. At age twenty six, he married his cousin of half his age, Virginia Clemm. This marriage led him to write “a series of unrequited loves, heartsick lovers, and frail, sinking damsels” (Snodgrass). In 1842, Virginia’s heath declined from tuberculosis and Poe became fixated on mortality and death. On January 29, 1847, Virginia died from a throat hemorrhage, forcing her husband’s downward spiral into alcoholism and “neurotic self-absorption” (Snodgrass). In 1849, Poe published “Annabel Lee,” which most critics claim is a tribute to Virginia. In an ironic twist of fate, the New York Tribune published “Annabel Lee” along with Poe’s obituary on October 9, …show more content…
This particular phrasing plays on the traditional opening in a fairy tale. Mirroring the beginning of a fairy tale, Poe sets the tone for initial stanza as one of innocence. Continuing with the innocent tone, Poe introduces Annabel Lee as maiden whose only thought was to love the speaker of the poem. The phrasing “…with no other thought/Than to love and be loved by me” (lines 5-6) insinuates that Annabel Lee lived a simple life, having no troubles or worries to distract her from loving the speaker. The use of the word “maiden” indicates a young woman who has never been married. This leads the audience to believe that the speaker is referring to Virginia since Virginia was only thirteen at the time she and Poe married. However, the lines may depict Rosalie instead. A mother’s only thought in life is to love her children and many mothers fear their children hating them. Parallels between the mental and emotional state of mothers and “…with no other thought/Than to love and be loved by me” (lines 5-6) indicate the possibility that the speaker meant his mother. In addition, the use of the word “maiden” may not mean that Annabel Lee was a literal maiden. Instead, in reference to Rosalie, “maiden” focuses more on the young, beautiful woman that most men remember their mother being in their early childhood. There is an

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