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The Literary Elements of “Annabel Lee” Essay

In the Poem “Annabel Lee” by Edger Allen Poe, there are a couple of literary devices used. Poe uses these devices to explain the ultimate love between Annabel and the Narrator. One literary device that is used is the biblical reference to the angels of Heaven. Another is the use of nature to explain the effect that Annabel’s death had on the land. Poe uses the combination of biblical metaphors and references of nature to explain the tragedy of the death of one of two lovers in “Annabel Lee”.

Throughout the entire poem “Annabel Lee”, one thing is clear to the reader; the love between Annabel and the Narrator is quite possibly the strongest love in the world and is an unbreakable bond. To prove this, Poe writes the following: “But our love it was stronger by far than the love, of those who were older than we…. Can ever dissever my soul from the soul, of the beautiful Annabel Lee”. Essentially the Narrator vows that his love for Annabel will never die, even if Annabel is gone from this world. Poe is ultimately saying that these two lovers can never be separated in life or death, even if it is the will of Heaven.

Poe uses the biblical aspects of angels to explain the love between the two lovers in “Annabel Lee”. This is explained by the following verses, “…. 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.”. With this Poe is saying that the lovers love is so great that it rivals the love in Heaven.

Therefore making the angels of Heaven commit the deadly sin of jealousy. A jealousy so great that it drives the angels to attempt to break up the lovers. As Poe puts it, “The angels, not half so happy in Heaven, went envying her and me….”. An envy that drove the angels to the brink and over to another deadly sin and kill Annabel. However the angels soon learn that not even death can stop the love between Annabel and the Narrator.

The use of nature is light in “Annabel Lee”. However, it is recurring in the form of the sea. In this form and usage, the sea is used as a foreshadowing of a dark time that is about to hit the lovers. For the sea is always mysterious and often not very peaceful.

The only reference you get for a time is “In a kingdom by the sea…”. With this reference you only get the sense of a kingdom by an uneventful sea. However, after the death of Annabel the sea changes in the view of the Narrator, “… In her tomb by the sounding sea.” To the Narrator the sea becomes a crashing, rolling, and loud sea now that Annabel is gone.

In the end nothing stopped the Narrator and Annabel’s love not even Heaven itself. As Poe puts it, “… And this maiden she lived with no other thought than to love and be loved by me.” Poe uses biblical references to make the point that their love is unbreakable. He even uses nature to express the effect Annabel’s death has on the land.


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