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18 pages 36 minutes read

Edgar Allan Poe

Annabel Lee

Fiction | Poem | Adult | Published in 1849

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Discussion Starters

1. What words would you use to describe the speaker? Provide evidence from the poem that supports your description. Do you think the speaker is trustworthy? Why or why not? Again, use evidence from the poem as support for your opinion.

2. Compare and contrast the poem with a typical fairytale in terms of tone, structure, and plot. In what ways does it resemble a fairytale? In what ways does it differ from a fairytale? Why might Poe have included some fairytale-like elements in his poem, only to deviate considerably from a conventional fairytale?

3. One mystery within the poem is whom the speaker is referencing with the phrase “high-born kinsmen” (Line 17). Do you think he is talking about Annabel Lee’s family, or the angels? Provide support for your viewpoint. Discuss how one viewpoint or the other might change your interpretation of other aspects of the poem, such as the speaker’s assertion that the angels killed his beloved, the speaker’s nightly visions of Annabel Lee, and his choice to sleep beside her body each night.

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