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:Edgar Allan Poe:

Theme Analysis

Annabel Lee
by Edgar Allan Poe (1849)


"It was many and many a year ago,
   In a kingdom by the sea,
That a maiden there lived whom you may know
   By the name of ANNABEL LEE;--
And this maiden she lived with no other thought
   Than to love and be loved by me.

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--
   I and my Annabel Lee--
With a love that the winged seraphs of heaven
   Coveted her and me.

And this was the reason that, long ago,
   In this kingdom by the sea,
A wind blew out of a cloud by night
   Chilling my Annabel Lee;
So that her high-born kinsman came
   And bore her away from me,
To shut her up in a sepulchre
   In this kingdom by the sea.

The angels, not half so happy in Heaven,
   Went envying her and me:--
Yes! that was the reason (as all men know,
   In this kingdom by the sea)
That the wind came out of a cloud, chilling
   And killing my Annabel Lee.

But our love it was stronger by far than the love
   Of those who were older than we--
   Of many far wiser than we-
And neither the angels in Heaven above,
   Nor the demons down under the sea,
Can ever dissever my soul from the soul
   Of the beautiful Annabel Lee:--

For the moon never beams without bringing me dreams
   Of the beautiful Annabel Lee;
And the stars never rise but I see 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 her sepulchre there by the sea--
   In her tomb by the side of the sea."

 

 

 

Theme Analysis

            The theme of the poem “Annabel Lee” is about a love so strong that it surpasses throughout time, even after death. This poem was Poe’s last and reflected his true life situation, therefore confirming the fact that his works were mostly about his own experiences. In this poem, the speaker “loved with a love that was more than love”, however the fact that it was perfect made the seraphs in heaven “covet” the maiden and speaker. Thus, this poem also reflects upon the fact that Poe had such a love that was taken away.

            In addition, the love felt by the speaker surpasses throughout time, therefore “And so, all the night tide, I lie down by the side… in her tomb by the side of the sea.” The speaker’s love for the maiden was so strong that not even death can stop him from loving her. The speaker believes that without her he has no reason for living. Even nature is affected by her death, “And the stars never rise but I see the bright eyes of the beautiful Annabel Lee.”

            Finally, even though the poem is about a perfect love, Poe does part from his recurring theme of death. The fact that the love was so perfect meant that it was not meant to be. Therefore, “The angels, not half so happy in heaven went envying” the maiden and the speaker. Thus, jealousies lead to the death of the maiden and the misery of the speaker, just as it was meant to be.

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