Term Paper: Edgar Allan Poe

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[. . .] The scenario of the poem given by Poe gives an impression of innocence, youth, naivete' and freshness. The poem relates that Annabel Lee is not only beautiful and inculpable but she also possesses the quality of a human who is unselfish, faithful and capable of a higher order of love, qualities associated with the angels in heaven (An Analysis Of Edgar Allan Poe's Annabel Lee, (http://vlc.atu.edu/engl1023/2002-fall/Mortal%20Love%20or%20Divine%20Communica).In the poem, Poe has shown that Annabel Lee is greatly loved and admired by her lover.

She was a child and I was A child,

In this kingdom by the sea;

But we loved with a love that was more than love- and my Annabel Lee

With a love that the winged seraphs of heaven

Coveted her and me.

Edgar Allan Poe. Encarta Encyclopedia ©

Encarta Encyclopedia ©


Microsoft Corporation).

Both shared a love that was stronger than any earthly bond. It was not just strong affection but a love, a union that could be enjoyed by angels.

Till this point in the poetry the audience is only acquainted with the sweet romance between the lover and his beloved. After this the audience once again encounters Poe's madness and reinspects the part played by all the characters in the narrative.

And this was the reason that, long ago,

In this kingdom by the sea, wind blew out of the cold by night,

Chilling my Annabel Lee;

So that her highborn kinsman came

And bore her away from me,

To shut her up in a sepulchre

In this kingdom by the sea.

Edgar Allan Poe. Encarta Encyclopedia ©

Encarta Encyclopedia ©


Microsoft Corporation).

Poe associates the angels, who are generally known for their goodness and virtue with, envy and evil. Here the angels are referred to as kinsmen who come down to earth and take her away from her lover leaving behind her physical body to be buried in the tomb situated in the kingdom by the sea. At this point the reader comprehend a very strange notion that Annabel Lee herself was once an angel; an angel who came on earth and acquired a physical humanly body after she fell in love with a mortal. She is loved by her faithful lover and is very happy. Upon seeing this, all the other angels in the heaven become jealous of her state of euphoria and send down a chilling wind, which results in the death of her physical body. These angels then come down and bury Annabel's body in a tomb.

The angels, not half so happy in heaven,

Went envying her and me -;

Yes! - that was the reason (as all men know,

In the kingdom by the sea)

That the wind came out of the cloud, chilling

And killing my Annabel Lee.

Edgar Allan Poe. Encarta Encyclopedia ©

Encarta Encyclopedia ©


Microsoft Corporation).

Even though Annabel's body has died and her union broken with her lover, but her lover still professes his great love to her and proclaims it heavenly to the entire world. Her lover says that even though she is not here with him in front of his eyes, her love and her memories, which no force can take away, will never die in his heart. For I am persuaded, that neither death, nor life, nor angels, nor principalities, nor powers, nor any other creature, shall be able to separate us from the love of God An Analysis Of Edgar Allan Poe's Annabel Lee, (http://vlc.atu.edu/engl1023/2002fall/Mortal%20Love%20or%20Divine%20Communica).

Poe has used the angels as a source that separates Annabel Lee from her lover and to dissuade man from loving God.

The audience towards the end of the poem realizes that Annabel played an intermediary role between man and God. Even though her existence has ceased to exist, her lover still feels her close to her heart and refers to her as his darling, his life and his bride. The angels can never cause the death of Annabel from her lover's heart.

But our Love it was stronger by far than love

Of those who were older than we

Of many far wiser than we

And neither the angels in the heaven above,

Nor the demons down under the sea,

Can ever dissever my soul from the soul

Of the beautiful Annabel Lee.

Edgar Allan Poe. Encarta Encyclopedia ©

Encarta Encyclopedia ©


Microsoft Corporation).

In the last part of the poem, Poe seems to give a message to the audience; Annabel Lee's soul still reaches to her lover metaphorically through the moon and the stars. Here a comparison is made between love and moon and stars; that exactly like how these heavenly bodies are unchanging and never dying love also never cease to exist. Through this, Annabel and her lover become successful in vanquishing death, distance, time and all the powers that separates them from each other.

For the moon never beams without bringing me dreams

Of the beautiful Annabel Lee;

And the stars never rise but I fell the bright eyes

Of the beautiful Annabel Lee;

And so, all the night - tide, I lie down by the side

Of my darling - my darling - my life and my bride,

In the sepulchre there by the sea,

In her tomb by the sounding sea.

Edgar Allan Poe. Encarta Encyclopedia ©

Encarta Encyclopedia ©


Microsoft Corporation).

Even though the poem starts with a romantic description of the couple and then gradually becomes haunting, it once again shows Edgar Allan Poe's state of despair and melancholy. The poem is successful in revealing his obsession with lost love and death. Hence, the theme of Annabel Lee and The Raven is the same in the sense that both deals with lost love. Even though Annabel Lee is not as haunting as The Raven, it is found to be very dark and disturbing and not generally liked by many readers. From both these poems it can be assessed how disturbed Poe's life must have been and what trauma he lived in each day.

In the third poem written by Edgar Allan Poe called The Spirit of The Dead, the poet once again discusses the terrorizing fact of life, death. All of Poe's poems are based upon this theme and the tone in all of them is haunting. Any reader can very well understand that Edgar Allan Poe was a lonely man. The Spirit of the Dead is divided into five parts of different length. The following five lines in the poem give the haunting thought and idea of the poem,

Be silent in that solitude,

Which is not loneliness - for then The spirits of the dead, who stood

In the life before thee, are again

In death around thee, and their will

Shall overshadow thee; be still The Spirits of the Dead, (http://www.jeannepasero.com/spirits.html).

In the poem, Poe reflects an idea that spirits were always linked to his soul and the presence of these spirits is silent and still. This notion of stillness, silence and haunting forms the major part of all Poe's poems. The poem seems to reflect no message but only torture for the poet as he visits the grave and the spirits visit him, both colliding into one another in silence.

What the poem and the poet have in common in this poem is memories. These memories are revoked as the poet visits the graves. Memories themselves are like dreams of the past, a ghost that always lingers around every human being. These memories are obsessing and oppressing.

Now are thoughts thou shalt not banish,

Now are visions ne'er to vanish;

From thy spirit shall they pass

No more, like dew-drop from the grass.

Spirits of the Dead, (http://www.jeannepasero.com/spirits.html).

About Poe's poetry it is said that in all his poems he has shown a dual attitude, from ease, the poem's scenario turn into terror, from where there is no escape and no compromises can be made. Poe's poems are like a glass through which only darkness and hurt can be seen, which formed the reality of his life.

Hence, all of Edgar Allan Poe's poems show the uneasiness of his soul. The basic theme in all of them is estrangement, childhood naivete, death, hopelessness and the great losses involved in love. A writer, DH Lawrence once wrote that, "Poe was an adventurer into the vaults and cellars and horrible underground passages of the human soul. He sounded the horror and the warning of his own doom" (Work Of Edgar Allan Poe: Conclusion, Edgar Allan Poe). His poems are a complete scripture of his life and the pain he endured after loosing his mother and wife. But no matter how haunting or terrorizing these poems might prove to be they definitely reflect Poe's brilliance and honesty in writing.

The tones of all these poems show portray a dark supernatural vision mixed with the elements of authenticity, caricature and travesty. The main reason for this is the instability and insecurity of relations… [END OF PREVIEW]

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"Edgar Allan Poe."  Essaytown.com.  January 6, 2003.  Accessed July 23, 2019.