“Annabel Lee” by Edgar Allan Poe

March 26, 2018 General Studies

“Annabel Lee” By Edgar Allan Poe What is the theme in this poem? And how is it expressed? The main theme raised in this poem is the strong and eternal love between a lover and a beloved. Many figures of speech, diction and several figures of sound are used to convey it. To begin with, hyperbole-in line nine and thirty six-is employed to describe the intensity of the lover’s feelings to magnify Annabel Lee’s beauty and innocence and to reaffirm the speaker’s grief and sorrow.

The poem also includes many instances of repetition especially the recurrence of the refrain “in a kingdom by the sea” to give the story a methological and universal dimension. Apostrophe is also employed to show the speaker’s feeling of nostalgia and to stress his strong and immortal love in words like “my darling”, “my life” and “my bride”. Diction is one of the elements that elaborate the main theme. This was translated through the use of imagery. e note instances of visual imagery used to depict the setting as in the colors of the sea and clouds and to stress the beauty of the beloved in words like “moon”,”beams”,”dreams” and “bright eyes”. Tactile imagery is also employed to describe the cold wind chilling Annabel Lee. The poet, added to this, realizes on kinetic and auditory imageries to on the one hand suggest the movement of death as it approaches to take the beloved and on the other hand to describe the gloomy sound of the cold wind blowing and the sad sound of the sea that always reminds the speaker of his loss.

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This is obvious in the last line of the poem. Moreover, the poet contrasts bright colors to darker ones in order to highlight the images of death in his description of the clouds, the sepulcher, the tomb and the night. In addition to figures of speech and diction, musical devices are also used to contribute to the theme. We note some regularity in the rhyme scheme in the first and second stanzas but it gets little by little disturbed and disrupted.

This irregularity suggests that death comes to affect the harmony used to exist between the speaker and his beloved. Assonance in words like “lee”, “me”,” we” and “side” reflects the speaker’s deep pain as well as his endless suffering. The repetition of the “h” sound in “half”, “happy” and “heaven” echoes the speaker’s extreme sorrow and also gives the impression that the speaker is moaning and suffering. In brief, all these elements together elaborate the main theme of eternal and strong love.


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