“The Raven” and “Annabel Lee” Edgar Allen Poe known as a poet and critic but most famous as the first master of the short-story form, especially tales of the mysterious and macabre. The literary merits of Poe’s writings have been debated since his death, but his works have remained popular and many major American and European writers have professed their artistic debt to him. Edgar Allen Poe is noted as one of the few American “Romantic” poets. Poe’s poem “The Raven” and “Annabel Lee” portray Romanticism as characterized by emotion, exotica, and imagination.
In “Annabel Lee’, a young man is mourning the death of a beautiful young lady. Even though the woman had died quite some time ago, the man is still in melancholy. He misses her terribly and constantly thinks of how she was tragically taken from him by the angels who were jealous of their love and by her family who did not think he was capable of bringing her to her final resting place. He loved Annabel Lee more than any other human can love another. “The Raven” connects very similar topics.
Like “Annabel Lee”, “The Raven” , a man, most likely older than the man in “Annabel Lee”, mourns the death of his love whom he called “Lenore”. Lenore, like Annabel Lee, had died several year earlier. In “The Raven”, man hears tapping on his chamber door and sees the curtains slowly swaying. He believes that it can be no other than Lenore. Unfortunately for him though, it is only but a bird. A large, black bird knows as the Raven. With insistent meter and captivating rhymes schemes, Edgar Allan Poe’s “Annabel Lee” and “The Raven” are both very similar.
However, in their views of love, namely the loss and mourning of beautiful women, they differ greatly. Through analysis of the two poems, the reader observes that whom Poe had chosen for a speaker, the tone and the sound effects are all factor in both poems that make two poems with a similar theme contrast. Both poems mean the same thing and follow the same theme or “melancholy topics” as Poe called it in his essay. The both depict a speaker who is severely depressed over the death of a beautiful woman.
Poe gave a sense of madness in their character, though, which made them obsess and think constantly about their lost love. The could also both be interpreted as obsessed speaker with intense and undying love. The tone and sound effects play a huge role interpreting the two poems. “Annabel Lee” tends to sound a lot more a children’s song, so the reader is forced to read in between the lines and in the optimism, while in “The Raven,” the meter and tone and rhyme scheme all contribute to the sound that makes readers find the poem overwhelmingly scary.
However, if one were to paraphrase both poems, they would be equally as dark, yet it is the meter, tone and rhymes that pull the poems to opposite poles making one almost optimistic and the other horrific. These two poems have many more similar themes, motifs, and symbolism between the two of the, but there is one major element in each of them that contrast. “Annabel Lee” is much more optimistic than “The Raven” is, especially since the speaker in “Annabel Lee” feels like he will always be with Annabel lee, where as the speaker in “The Raven” is convinced that he will see Lenore nevermore.
The contrasting element there is the way that the two of these men mourn and cope with death of their lovers, which, in turns, shows the difference between hope and acceptance. The man in “The Raven” is still searching for his lost love, hoping to be reunited with her, whereas the man in “Annabel Lee” has accepted her death and chooses to lie down with her at night “in her tomb by the sounding see. ” Each poem depicts a lover grieving.
The speaker in “The Raven” has been nearly moved to madness by his grief and heartache. While it is understood that the speaker in “Annabel Lee” is also grieving, one finds that he as comforted himself by allowing himself to know that she will always be with him, even though her body is in her grave. Through taking the same story and writing it twice, but with different tone, meter, and sound effects Edgar Allan Poe has sold the same poem twice.