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What kinds of figurative language are used in the poem "Annabel Lee," by Edgar Allan Poe?

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luisdc13 | Student, Grade 9 | eNotes Newbie

Posted February 9, 2011 at 6:54 AM via web

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What kinds of figurative language are used in the poem "Annabel Lee," by Edgar Allan Poe?

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jmj616 | Middle School Teacher | (Level 3) Associate Educator

Posted February 9, 2011 at 9:19 AM (Answer #1)

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The most important form of figurative language used in "Annabel Lee" is a kind of repetition that is called epanalepsis--the repetition of a word or phrase at regular intervals.

The first stanza alone contains three examples of this device:

a) It was many and many a year ago;

b) That a maiden there lived who you may know

By the name of Annabel Lee;

And this maiden she lived...

c) she lived with no other thought

Than to love and be loved by me.

In the second stanza, Poe repeats the words child and love (3 times).

In the third stanza, Poe begins to repeat phrases that he had used in the second stanza: "this kingdom by the sea," and "my Annabel Lee" are both "borrowed" from Stanza 2.

These repetitions (and others like it throughout the poem) give the poem its song-like, almost childish quality.

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