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Resurrected Love: an Analysis of Edgar Allen Poe's Ligeia Essay

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Edgar Allen Poe's short story Ligeia, in a style much like that of The Fall of the House of Usher, has all the makings of a classic, gothic horror tale. It is a story of a love so strong that it overcomes the realms of death. The unnamed narrator is so in love with the Lady Ligeia, as she is with him, that her untimely death soon after their marriage was unable to separate them. Ligeia rejoins the narrator in life through the body of another, Lady Rowena Trevanion of Tremaine. Rowena is the second wife, and she too dies shortly after her marriage to the narrator. Though he marries another, he still thought only of Ligeia. With Rowena's death, Ligeia saw the chance for a reunion with her beloved. She returned first in spirit, though…show more content…
If for no other reason but one: the supernatural element. From the very beginning of Ligeia, the reader is aware that the forces of the supernatural and immortal will be factors in the plot of the story. Before the actual story is begun, Edgar Allen Poe introduces a poem he contributes to Joseph Glanvill. (Though it is said that Poe actually wrote it and just attributed it to him.) 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 angles, nor unto death utterly, save only through the weakness of his feeble will. In the poem it simply states that anything, including death, is easily overcome if the will has the strength to withstand. Several more times during the story, the last line of the poem is again inserted, maybe to remind the reader that death is overcome by willpower and since the title character dies, it is most surely assumed that Poe meant the reader to put two and two together before the actual resurrection occurs. Of Ligeia, the narrator neither knows, nor understands much about her. From the very beginning she is portrayed as a woman of great mystery. The narrator knows nothing of her past and doesn't even remember where he met her. Author George Woodberry
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