Edgar Allan Poe: Ligeia

(1871 words)

“Ligeia” (1838), considered by Poe his best tale (Poe 2:305), is narrated in the first person by an unnamed narrator, whose first wife, the intellectual, mysterious and idealized Lady Ligeia, dies. After her death he is left confused, addicted to opium, and still fantasizing about his deceased bride, even after he has left Germany for England. There he settles in an abbey he repairs and marries the Lady Rowena, but this second marriage is an unhappy one. It is Ligeia’s own superhuman will for life, and love for her husband, even in death, that still drives the narrator along, giving him what little inspiration he has left. Eventually, Rowena dies an unexplained death and Ligieia returns, transforming Rowena…

Please log in to consult the article in its entirety. If you are not a subscriber, please click here to read about membership. All our articles have been written recently by experts in their field, more than 95% of them university professors.

Sucur, Slobodan. "Ligeia". The Literary Encyclopedia. First published 07 August 2006
[http://www.litencyc.com/php/sworks.php?rec=true&UID=3964, accessed 07 July 2015.]