Comparing Poe’s “Annabel Lee” and Shakespeare’s “130”

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William Shakespeare and Edgar Allen Poe are two very different writers, with completely different writing styles. Poe is known to be more of a dark, mysterious writer. While on the other hand, Shakespeare is known to be more of a romantic tragedy writer. However, in the case of “Annabel Lee” and “130”, both writers are talking about the women that they love, but they both have different ways of telling the story. In “Annabel Lee”, Poe is looking back and telling about a beautiful memory he has about his long lost love, Annabel Lee. In the very first stanza of this poem, Poe makes it very clear that the feelings he had for Annabel Lee were not just temporary: It was many a year ago, In a kingdom by the sea, That a maiden there lived who you may know By the name of Annabel Lee; And this maiden she lived with no other thoughts Than to love and be loved by me. (489) The very last line in that stanza shows the deep love he felt for the maiden, Annabel Lee. Poe describes that their love is more powerful than the angels that envy them, and that not even death could separate them: And neither the angels in Heaven above, Nor the demons down under the sea, Can ever dissever my soul from thy soul Of the beautiful Annabel Lee. (490) Shakespeare has a different approach on describing his love in his poem, “130”. All throughout the poem Shakespeare is explaining how his mistress is not this beautiful “Barbie” type woman: My mistress’ eyes are nothing like the sun; Coral is far more red than her lips’ red; If snow be white, why then her breasts are dun; If hairs be wires, black wires grow on her head. (404) At the very end of the poem, Shakespeare claims that even though she is not this goddess type woman, he still loves her: “And yet, by heaven, I think my love as rare”(404). Poe and Shakespeare’s poems have several differences.

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