Study Guide

Annabel Lee Love

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Love is definitely the major theme of "Annabel Lee." Even if it's a little twisted in places, this is a poem about love. At its foundation it's about a guy who loves a girl, and refuses to quit loving her. The cool thing about this theme is that the poem doesn't stick to the sunny side of love. It digs deep into the dangerous parts of these emotions, the way love can trap you, torment you, and leave you sad and lonely. Love has made this guy who he is, but it's also clear that it has ruined his life. One day he's a happy kid with a girlfriend he loves a lot, the next thing we know he's sleeping next to a corpse every night. Love's a funny thing…

Questions About Love

  1. Is this poem a positive or a negative depiction of love? Is this how true love should look?
  2. How does the poem compare romantic and parental love?
  3. Does death always make love weaker? Do you believe it could make it stronger? How would the speaker respond to this question?
  4. Does the depiction of the speaker's love change as the poem goes on?

Chew on This

While this poem begins as an expression of true love, it ends as a dark warning about the danger of obsession.

The intensity of the speaker's love in "Annabel Lee" is a sign of his mental instability.

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