December 05, 2011
“Annabel Lee” is Love
Virginia Eliza Lee met her first cousin, Edgar Allan Poe, for the first time in August 1829, and married him in May 1836. Marriage to a cousin in the late 19th century was not odd, but Virginia’s age was frowned upon. Virginia was thirteen and Poe was 27. The couple’s relationship was more brother and sister than husband and wife. All through life, Poe has lost women that he loved to death. Poe’s biological mother, Elizabeth Poe, died when he was 3. His foster-mother, Frances Allan, died when he was 20. Finally his wife, Virginia Clemm, died when he was 38. Poe’s narrator tells us about Annabel Lee as if he was a lowly pauper and she was the princess of a distant kingdom. With the affectionate childhood love the Edgar Poe had for his wife, his final disdain with death is conveyed in “Annabel Lee.” Annabel Lee is a symbol of beauty and undying love.
Edgar Poe loved Virginia Clemm with all his heart and viewed her as an innocent virgin maiden, Annabel Lee. Some biographers have suggested that Poe and Clemm might have never consummated their marriage. Annabel Lee’s lover viewed her as a maiden
writing,”…a maiden….than to love and be loved by me.” Lines five and six symbolize this unreal love that he and Virginia had. Labeling her a maiden, fits right into this imaginary kingdom by the sea. Furthermore, Poe writes in line 11,” a love the winged seraphs of Heaven coveted her and me,” and in lines 30-33, “…The angels in Heaven above…can ever dissever my soul of the beautiful Annabel Lee.” These lines symbolizes that even the angels, although they represent love, joy, and peace, are jealous about Poe and Virginia’s love for each other. Angels experience the greatest and true love by God in Heaven, and therefore have no need to envy human love. Following this further, the narrator tells us that Annabel was,”…shut her up in the sepulcher by the sea.” Lines...