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October 17, 2014

Edgar Allan Poe's "Ligeia" (1838)


Image Source:http://corporealarts.org/wp-content/uploads/2012/05/Ligeia-Poster.jpg


Class,

In the comment box below,

. . . the note-taker/scribe from each group should retype the question your group discussed today in class and provide an answer with quotations from the text to support your answers. You MUST put the page number (or, paragraph number if there are no page numbers) in parentheses after any quotation used.

Enter your work on this text as prescribed in class. For example:

Remember: I have to "approve" all comments so you won't see it immediately after posting. After hitting submit, you should see a screen that confirms this.

We are beginning to use some concepts in our discussions that you may or may have had practice using before. I want to be sure that you have a clear understanding of the words we use in class (no more blank stares!) so be sure you are looking up words you don't feel you yet "own" (means, making it a part of your personal vocabulary) by utilizing your dictionaries to the fullest.

Dr. Hobbs

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Posted by lhobbs at October 17, 2014 10:16 AM

Readers' Comments:

Emily Finck
Dr. B. Lee Hobbs
ENG 210CL Love and Desire in Literature CA02
20 October 2014


Question #1:
In Edgar Allan Poe’s short story “Ligeia” (1838), what are the narrator’s feelings toward Ligeia? How does he describe her, and what do these descriptions suggest about his character? Explain your response. Answer in your own words, but use quoted and cited passages from the text to support your answer.


Answer:
In Edgar Allan Poe’s short story “Ligeia” the narrator’s feelings toward Ligeia, are undying love, affection, appreciation, and devotion. Even though the narrator is growing old, and his memory growing “feeble” (Poe 1) he can still recall the feelings that are attached to strong emotional responses of his past. The narrator describes Ligeia as uniquely, almost, ethereally beautiful. No “maiden” ever “equaled” her beauty, she was the “radiance of an opium dream,” and her features were not “regular” to those of the time (Poe 1). The narrator continuously focuses on her ever present beauty and goddess like qualities throughout the duration of the short story; suggesting that the main character is very vain and only focused on the emotional response to outward appearance.

Posted by: Emily Finck at October 19, 2014 10:53 AM

Allison Ward
Dr. B Lee Hobbs
ENG 210CL Love and Desire in Literature
19 October 19, 2014

Question #16
Describe the setting of Edgar Allan Poe’s short story, “Ligeia” (1838), and explain the significance of the setting to the narrative, as a whole. In other words, where does “Ligeia” take place and what difference does this make? When does “Ligeia” take place and what difference does this make? How do the writer’s descriptions of the setting influence the mood and tone of the story? Explain your responses.

Answer
The story takes place in, “some large, old, decaying city near the Rhine.”(Poe 1) The significance of this particular location is that it is where the narrator met his lover Ligeia. The location brings a negative tone to the story because it is the place where she, “returned solemnly to her bed of death.”(Poe 8). The whole story describes the narrator’s short life with his lover.

Posted by: Allison Ward at October 19, 2014 07:19 PM

Shelby Rexroth
ENG210 CA02
October 19th, 2014

2. Plot/Conflict. In Edgar Allan Poe’s short story, “Ligeia” (1838), what is the chief conflict? Explain your response. Answer in your own words, but use quoted and cited passages from the text to support your answer.

The conflict of Edgar Allan Poe’s short story, “Ligeia” is that shortly after the narrator marries his first wife, Ligeia she becomes extremely ill and dies. When Ligeia passes, the narrator is crushed and all his dreams

Posted by: Shelby Rexroth at October 19, 2014 07:32 PM

Zailet Martinez
Dr. B. Lee Hobbs
ENG 210CL Love and Desire in Literature CA02
19 October 2014

Question 14:
Symbolism. In Edgar Allan Poe’s short story, “Ligeia” (1838), how might the decorations in the bridal chamber reflect the narrator’s psychological state? Explain your respose.

Answer:
The chamber is described as being dark with little to no sunlight coming in. “a single pane, and tinted of a leaden hue, so that the rays of either the sun or moon, passing through it, fell with a ghastly lustre on the objects within.” (Poe, 9) The chamber is decorated with dark objects and gothic things. The chamber reflects the narrator’s psychological state in the way that he is fixated in the death of Ligeia. The drapery and decoration reflect the way he feels inside his pain and loneliness of having lost Ligeia. Rowena is the complete opposite from Ligeia. The narrator only wants to recover his life with Ligeia. He often sees ghost, and does not understand or tries to help Rowena when she is close to her death.

Posted by: Zailet Martinez at October 19, 2014 09:52 PM

Gabriela Navarro
Dr. B. Lee Hobbs
ENG 210CL Love and Desire in Literature CA02
20 October 2014

QUESTION:
In Edgar Allan Poe's short story, "Ligeia" (1838). reader know/learn almost nothing about Lady Rowena. That said, are there any indications as to why the narrator married her in there first place?

ANSWER:
I believe that the narrator being so devastated by Legeia's death, he sought for someone to love him as much as Ligeia did. He seems to want somewhat of a replacement for Ligeia or a cure for his grief of her death. His reasoning becomes evident when he states "I led from the altar as my bride --as the successor of the unforgotten Ligeia" (Poe 9), which is thought out during the wedding.

