18 pages 36 minutes read

Edgar Allan Poe

Annabel Lee

Fiction | Poem | Adult | Published in 1849

A modern alternative to SparkNotes and CliffsNotes, SuperSummary offers high-quality Study Guides with detailed chapter summaries and analysis of major themes, characters, and more. For select classroom titles, we also provide Teaching Guides with discussion and quiz questions to prompt student engagement.

Writing Prompts

1. Poe’s poem emphasizes the conflict between the central characters and angels. It is highly unusual for angels to be cast as the villains within a narrative. Create a T chart (see example below) with bullet points, with one side devoted to the speaker’s characterization of the angels in “Annabel Lee” and the other side focused on the more traditional view of angels as depicted in the Bible, films, books, and artwork. Also, read “Playmates” by Emily Dickinson (one of Poe’s contemporaries) and “The Angel” by William Blake to explore additional characteristics of angels as seen in literature.

After completing your chart, discuss with a partner why you think Poe went against traditional ideas about angels in his poem. What purpose does this serve within the poem’s narrative? Does it connect to any of the poem’s themes? How does it influence the poem’s tone and the reader’s impression of the speaker?

2. Consider the symbolic nature of the sepulcher (or tomb) and the sea. What might the tomb symbolize? What might the sea symbolize? What does Poe accomplish with his juxtaposition of the tomb and the sea? Create an essay with an introduction, conclusion, and two body paragraphs.