List three literary elements that Poe used as sound devices in "Annabel Lee" and give an example of each from the poem.
Many literary sound devices contribute to the hauntingly melodic effect of "Annabel Lee." In addition to those noted in the other responses, Poe uses repetition, euphony, anaphora, and a lilting but unstable rhythm to craft the beauty of his poem.
Of all the sound devices, certainly the most notable in this poem is the repetition. "In this kingdom by the sea" repeats (with minor variation) in the first three stanzas and takes on an ominous tone in the last two by changing the "kingdom" to "demons" and a "sepulchre." The final two stanzas repeat "Of the beautiful Annabel Lee."
Euphony is the use of pleasant-sounding phrases that roll off the tongue and create a melody of their own. The name "Annabel Lee" is quite euphonic in itself; one finds oneself wanting to say it over and over again, which this poem allows one to do. Other especially euphonic phrases are as follows: "Than to love and be loved by me," "we loved with a love that was more than love," and "Can ever dissever my soul from the soul."
Anaphora is a type of repetition that includes parallel construction. Often the same words will repeat at the beginning of a sentence or in structurally parallel parts of the sentence. Examples are the lines in the penultimate stanza that begin with "Of," and in the last stanza that begin with "Of the beautiful" and "Of my darling." Likewise the memorable line "I was a child and she was a child" depends upon the technique of anaphora.
Finally, the unique rhythm Poe uses in the poem is one of its most intriguing sound devices. He uses three-syllable feet, both anapestic and dactylic, to create a lilting, skipping feeling at points. The line "In a kingdom by the sea" uses one anapestic foot followed by two iambic feet. The name "Annabel Lee" is one dactylic foot followed by a single accented syllable. By constantly switching up the rhythm, the poem creates a beautiful instability that matches the persona of the speaker.
Poe's skillful use of sound devices in "Annabel Lee" makes it one of American literature's most beloved poems.
Edgar Allan Poe employs several literary devices throughout his poem "Annabel Lee" that create a moving rhythm and atmosphere.
Assonance is the repetition of vowel sounds in two or more words that are located near one another, such as the following:
- "In this kingdom"
- "out of a cloud"
- "shut her up in a sepulchre"
Alliteration is a stylistic device in which words beginning with the same first consonant occur together in a series, such as the following:
- "The angels, not half so happy in heaven"
- "Of those who were older than we"
- "Nor the demons down under the sea"
Edgar Allan Poe also utilizes internal rhyme schemes throughout this poem. Internal rhyme is the rhyming of words within the same line of poetry, such as the following:
- "Chilling and killing"
- "Can ever dissever"
- "For the moon never beams, without bringing me dream"
- "And the stars never rise, but I feel the bright eyes"
Sibilance is a literary device where strongly stressed consonants, which produce hissing sounds, are used in quick succession, such as the following:
- "dissever my soul from the soul"
In "Annabel Lee," Poe uses several sound devices to develop the rhythm in the poem.
Internal rhyme: "For the moon never beams without bringing me dreams. . ." and "And so, all the night-tide, I lie down by the side. . ."
Sibilance: "Can ever dissever the soul from the soul. . ."
Alliteration: ". . .sounding sea."