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Julie Gagne Literature and Composition Professor Cotter 4/3/14 Essay 3 Poetry Comparison Critics say that in Annabel

Lee and The Raven Poe uses repetition coupled with a melancholy tone to enhance his themes of death forcing the persona of the poem to face the loss of their beloved. He also uses dark imagery to create an intense feeling of loss of Lenore and Annabel Lee. Edgar Allan Poe was a tortured soul who wrote commonly about death, horror, and lost loves. In Annabel Lee, he writes about a woman whom he is in love with. They were both children who lived by the sea. The angels were jealous of their love and sent down a wind that came out of a cloud by night, chilling and killing his beautiful Annabel Lee (Poe, 13-14). Her rich family took Annabel Lee away from our speaker and shut her up in a sepulchre by the sea (Poe, 19-20). Our speaker think that neither the angels nor the demons can separate them because their love was so strong. He tells us that the night never comes when he doesnt dream about Annabel Lee. He even imagines feeling her eyes on him. At the end, he lays down beside her tomb by the sea in a sort of marriage bed position. I believe he infers that he dies there when he says I lie down by the side of my darling-my darling-my life and my bride, in the sepulchre there by the sea, in her tomb by the sounding sea (Poe, 38-41). I would consider this poem to be lyric. It is one speaker expressing one emotion-despair. Even though we have characters in this

poem, they are rather flat characters. This poem does tell a story, but not in the way a true narrative poem would. The theme of lost love can again be seen in Poes poem The Raven. In The Raven, our speaker lies napping and hears a noise, a tapping. He seems like he doesnt want to answer the door so he convinces himself that it is just someone tapping and nothing more. In this poem, the speakers great loves name is Lenore. We know that Lenore has died and we see the angels are again jealous of the maiden name Lenore (Poe, 11). He continues to hear the tapping and begins to get paranoid and afraid that someone has entered his chamber. He tries to keep assuring himself that it is just that and nothing more. Then he rises from his seat and goes to the door and talks aloud saying that he was sleeping and almost did not hear the tapping, but when he opens the chamber door, no one is there. Only darkness. He continues to stand at the door and still sees nothing coming to light, but he does hear one word-Lenore. Still he hears the tapping so he decides that there must be someone tapping on his window. Going to the window, he again sees nothing. He just hears the wind and nothing more. Just then, he throws open the shutters and above his chamber door he sees a beautiful, regal raven. The raven flies into the room and lands on a bust in his chamber, but he did nothing. The raven then begins to taunt the speaker by saying continually Nevermore. Poe begins to think that the bird must have been owned by someone who taught the bird, but one wordNevermore. The speaker then brings over a chair and sits down in front of the bird with a smile on his face and stares at this bird that he describes as a pitiful, ghastly bird. He was trying to decipher what the bird meant in saying Nevermore. Then our speaker begins to smell something and asks if God has sent his angels to give him respite from

thinking of his lost love Lenore. Again the raven says Nevermore. Our speaker then asks the raven if there is a balm so that he does not have to think of Lenore anymore and again the raven says Nevermore. At this point in the poem, our speaker is basically begging the raven for relief from his constant thinking of Lenore. By now, our speaker is thinking of the raven as a thing sent from hell to torment him with his taunts and he thinks that the jealous angels must have taken his Lenore. Screaming now, our speaker tells the bird to go back into the tempest and leave no reminder that the bird has been there. Again the raven says Nevermore. The speaker tells us the bird wont leave and we can infer that the speaker dies when he says his soul will be lifted nevermore. I would consider this poem to be narrative. It tells a story, has dialogue between our speaker and the bird and also dialogue with himself, and it has characters. The characters in this poem are the raven and our speaker. The speaker in this poem is dynamic. He absolutely undergoes change. He starts off being a calm man reading and dozing on the couch and then the raven enters and, by the end of the poem, he is a screaming lunatic of sorts. The whole poem is a scene by itself. Critics everywhere and throughout time have given their opinion on Poes poetry. Most talked about was the symbolism, imagery, tone, and repetition in his poems. In Annabel Lee, critics say that Poe uses repetition to symbolize remembrance and he uses the ebb and flow of the poems repetition to create an image of the sea throughout the poem. He uses the repetition again when he says, chilling and then chilling and killing (Poe 15&27) to force the reader to remember that the angels were jealous of the love between our speaker and his love, Annabel Lee. Critic Michael Cummings says that the repetition in Annabel Lee s used to enhance the rhythm of the

