Love is generally thought of as a sweet or passionate idea. However, when a love dies, it can take on a much more menacing and terrifying aura. In “Annabel Lee,” by Edgar Allen Poe, we discover that when a perfect love perishes, the results can be absolutely terrifying. When the narrator loses his ideal love, he is unable to move on and resorts to cursing the heavens and even sleeping with his dead love. Poe is able to express this dark side of love that the narrator experiences through structure, symbols, setting, and imagery.
Unrecognized until examination, the poetic structure that Poe employs is one of the most vital contributions to the ominous tone in “Annabel Lee.” The most obvious aspects of this are his rhyme and meter. Poe’s rhyme pattern contributes to the poems tone because it keeps the poem flowing and puts the focus on specific words that amplify the tone. We see this in the poem as the evil wind is “chilling and killing [his] Annabel Lee” (Poe 495). This rhyme is the most intense in the poem as the words chilling and killing both flood the poem with depressing emotion. These two simple words are able to take a poem about love to such a dark place do this because, as a rhyme, they emphasize each other and make the reader truly pay attention to their negative connotations. The meter that Poe infuses into “Annabel Lee” also contributes a great deal to its horrifying demeanor. Throughout the poem, Poe uses a combination of both iambs and anapests to give “Annabel Lee” its flow. Towards the end, however, we witness a transition to the sole use of anapests when Poe tells us “for the moon never beams without bringing me dreams of the beautiful Annabel Lee” (495). Poe’s utilization ...
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...remember because it’s very uncommon in our dialect and is typically reserved solely for solemn occasions. Dissever is the last word in the poem that leaves a strong impression. It a very strong word that suggests that the narrator and Annabel’s souls are attached and because of this, helps to show the audience how intense the two young lovers’ relationship was. Clearly, word choice is able to supply the audience with ample imagery to really show in detail what the narrator is seeing.
In “Annabel Lee,” Poe is able to inundate the audience in his dark world and give them a glimpse into what the narrator is feeling after losing the love of his life. He does with his use of poetic structure, strong symbols, dark setting, and vivid imagery. There’s no way to escape it if the poem is read carefully, and it is because of the that “Annabel Lee” is such a captivating read.
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