Edgar Allan Poe

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Edgar Allan Poe (1809-1849):

Edgar Allan Poe (1809-1849)

Melodramatic Life:

Melodramatic Life Determining the facts of Poe’s life has proved difficult, as lurid legend became entwined with fact even before he died. Some of these legends were spread by Poe himself. Two days after Poe’s death, his literary executor began a smear campaign, rewriting Poe’s correspondence so as to alienate many of his friends.

Early Life:

Early Life Poe was born in Boston on January 19, 1809, his parents’ second child. His father deserted the family a year later. In December 1811, his mother died at twenty-four, and her husband disappeared completely. Poe was taken in by John Allan, a successful and stable Richmond merchant.

College and West Point:

College and West Point Poe spent most of 1826 at the University of West Virginia, doing well in his studies, but running up gambling debts and drinking. He was admitted at West Point in 1830, but got himself expelled by missing classes and roll calls. By 1831, Poe had already published three versions of his early poetry.

Poe’s Death:

Poe’s Death During the last two years of his life, Poe was seriously ill--perhaps with a brain lesion--and drinking steadily. On Election Day, October 3, 1949, he was found senseless near a polling place. Taken to a hospital, he died on October 7, “of congestion of the brain.” A recent theory is that he died of rabies.

Poe worked in a variety of genres (1827-1849):

Poe worked in a variety of genres (1827-1849) Criticism--he gained a national reputation as a virulently sarcastic critic, a literary hatchetman. The bulk of his writing consists of his criticism, and his most abiding ambition was to become a powerful critic. Poetry--He was an experimental poet. Psychological fiction--He wanted to produce the greatest possible horrific effects on the reader. Detective Story--Poe created this form when he was 32, will all its major conventions complete.

Characteristics of Poe’s detective stories:

Characteristics of Poe’s detective stories Poe places veiled clues before the reader. The writer/narrator strives to appear objective. Poe would have liked to solve everything by the mind. He was disturbed by what he could not solve by reason. The climax of the story is the narrator’s explanation of the crime.

Poe and the Gothic:

Poe and the Gothic Poe did not want to write gothic stories; he started his career spoofing the Gothic. He said that he wrote, “Tales of terror, not of Germany, but of the soul.” He transformed tales of terror into psychological stories; he delved into the mysterious recesses of the human mind.

Elements of Gothic in Poe’s Fiction:

Elements of Gothic in Poe’s Fiction Grim setting Landscapes are often reflections of character’s mind. Unusual buildings, extremes of nature, eccentric works of art Very few of his stories take place in America; most take place in Europe or Never-never-land.

Other elements of the Gothic:

Other elements of the Gothic Hidden evil Unspeakable, mysterious crimes, including incest and parracide Obsession with Death Ghosts, blood, body parts Maniacal Laughter The discovered manuscript gives responsibility to someone else Deformity the groteque--people who don’t look right are capable of activity beyond the norm

An element of Poe’s style:

An element of Poe’s style Poe uses vocabulary to create setting, for rhetorical effect, rather than for information. Modern horror films use music to create atmosphere; Poe used vocabulary.

ANNABELLE LEE Author: Edgar Allan Poe :

ANNABELLE LEE Author: 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.

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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 winged seraphs of heaven Coveted her and me.

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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 kinsman came And bore her away from me, To shut her up in a sepulcher In this kingdom by the sea.

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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.

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But our love 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.

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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;

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And so, all the night-tide, I lie down by the side Of my darling, my darling, my life and my bride, In the sepulcher there by the sea, In her tomb by the sounding sea.

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" Annabel Lee " is the last complete poem composed by American author Edgar Allan Poe . Like many of Poe's poems, it explores the theme of the death of a beautiful woman. The narrator, who fell in love with Annabel Lee when they were young, has a love for her so strong that even angels are jealous. He retains his love for her even after her death.

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There has been debate over who, if anyone, was the inspiration for "Annabel Lee". Though many women have been suggested, Poe's wife Virginia Eliza Clemm Poe is one of the more credible candidates. Written in 1849, it was not published until shortly after Poe's death that same year.

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The poem's narrator describes his love for Annabel Lee, which began many years ago in an unnamed "kingdom by the sea". Though they were young, their love for one another burned with such an intensity that angels became jealous. For that reason, the narrator believes, the angels caused her death.

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Even so, their love is strong enough that it extends beyond the grave and the narrator believes their two souls are still entwined. Every night, he dreams of Annabel Lee and sees the brightness of her eyes in the stars. He admits that every night he lies down by her side in her tomb by the sea.

Analysis :

Analysis Like many other Poe poems including " The Raven ", " Ulalume ", and " To One in Paradise ", "Annabel Lee" follows Poe's favorite theme: the death of a beautiful woman, which Poe called "the most poetical topic in the world". Also like women in many other works by Poe, she is struck with illness and marries young.

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The poem focuses on an ideal love which is unusually strong. In fact, the narrator's actions show that he not only loves Annabel Lee, but he worships her, something he can only do after her death. The narrator admits that he and Annabel Lee were both children when they fell in love, but his explanation that angels murdered her is in itself childish, suggesting he has not grown up much since then.

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His repetition of this assertion suggests he is trying to rationalize his own excessive feelings of loss. Unlike "The Raven", in which the narrator believes he will "nevermore" be reunited with his love, "Annabel Lee" says the two will be together again, as not even demons "can ever dissever" their souls. The poem has been described containing "shades of necrophilia."

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