Literary Analysis Essay on Annabel Lee by Edgar Allan Poe

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Carnegie Mellon University
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Literature review
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This is a poem by Edgar Allan which is more of a love poem with a number of themes and different poetic features which make the reader feel connected with the poem and also easy to memories, things such as repetition. The narrator of the poem is a young man and refers to himself as a child who falls in love with another female child by the name of Annabel Lee. They live in a kingdom by the sea and the love story between the two is amazing as narrated by the narrator.

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What Is the Main Theme of Annabel Lee?

Even though they were both immature to be in love from the poem, we get to understand that they both were so in love to the extent the angels in heaven noticed and were jealous. Probably this was a bad thing to happen since the narrator from the poem blames the death of his love Annabel Lee on them. He claims they were responsible for her death so as to separate them. He supports this idea by claiming that the wind came down from the cloud which made Annabel Lee sick and then eventually succumbed to the disease. The theme of love has been focused on a lot in the poem from the beginning of the poem. The narrator clearly shows the reader that this was not just the normal teenage love since after the death of Annabel Lee this does not separate the two. He goes ahead to say that neither the angels nor the devil are in the position to come in between his love for Annabel Lee. The love for his lady starts getting creepy at some point when he goes to spend his time at her tomb every night. Although the narrator is able to neutralize this feeling by sharing that he sees her in his dreams and stars. Apart from the theme of love, there is the theme of envy which comes in after the death of Annabel Lee. The angels envy the narrator's love for Annabel Lee and take her away from him. From the poem, we get to realize that envy can be a bad thing that at some point results in death.

What Is the Structure of the Poem Annabel Lee?

The structure of this poem is similar to a ballad, it has a differing pattern in its stanzas but the poem has a lot of repetition where the author repeats a lot of words such as Annabel Lee, by the sea, love, kingdom, Sepulcher, and much more. The effect of structuring such a poem causes it to linger in the mind of the reader in addition to building meaning each time they go through the poem. One of the biggest rhymes in the poem is Annabel Lee's 'love' with the location of the poem by the sea.' From the poem, we also come imagery, symbolism, and other styles. The first image we come across in the poem is the kingdom. 'The kingdom' is repeatedly used within the poem in the phrase kingdom by the sea.' Such a reaped phrase in poetry is called a refrain which is more of a chorus line in a song. In every verse in the poem, it tells a story but the refrain brings back the main image each time you read it. This brings about rhythm in the poem. From line two where we first encounter the phrase, it gives the reader a kind of fairytale feeling. In the poem, there are no details of the kingdom given hence giving the reader the room to try and imagine what the kingdom was like. The use of the phrase several more times ends up giving the reader the feeling that the kingdom is in a far distance beyond the reader's reach.

Symbolism in Annabel Lee

Then comes symbolism in the poem. the sea' comes up over and over in the poem and ties everything together, the reader ends up thinking of the sea in the poem as a big huge, lonely and cold place. This tries to symbolize the loneliness, desolation, and emptiness that the narrator of the poem is experiencing.


Different styles have been employed in the poem to hold different meanings within the poem and make the poem more interesting to go through. From this poem Annabel Lee by Edgar Allan, we get to learn about love in an interesting symbolic manner and other things. It is an interesting piece of work for the reader.

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