poem through alliteration. Using alliteration creates a pleasing sound pattern (Cummings 2005). Cummings also notes that Poe uses words and word patterns in single lines such as many and many a year ago (1), we loved with a love that was more than love (2) and my darling-my darling (3). This continues throughout the poem. In The Raven, critics say that repetition supports the content of the poem by creating a pattern in the senses (, p2). For example, in stanzas 1-7 nothing is repeated 6 times. In stanzas 8-18, never is repeated 12 times. This gives those words more power in the poem. It helps us to see that there is an emptiness there that the speaker feels. In both poems, the repetition of lines and even words makes the reader see the importance of certain ideas in each poem. In Annabel Lee The word love is repeated eight times. This makes me think that love between the speaker and Annabel Lee was central to this poem and needed repeating so that we could get a sense that their love was everlasting and it showed that, in spite of her death, their love would continue. In The Raven, Nevermore is also repeated eight times. I think this could be a pattern in Poes poetry. Nevermore being repeated gives the reader a sense of anguish and despair. Never again would this speaker see or talk to his beloved Lenore. Rhyming nevermore and Lenore also gives the reader a connection to those two words. It makes a statement that Lenore is, in fact, nevermore. Imagery is essential to these two poems. For example, the sea plays a huge part in both poems in different ways. Critics say that the sea ties the story of Annabel Lee together. It is used in many ways throughout the poem. For example, it gives us a sense of being beautiful when they were both alive. It gives us the image of two young people in love walking the shore and enjoying each other, but at the end of the poem, it gives us

the sense of despair. The ocean is the strongest force on Earth and I see the continued reference to the sea as meaning that not even the most powerful force can separate the young lovers from one another. Throughout Annabel Lee we see continued references to the kingdom by the sea. Critic Alexei Markel says that A kingdom by the sea is a direct reference to England. It is not directly stated, but I get the feeling that The Raven was also set in England. The tone of these poems are very dark, however, they do not start off that way. In Annabel Lee we start off in a scene where two young children who are in love are walking beside the sea and seem to be happy in love until the angels send a wind that kills Annabel Lee. In The Raven we see a man who is just resting on the couch and calmly reading a book until the raven reminds him of the loss of his beloved Lenore. Poe continues to use a dark tone and we get the feeling of its darkness because of his word choices. Critic Michael Cummings says that Poes word choices give us the connotation of death, dying, and darkness. He says that Poes poems have implied or explicit images of darkness Cummings 2005). For example, in The Raven, another critic talks about midnight and December. Midnight and December are both the end of something. We know by connotation that these things do, in fact, mean the end of something, the love shared by our speaker and Lenore. Light also plays a part in Annabel Lee. Poe says, 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(Poe, 1849). When Poe uses these two phrases it gives the reader an idea that even though Annabel Lee is dead, the speaker will never be separated from his love and, to him that is a good thing. We know, though, that he must lie beside her tomb by the sea to be close to

her and this brings us back to the darkness. He uses this technique again in The Raven and in Annabel Lee when he talks about the seraphs and seraphim. These are angels and angels are said to be from God and light, but in both poems the angels are more demon-like. They send down a cold wing that kills Annabel Lee and that the angels have brought the scent of Lenore to torture him with memories of his beloved Lenore. Throughout both poems, Poe uses figurative language, imagery, setting, and repetition to set the tone and rhythm of the poems. In both poems, I can see the undying love that the speakers share with their loves. The ways that Poe uses these literary devices allows me to see inside the heart and soul of the speakers. I get a feeling in both poems the speakers are angry that someone is trying to take away their beloved ladies. In Annabel Lee it is two-fold. First the jealous angels send down a cold wind and because of this Annabel Lee dies and, after her death, her family takes her away and puts her in her tomb. In The Raven, I believe that the speaker thinks the raven is trying to take away his memories of Lenore. Poe uses imagery in both poems in the settings of the poems. In Annabel Lee the setting is what I see as a beautiful seaside place where you can see the heavens above. It makes me think that even in a place of beauty, despair and anguish exist. The same could be said about The Raven. The speaker is in a beautiful and lavishly appointed chamber which brings to mind a place of beauty but as this poem goes on, we see that this place too is a place where despair and anguish exist. The settings in these poems are critical because they allow us to get a better understanding of the speakers anguish. The critics are correct in their theories that these poems both force the speaker to face the losses of their one true love. The imagery, tone, and repetition along with setting

makes us see a very dark picture and actually feel the sorrow and despair that these two speakers feel.