What are the alliteration, assonance,imagery, metaphors, and allusions used in the poem of Edgar Allan Poe in "Annabel Lee"?

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favoritethings eNotes educator| Certified Educator

Some examples of imagery in the poem include: 

  • "A wind blew out of a cloud by night" (line 15). This might be considered both a visual image (the picture of a cloud at night is easy to conjure) as well as an auditory image (we might hear the sound of the wind—a little spooky-sounding at nighttime).
  • "the moon never beams without bringing me dreams" (line 34). The visual image of moonbeams is present here.
  • "the stars never rise but I see the bright eyes" (line 36). Again, we get a visual image of the stars brightly twinkling in the night sky.

Some examples of alliteration include:

  • "many and many" (line 1). The "m" sound is repeated.
  • "love and be loved" (line 6). The "l" sound is repeated.
  • "loved with a love that was more than love" (line 9).  The "l" sound is again repeated here.
  • "To shut her up, in a sepulchre / In this kingdom by the sea" (lines 19-20). The "k" sound in sepulchre and kingdom is repeated.
  • "The angels, not half so happy in Heaven" (line 21).  The "h" sound is repeated in half, happy, and Heaven.
  • "Nor the demons down under the sea" (line 31). The "d" sound is repeated.
  • "Can ever dissever my soul from the soul" (line 32).  The "s" sound is repeated.

One metaphor could be found in the speaker's description—"I was a child and She was a child / In this kingdom by the sea" (lines 7–8). It is unlikely that they were both children; rather, they were probably simply very young and innocent when they fell in love.

We might also read the line "And the stars never rise but I see the bright eyes / Of the beautiful Annabel Lee" as a metaphor (lines 36-37). The speaker seems to be comparing the stars' brightness to the brightness of his beloved's eyes.

mwestwood eNotes educator| Certified Educator

Stanza 1 has imagery of a magical kingdom, perhaps like the legendary King Arthur in England since "the sea" is mentioned.  Annabel Lee is also a legendary maiden: "[one] whom you may know." 

Other imageryThe winged seraph in stanza 2,  wind, cloud, and sepulcher in stanza 3, and the demons down under the sea, bright eyes, nighttide, sepulcher/tomb in stanzas 5 and 6

Assonance: vowels a and o and long i in all stanzas; stanza 3 has the i sound: wind, this, highborn, kinsmen

Alliteration: stanza 1 with the repetition of the initial m in lines 2 and 3 l and b in line 6; the initial c in l. 7; l in line 8; lines 17 and 21 repeat h ; (here the h suggests wind) w is repeated in line 29; d in l. 31;s in ll. 32 and 39;s in lines 40 and 41. (You may wish to find more.)

The word child in line 7 denotes the youth of the lovers, and is a metaphor for the innocence of their love.  In lines 9-12, the relationship between the husband and bride is compared to a heavenly one:  "We loved with a love that was more than love..." The envy of angels, "winged seraphs" elevates this love.  In stanza 6 the moon and stars are compared to messengers. 

There are two allusions: "demons under the sea"-Greek myth of Andromeda threatened by a sea monster, but rescued by Perseus; "ever dissever" and "soul" -St. Paul's epistle to the Romans about nothing separating us from God's love.