29 pages 58 minutes read

Edgar Allan Poe


Fiction | Short Story | Adult | Published in 1838

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Important Quotes

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“And the will therein lieth, which dieth not. Who knoweth the mysteries of the will, with its vigor? For God is but a great will pervading all things by nature of its intentness. Man doth not yield himself to the angels, nor unto death utterly, save only through the weakness of his feeble will.”

(Page 13)

This is an example of an epigraph, a brief quotation or excerpt usually found at the beginning of a literary work, which often sets the tone or theme of the text. In this case, it introduces the themes of the will, mortality, and the divine. The concept of the “will” is symbolic in this quote. It represents human determination, the force that drives individuals, and contrasts it with the divine will or God’s intent. The question is a rhetorical one that invites contemplation rather than supplying a direct answer.

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“In beauty of face no maiden ever equaled her. It was the radiance of an opium-dream—an airy and spirit-lifting vision more wildly divine than the phantasies which hovered about the slumbering souls of the daughters of Delos. Yet her features were not of that regular mould which we have been falsely taught to worship in the classical labors of the heathen. ‘There is no exquisite beauty,’ says Bacon, Lord Verulam, speaking truly of all the forms and genera of beauty, without some strangeness in the proportion.”

(Page 13)

This quote reflects elements of Romanticism, emphasizing the sublime and the extraordinary. The tone is one of reverence and admiration for Ligeia’s exceptional beauty. This quotation reinforces the idea that true beauty often possesses unique or unconventional qualities. The reference to “the daughters of Delos” alludes to Greek mythology, specifically the daughters of the Greek god Atlas, who were known for their beauty. This allusion adds a classical and mythological dimension to the description. The mention of “an opium-dream” and “spirit-lifting vision” suggests a dreamlike or transcendent quality to Ligeia’s beauty, symbolizing her allure and mystique.