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Quotes

Quote #1

And this maiden she lived with no other thought
Than to love and be loved by me. (lines 5-6)

Love is the only thing that counts for the speaker. He really fell for Annabel Lee. Even when she was alive, loving her was the only thing that mattered to him. He says she felt the same way, but of course we don't get to hear her side of the story. Actually, women don't ever talk very much in Poe's poems and stories, they just hang out and look beautiful and spooky. It would be sort of sad if it turned out that she wasn't that into him after all.

Quote #2

But we loved with a love that was more than love-- (line 9)

Check out the way that Poe keeps raising the stakes here. The speaker already told us that they only cared about loving each other. Now it turns out that their love was more than love. To make sure you get the point he uses the word love three times in a single line. We're not sure what loving more than love would be like. Sounds kind of like multiplying infinity by infinity.

Quote #3

But our love it was stronger by far than the love
Of those who were older than we-- (line 27-28)

This moment could be a stirring cry of deep love. Maybe the speaker is saying that no one, even the people who were supposed to know better, could ever love like he loved Annabel Lee. You could also read it as a kind of competition. Maybe he means that the love Annabel's parents felt for her wasn't as strong as the love he felt. That seems cruel, since they lost their daughter. In fact, this whole thing could also be a temper tantrum on the part of the speaker. Imagine our speaker yelling at his folks about how they don't understand him and then stomping off to his room. We're not trying to be critical of the speaker; we just want to give you a different angle on the poem.

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