What are the subject, tone, and mood of "Annabel Lee" by Edgar Allan Poe?

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krounds's profile pic

krounds | Student, College Sophomore | (Level 3) Adjunct Educator

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"Annabel Lee" is a ballad poem written by Edgar Allan Poe. It tells the story of the narrator and his lover, and her death. Poe emphasizes the unearthly nature of Annabel Lee and the speaker's love by assigning jealousy to the angels in heaven, stating that they 'coveted' their love. By elevating the essence of their love, the speaker in a sense justifies his inability to move on. The tone of the poem is very nostalgic and the language Poe employs adds a mythical quality to the piece. The actual rhyme scheme and format of the poem allows for a musical quality that only adds to the haunting desire for yesteryear. The mood is cold and bitter and seems to suggest that the individual telling the story is willfully tortured. This willful torture is best displayed in the last stanza when it is revealed that he sleeps in Annabel Lee's tomb.  

pohnpei397's profile pic

pohnpei397 | College Teacher | (Level 3) Distinguished Educator

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The subject of the poem "Annabel Lee," by Edgar Allan Poe is the death of the narrator's love, Annabel Lee.  The narrator tells us about how the two of them were childhood sweethearts who loved each other and (presumably) got married.  He then tells how she died and how devastated he continues to be by her loss.

I would say that the tone and mood of the poem are somber.  His attitude toward Annabel Lee and her death is clearly a sad one.  He continues to miss her and sleep in her tomb.  I don't think you could say that that is anything but sad and somber.

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