“Annabel Lee” by Edgar Allan Poe- Summary & Analysis

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About Poem: Annabel Lee

Poem TitleAnnabel Lee
AuthorEdgar Allan Poe
Date of PublicationIt was published in 1849, after Poe’s death
GenreNarrative poem, Romantic, Gothic
ThemesLove, Death, Jealousy, Grief, Immortality
SettingA kingdom by the sea
SubjectThe love between the speaker and Annabel Lee
Structure6 stanzas
Rhyme SchemeIrregular, with end rhyme and internal rhyme
ToneMelancholic, mournful
Key SymbolThe kingdom by the sea
Key ImageryThe moon, the stars, the sea, the angels
Key MotifLove and death
Main ConflictThe envy and resentment of angels causing the death of Annabel Lee and the speaker’s grief

Themes: Annabel Lee

The themes of “Annabel Lee” by Edgar Allan Poe are:

  1. Undying Love ➤ The poem explores a love so strong that it continues even after death.
  2. Jealousy ➤ The envy of angels causes the death of the beloved Annabel Lee, highlighting the destructive power of jealousy.
  3. Mourning and Grief ➤ The speaker expresses deep sorrow and grief over the loss of Annabel Lee.
  4. Immortality of Love ➤ The idea that love can transcend death and time is a central theme in the poem.
  5. The Power of Nature ➤ The sea and its elements play a significant role in the poem, symbolizing the relentless forces of nature.

“Annabel Lee” Poem by Edgar Allan Poe

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.

I was a child and she 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 wingèd 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, chilling

   My beautiful Annabel Lee;

So that her highborn kinsmen 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 the cloud by night,

   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 feel 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 sounding sea.

Watch Full Poem Summary

Annabel Lee Summary & Analysis

“Annabel Lee” is a poem by Edgar Allan Poe that tells the story of a young couple deeply in love, whose love is so strong that even death cannot diminish it. The poem is divided into six stanzas, and each stanza unfolds a different aspect of their love story.

Stanza 1

In the first stanza, the speaker describes Annabel Lee, his childhood love, and how they lived in a kingdom by the sea. They were children, and their love was pure and innocent. Their love was so strong that the angels in heaven became jealous of them.

Stanza 2

The second stanza reveals that Annabel Lee’s family was not pleased with their love and they sent “highborn kinsman” to separate the two lovers. This external interference could not diminish their love for each other, and they continued to love each other with a love that was stronger than any obstacle.

Stanza 3

In the third stanza, the speaker explains that the angels in heaven were envious of the couple’s love and took Annabel Lee away. Her death, however, did not weaken their love. The speaker believes that the angels were jealous, and that’s why they took her away.

Stanza 4

The fourth stanza portrays the deep grief of the speaker after Annabel Lee’s death. He states that he and Annabel were so happy in their love that the “wingèd seraphs of heaven” were envious and “coveted her and me.” This envy, he believes, led to her untimely death.

Stanza 5

In the fifth stanza, the speaker describes how he and Annabel Lee are still in love even after her death. He sleeps by her tomb by the sea every night, and he dreams of her. He sees her beautiful face in the moon and the stars, and he believes that their souls are eternally entwined.

Stanza 6

The sixth and final stanza continues to emphasize the enduring nature of their love. The speaker believes that no one can ever sever the bond between him and Annabel Lee. Their souls are united, and nothing – not even the demons or the angels – can break their connection. The poem ends on a melancholic note. The speaker believes that their love is so strong that it will continue to be felt by both the living and the dead. He lies down by her side in her tomb, by the sea, with the belief that their souls are united forever in their love for each other.

FAQs: Annabel Lee

What is the message of the poem Annabel Lee?

The message of the poem is that love can conquer death and last forever.

Is Annabel Lee based on a real person?

The poem “Annabel Lee” is not based on a real person.

What caused Annabel Lee’s death?

Annabel Lee’s death was caused by the angels’ jealousy.

Did Annabel Lee death end the speaker’s love for her?

No, the speaker’s love for Annabel Lee continued even after her death.

What is the main conflict in Annabel Lee?

The main conflict in “Annabel Lee” is the jealousy of the angels and Annabel Lee’s family, which leads to her untimely death.

How does the speaker deal with Annabel Lee’s death?

The speaker mourns Annabel Lee’s death by dreaming of her and lying by her tomb every night.

What is ironic about the poem Annabel Lee?

The irony in the poem is that the angels, who are supposed to be good, take away the speaker’s love, Annabel Lee.

What romanticized explanation does the speaker give for the death of his love Annabel Lee?

The speaker believes that the angels in heaven were envious of their love and took Annabel Lee away.

What is the conclusion of the poem Annabel Lee?

The conclusion of the poem is that their love is strong even after Annabel Lee’s death.

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