March 24, 2014
Biographical criticism focuses on the effect and influence of the writer’s life on his work.
By understanding the writer’s life and influences readers are able to understand the author’s intended meaning. By looking into Edgar Allan Poe’s life people can apply information from his life to the interpretation of his poem “Annabel Lee”. Poe had a tendency of writing stories about beautiful young women that die a premature death; this could be connected to why he wrote the poem “Annabel Lee.” Many people believe that the poem was based on his wife Virginia
Poe had a “fascination with death, particularly the death of women” (Canada). This could
be based on the repeated loss of women in his life. Poe lost his mother Eliza Poe, his foster mother Frances Allan, and his wife Virginia Clemm. The poem “Annabel Lee” fits Poe’s death genre. The poem is a young woman who dies shortly after falling in love. The poem is being told through her lover’s perspective. “The work returns to Poe's frequent fixation with the Romantic image of a beautiful woman who has died too suddenly in the flush of youth” (Wang).
Edgar Allan Poe married his cousin Virginia Clemm. The inspiration for the character of
Annabel Lee could’ve came from his wife. Poe married Clemm when she was 13 and he was 27.
This could be related back to the character Annabel Lee who too was a young girl when she fell in love. Virginia died at a very young age just as