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Literary Analysis: “Annabel Lee” by Edgar Allan Poe


From the poem, the speaker demonstrates an unmatched love and affection for Annabel Lee who died unexpectedly. This love survives considerably after the mentioned death. Poe, the poet, uses literary styles to unveil the theme of lasting love between two characters. It is possible to recognize and understand that faith in love can provide solace to the bereaved after the death of a loved one. In fact the speaker has conquered numerous obstacles that hindered him from staying connected to Annabel after her death (Poe & Bagert 9). Usually, numerous people take long before accepting the demise of their loved ones. Nonetheless, the speaker’s love for Annabel Lee continues to grow.

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The exact obstacles – Actual arguments

The speaker finds considerable solace from this illusion, a fact that grants him some comfort and keeps him moving. He believed that people including angels envied their love; thus, killed his Annabel Lee to separate them. Separation is a major obstacle in this phenomenon. Their affection endured since they were kids; however, death separated them. This left the speaker with an emotional trauma. As indicated before, separation (caused by death) is a massive obstruction to their love (Poe 107). However, the speaker overcomes it and continues to pamper their love for each other with praises and optimism. Poe uses these provisions to augment the theme of enduring love between speaker and Annabel Lee. Many people have weakened their love after separation. In cases of death, they often undergo torments and massive emotional lamentations. Nevertheless, the narrator still has hope in their love. He lives optimistically in submission to their long time love. The speaker has established an enduring love that survives beyond the possible obstacles, which always dismantle characters of such calibers.

In the fifth stanza, the speaker counts the obstacles that exist. However, he declares that they will never block him from loving Annabel Lee. His love for her (after her death) is beyond the ordinary love provisions. The speaker recognizes that their love for each other was stronger than “ordinary love” by far (Bloom 38). This means that ordinary challenges and obstacles like death can hardly obstruct him from continuing with the mission he started in his childhood. He understands that even the angels are not impressed by their love (a strange illusion). Nonetheless, he continues to express it with boldness and audacity. He loves Annabel Lee with passion and continues to observe this provision relentlessly. He accepts that people who are older and wiser than him might love more than he does; however, his love for Annabel surpasses these ordinary realities. From this context, it is evident that the speaker’s faith in love provides him with consolation after the death of his loved one, Annabel Lee. He desires to live with this love till the end.

Concurrently, the speaker denotes in the fifth stanza that not even the angels in paradise can distract their love. He previously believed that angels killed Annabel out of jealousy. However, he does not see this possibility after the death of Annabel. He equates this scenario to the devils under the sea, which might distract his love for Annabel (the dead). From this context, it is denotable that the speaker survives the possible obstacles and continues to find a solace in this their childhood love. The obstacles staged by unseen forces are of no significance to the speaker. Poe uses literary analogies and metaphors to illuminate this aspect of the poem. It is evident that the “land by the sea” does not favor their love (Poe & Bagert 9). It is a massive obstacle in this realm since it fronts numerous atrocities to the speaker. It is on this land that the speaker lost his loved one. In the fourth stanza, the speaker claims that Annabel Lee was shut up in a sepulcher (tomb) to bar him from reaching her. This forms a substantial physical obstacle for the speaker to reach his loved one. He has managed to overcome this and still continues to find comfort after the death and burial of Annabel Lee.

Additionally, the speaker recognizes and demonstrates how their souls cannot be separated at any cost. As claimed before, he has managed to overcome various challenges so as to stay connected to his lost love. This is notable in the 31st line of the poem (Bloom 38). The speaker tells how they had built a stronger love for each other. In fact, this will continue despite the hiccups he faced. Emotional obstacles have always deterred people from enduring and attaining their life desires. From this context, it is notable that the speaker survives beyond the emotional aspects of death. The fact that he loves Annabel lee is a critical provision to him in various contexts. Poe demonstrates how the speaker consoles himself from the traumas of death and shows how spirited he is in the realms of love. He has a surviving love, which differentiates his desires from illusions created earlier in the poem.

In the sixth stanza, the speaker continues to dream about his loved one and creates an illusion that he always sleeps by her side in the tomb despite the hiccups. The night-tide in the last stanza refers to the challenges he faced after the death of Annabel. He declares vividly that he will continue to submit to this love with devotion and precision (Poe 108). This is a literary analogy indicating how he is fearless. He only cares about love and his happiness lies there. The fact that he adores Annabel from childhood is a motivating factor and makes him survive the traumas of Annabel’s death. The speaker has numerous atrocities engulfing his love mission. As indicated before, he manages to restore his love memories. It is only love that makes him happy and stay connected to his former deceased soul mate. Generally, the departure of a loved one is always an obstacle to the aspects of love. The speaker overcomes the challenges that characterize this departure with courage. This promotes the discussed theme within the poem.


In the entire poem, elements of jealousy are evident and demonstrated by various parties. Overcoming this jealousy even after the death of Annabel enabled the speaker to stay connected to his soul mate. Envy is a considerable obstacle in this literary piece since it caused the Annabel’s death. Conclusively, devotion in love can provide solace beyond the death of a loved one. The speaker shows exemplary love to Annabel Lee despite the challenges he encountered. Poe has used various literary aspects to illuminate the theme of love with precision.

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Works Cited

Bloom, Harold. Edgar Allan Poe. Philadelphia, PA: Chelsea House Publishers, 2002. Print.

Poe, Edgar and Bagert, Brod. Edgar Allan Poe. New York, NY: Sterling Publishing Company, 1995. Print.

Poe, Edgar. The Works of Edgar Allan Poe. Middlesex: Echo Library, 2007. Print.

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