Annabel Lee by Edgar Allan Poe: The Difficulty of Accepting Death

Topics: Annabel Lee

The Difficulty of Accepting Death

Many people have difficulty accepting the death of others; some people are not even able to accept death, usually because they are close to the deceased. Edgar Allan Poe is an example of one of these people. He is a very well-known poet, and one of his works was titled “Annabel Lee”. Annabel Lee was a person who he loved very much but died, and his poem is dedicated to showing his inability to let go of Annabel Lee.

Although people know that everyone is fated to die, Poe shows through repetition and symbols that the death of others will cause people to miss them and drive some people to do anything as they try to find a better excuse for what happened rather than just a simple death.

One literary element that Poe uses, repetition, clearly shows how he misses Annabel Lee. Poe repeats “In this kingdom by the sea” or something similar to this at least five times throughout the poem.

Looking at this line, one can see that the most important words are kingdom and sea. One image that can be seen is that Poe and Annabel are alone in a kingdom – the situation of lovers in a fairytale, since Poe doesn’t mention that there’s anyone else. In addition to that, it’s by a sea, a huge body of water with no other civilization of people. Even after Annabel’s death, Poe still remembers the “kingdom” that they used to live in, and he still brings it up in the poem.

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This depicts the feelings he still has; he still longs for the past kingdom.

In addition, the vastness of the word sea can imply that he feels like he is in a vast lonely place without anyone for comfort. The world has people in it, but Poe still feels this way, which emphasizes how he misses Annabel Lee.

In addition to that, Poe also uses some symbolism to show how he’s searching for a reason why Annabel died. He doesn’t want to believe that she just simply died of tuberculosis. Therefore, he reasons that there were “winged seraphs of Heaven/ [that] Coveted her and me.” The seraphs of heaven are supposed to be a symbol of greater power. In addition to that, when a greater power covets or wants to have something, it will usually obtain it. In this case, since it isn’t possible to steal the relationship between Poe and Annabel, Poe is saying that the jealousy of the greater powers caused them to steal away Anntoer to break the relationship. Rather than accepting the fact, Poe comes up with this reasoning as to why Annabel died. In addition, Poe also says “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”. Poe acknowledges the powerful otherworldly beings as things that tried to break apart Poe and Annabel Lee. The souls are a symbol of love and remembrance of Annabel Lee. Poe is saying that even powerful beings are not able to break apart their love for each other. This again emphasizes the face of how Poe misses Annabel Lee since he doesn’t want their bond to break.

It also shows how Poe is attached to the idea that other beings are actively trying to break them apart; it is not just a natural death for Annabel Lee. In conclusion, Poe uses symbolism and repetition to emphasize how he thinks there is another reason for death – especially for the death of the one he loved the most. People have a hard time accepting time, and they have to find ways to cope with it. Poe’s thinking was just for him to think that there was some worth in Annabel and him, and Annabel’s death was just the jealousy of greater beings that wanted their worth.

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Annabel Lee by Edgar Allan Poe: The Difficulty of Accepting Death. (2022, Jun 18). Retrieved from

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