In: English and Literature

Submitted By jes12
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In Edgar Allan Poe’s Romantic work, Ligeia, the character lady Rowena represents rationality and the stern coldness of English Empiricism. Her nature is based on observations, calculations, and analysis. Lady Ligeia represents the irrationality and sensuality of German Romantic customs, which is closely related to the Gothic. IN LIGEIA, POE PARALLELS THE NATURE OF LADY LIGEIA WITH THAT OF LADY ROWENA TO AID THE READER IN DIFFERENTIATING THE DISTINCT TEMPERMENT OF THE PAIR. This technique is used to help portray the distinct relationship of Rowena and Ligeia with the unnamed narrator.

The setting is undefined in many Romantic works to show that everyone can relate to it. It is a universal story. Poe uses contrasts between light and darkness to symbolize the conflict of two theoretical customs. Ligeia’s mind is the center of the irrational and mystical, not the rational. The cold Lady Rowena she represents rationality and embodies soberness.

The unnamed and unreliable narrator describes the qualities of Ligeia, as a beautiful, passionate, and knowledgeable woman. He believes that he met “in some large, old decaying city near the Rhine” (705). Besides the vague speculated place of origin, he is unable to recall anything else about Ligeia’s past, including her “paternal name.” However he does seem to remember her stunning appearance quite clearly. Ligeia dies after reciting a poem that she wrote, proposing that death approaches only as a result of a weak intent. The now grieving narrator, moves to England where he purchases and renovates an abbey. Before long he enters into an unloving marriage with "the fair-haired and blue-eyed Lady Rowena Trevanion, of Tremaine" (709). Rowena begins to suffer from declining health. One night, when Rowena is about to faint, the narrator…...

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...“The death of a beautiful woman, is unquestionably the most poetical topic in the world”, is a brief glimpse as to how mentally disturbed Poe was (Edgar np). A lot of his works, for example “The Raven”, is about the death of a beautiful woman. Lenore represents a woman whose death seems to be traumatic to the narrator, and as he calls out her name, he expects for her to call back. Just as in his life Poe had lost his wife, and “The Raven” is thought to be an expression of how he felt about her death (np). Having lost everything and everyone close to him, not ever having had much of a stable family environment, and enduring a fair amount of rejection, Poe’s writings seemed to suffer and reflect his innermost thoughts and feelings. In “Ligeia”, Ligeia is the narrator’s wife. She is beautiful, mysterious, and intelligent. When she dies, the narrator is devastated and later remarries a woman named Rowena. She is not equally as beautiful, mysterious, or intelligent, and the narrator constantly compares the two in beauty. When Rowena dies too, the narrator, whom we learn is an opium addict just like Poe, stays with her body overnight. In the morning she is resurrected into Ligeia’s body. This story written by Poe seems to be a direct comparison to his life. His wishes for his beloved wife, Virginia, to come back were reflected in this story (Aboukhadijeh np). Dark Romantics use symbolism often times in their writing. They use small and unimportant things to represent something......

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Edgar Allan Poe

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Unit2 Edgar Allan Poe

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