Describe the Dark Romanticism presented in “Annabel Lee”?

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accessteacher | High School Teacher | (Level 3) Distinguished Educator

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Dark Romanticism is characterised by a focus on the psychological darkness within man's soul. Its essential ingredients are normally based around highlighting the evil that lies at the very core of all men and also the perversion that our emotions can drive us to. In "Annabel Lee," Dark Romanticism is reflected in the transformation of this poem, that appears to be a simple poem of lost love, into something much more sinister as the final stanza reaches its culmination:

And so, all the night-tide, I lie down by the side
Of my darling, my darling, my life and my bride,
    In her sepulchre there by the sea—
    In her tomb by the side of the sea.

What begins to be something that the reader thinks is touching, as the speaker describes his love of Annabel Lee as something that can never be "dissevered," is turned through repetition into something much more dark and disturbing. The final lines of this poem serve to cement this impression as the reference to necrophilia is made overt, and the speaker is so clearly disturbed by Annabel Lee's death that he seems to identify no difference in his relationship with her even though she has died, calling her "my life and my bride." In this poem, as in so many of Poe's other works, Dark Romanticism is therefore expressed through the disturbing psychological presentation of the central character.