The Element of Dark Romanticism in Edgar Allan Poe's Annabel Lee

“Annabel Lee” is one of the literary pieces of work done by Edgar Allan Poe in 1849 just a few months before his death. Consequently, he was an American poet, critic and editor under the American Romantic Movement concept. This poem is purely all about the beautiful romantic and painful memories of the persona. As in the poem the persona remembers his long gone love of Annabel Lee.

The narrator knew Annabel Lee as a young girl in many years ago where they lived in a given kingdom by the sea.

As young children, the two could send signals of love as they were serious and madly in love. The speaker tells of his love towards Annabel to be more than love, which could even make angles in heaven to feel jealous. The companion was too strong that no man on earth could break it apart from the aspect of death. And actually this is the major reason as to why the persona is heavily complaining and condemning the heavenly angles for killing his girlfriend Annabel Lee (Poe 1-5).

Unfortunately, the wind from the clouds blowing on the ground rendered Annabel Lee sick and we see the young lady eventually dying of the sickness. After her death, the body is taken by the relatives and shut up in the tomb where the narrator explains on how he goes and lies with Annabel every night in the tomb. He confesses that there is little thing under the sun that could separate her girlfriend from him even after when she is no more in existence.

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This comes is evident in the poem from his confessions of seeing her everywhere both in the stars and the dreams (Poe 7). This opens up for the readers that the love between the two people was not just a teenage crush but a true and pure love that has ever existed.

Additionally, Poe’s poem refers to a number of women who died at their youthful stages without fully graduating to adulthood. There is a great controversy over the little crazy thing by the name ‘love’. It is tantamount that nature could snatch away the young beautiful ladies from their men of real love. For example, Poe faces great love challenges as his young wife suddenly dies before she turns twenty five in 1847.

The young lady (Virginia Clemm) married Poe at the age of thirteen in 1835 and these were their lovely and memorable moments they ever had before death took her away from him because of tuberculosis. He really questions nature actions on taking away the right people unnoticeably. The same reflection appears on the unnamed narrator who languishes and heavily sobs over his girlfriend’s premature death (Fennessy 7). The young man is not real convinced that his girlfriend Annabel Lee died and she is not alive any longer.

On the same note, Poe had a rough life experiences as he was brought up as an orphan by John and Frances Allan to who is was not formally adopted. This was as a result of the father abandoning the family in 1810 and the mother dying barely after two years. It was really painful for the young man to cope up with the challenges he was subjected to along his child and youth life. Still living with Allan, more chaos and quarreling cases broke up between the young man and Allan. This was because of the debts, which were as a result of gambling and the heavier expenses of secondary school education. However, he struggled and finished his secondary school education where he was admitted to the University of Virginia (Poe & Gilles 9).

Unfortunately, because of financial constraints the young man dropped out of the University barely after a semester. Additionally, Poe could not withstand all the challenges and decided to join the army in order to be able to source more for his life. At this point in time, the literary talent for Poe sparked out and he focused on popularizing his periodicals and literary journals.

The name Annabel Leigh refers to an allusion of Poe’s poem “Annabel Lee”. Basically, most critics assume that the poem is an ode to a young wife specifically all about his young (Virginia Clemm) who died of tuberculosis. Annabel’s name refers also refers to the young life cut short and not only about an object of desire and a prepubescent lover. Equally, Annabel is a persistent and gentle lover who does not darken any aspect of her love thus the true love for the narrator who does not see any other apart from her alone.

The romantic from eighteenth and the nineteenth centuries perceive adulthood to be too much corrupted of the tender childhood love. The romantics of this era prefer nature to society because of the way it allows things to occur without problematic issues (Poe 15). For example, nature gives love and allows it to sprout to any level in life without further limitations as opposed to the society, which is engulfed with many restrictions and limitations under the romantic field.

Such kind of societal and natural actions heavily contribute to Poe’s literary pieces of work to higher levels of development. Life appears to very unfair both for him and the young man who is left hanging in the on the love line, which appears merciless and very painful. What happens on the persona is a vivid reflection of Poe’s life full of misery based on the tense and wanting moments in his life. Poe associates death with the capturing and freezing of young beautiful women on earth hence, rendering them the aspect of loveliness in their deathbeds. For example, this same perspective is seen with Ligeia of the eponymous story (Sova & Dawn 25).

The lives of the young women including Annabel Lee have been critically looked into especially based on their deaths. It is worrying that life appears to be too short before a new dawn knocks at the door. Further, Poe is considered as a dark writer because of a serious of tragic things that happened in his entire life. A critical focus on the way nature tears apart what has been tightened up by love is one thing that propels the reasoning of Poe to wish to understand the logic behind death.

He does not real see the sense in the concept of life dignity if things will still happen the way they do. The sudden demise of young people from existence is quite painful and should be condemned with all due respect. For example, the narrator still feels that the earthly angles continue envying his love even right away in the tomb. The remains of their love are still messed up and put on an inferno by the natural forces, which does not admire the romantic part of life. Life itself is seen as challenging based on the way it punishes innocent people who should be left free to have what they desire in order to cherish and champion happiness.

On the same, note Poe is seen advancing his literary carrier upon a critical focus on it. After his young wife died, he went on with life but working under pressure (Carlson 89). Despite of the hardships and greater challenges, Poe forged ahead and published some more pieces of work championing the various life aspects. As of this poem, the element of love stands out for the aspects of honesty especially from childhood to adulthood.

In conclusion, Poe’s piece of literary work “Annabel Lee” is very prolific and potential in unmasking the scenes under the love package. Love is one little crazy thing that can be the source of happiness and on the other hand easily ruin someone forever. This is evident from the tragic events and actions that nature brings forth for the men mentioned in this piece of work. Based on their darkened life experiences, the poet (Poe) was greatly influenced towards achieving and publishing the great and touching pieces of literary works that have forever inspired the world to greater heights of understanding the nature of life.

As in this poem of “Annabel Lee” Poe appears to unmask the tragic occurrences, which nature avails to our lives thus creating a better understanding and synchronization of life from all spheres without further limitations. Finally, all these life experiences especially based on the earlier deaths of Poe’s parents and his young wife have shaped and greatly influenced on his writings, which will stand for the test of times.

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The Element of Dark Romanticism in Edgar Allan Poe's Annabel Lee. (2022, Dec 16). Retrieved from

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