Posted by: Gabriela Navarro at October 20, 2014 01:34 PM

Rebecca Messano
ENG 210 Love and Desire in Literature
Dr. B. Lee Hobbs
October 20, 2014

Question #8:
Is the inclusion of the “quoted” passage necessary to the story? In other words, could the story exist without it? Why or why not?

Answer:
I think this quote is necessary to the story. Edgar Allan Poe is known for his very cryptic pieces of work, and this is certainly one of them. In the story, both Ligeia and Lady Rowena die, and towards the end, he is watching the corpse of whom he thought was Lady Rowena, but he said it turned out to be that the eyes watching him were “the full, and the black, and the wild eyes –of my lost love –of the lady –of the LADY LIGEIA.” With that being said, the “quoted” passage at the beginning talks about death and that “Man doth not yield himself to the angels, nor unto death utterly,” which I see as a form of foreshadowing that someone is going to die at some point in the story.

Posted by: Rebecca Messano at October 20, 2014 01:57 PM

Irma Sera
Dr. B. Lee Hobbs
ENG. 210CL Love & Desire in Literature CA02
19 October 2014

Question 12:
In Edgar Allan Poe’s short story, “Ligeia” (1838), is there enough evidence to convict Ligeia of poisoning Lady Rowena, or could there be an alternative, and plausible, explanation? For example, could the narrator have killed Lady Rowena, or could Lady Rowena have died of natural causes? Why, or why not? Explain your response. Answer in your own words, but use quoted and cited passages from the text to support your answer.

Answer:
Ligeia could have poisoned Rowena; the chamber in which she was kept in was described as a dark place with unusual patterns on the walls; it gave off a gothic dark feeling. “[…] a single pane, and tinted of a leaden hue, so that the rays of either the sun or moon, passing through it, fell with a ghastly lustre on the objects within […]”(Poe, pg. 9). “The ceiling, of gloomy-looking oak, was excessively lofty, vaulted, and elaborately fretted with the wildest and most grotesque[…]” (Poe, pg. 9). This, as well as the footprints that the narrator believed to have seen but instead convinced himself that he was hallucinating off of opium, are evidence that there had to have been some sort of third person in the room. Whether it was a spirit or not. “It was then that I became distinctly aware of a gentle footfall upon the carpet, and near the couch; and in a second thereafter, as Rowena was in the act of raising the wine to her lips, I saw, or may have dreamed that I saw, fall within the goblet, as if from some invisible spring in the atmosphere of the room, three or four large drops of a brilliant and ruby colored fluid” (Poe, Pg. 12). The presence of Ligeia could have been so strong in the heart and mind of the narrator that he summoned her spirit while Rowena was dying. The spirit of his beloved lover made herself present by poisoning Rowena and coming back to life in her body.

Posted by: irma sera at October 21, 2014 12:54 AM

Thomas Watson
Dr. B. Lee Hobbs
ENG 210CL Love and Desire in Literature CA02
22 October 2014

QUESTION #3: In Edgar Allan Poe’s short story, “Ligeia” (1838), how does the epigraph [i.e., the quotation attributed to Joesph Glanville] speak to/comment on the action of the story? Besides the epigraph, where else does this quote appear, and what is its significance, each time?


ANSWER:
The epigraph written by Joesph Glanville speaks to the action of the story by speaking of the “will”. Throughout the entire epigraph, it explains the “will” as immortal and closely related to that of God being that he too is immortal and all omnipotent. Within the text, you can apply it to Ligeia, the bride who came back from the dead. The narrator marries for a second time however; his second bride is succumbed to death. Then the epigraph shows it’s true meaning in the last paragraph. The woman he had married was going through some transformation, she was dead; however, her body was morphing. She suddenly became taller; her hair changed colors, and her facial features were changing. "Here then, at least," I shrieked aloud, "can I never --can I never be mistaken --these are the full, and the black, and the wild eyes --of my lost love --of the lady --of the LADY LIGEIA."(Poe 15)

Posted by: Thomas Watson at October 22, 2014 01:38 PM

Anthony Colello 
Dr. Hobbs
ENG CA02 Love and Desire in Literature
22 October 2014

Question:
Why does the narrator marry Rowena? How does he feel about her, and why?

Answer:
The narrator marries Rowena in an attempt to be happy again, "and perchance with a faint hope of alleviating my sorrows" (Poe, 8). This marriage is the narrators way of coping with the loss of his beloved.  He does not care for his wife, "I loathed her with a hatred belonging more to demon than to man" (10).  He admits that his hatred exceeded that of a normal hatred for another human being. He hates her because she cannot be the woman that he wishes she were. The narrator wishes she was his precious Ligeia, "can I never be mistaken --these are the full, and the black, and the wild eyes --of my lost love --of the lady --of the LADY LIGEIA." Here the narrator sees his old love interest, Ligeia, reanimated from the meaningless corpse of his current wife Rowena.

Posted by: Anthony Colello at October 24, 2014 02:30 PM

Brianna Broughton
Dr. Lee Hobbs
ENG 210 CL Love & Desire in Literature
26 October 2014

Ligeia

Question 7: You might be interested to know that the first published version of Edgar Allan Poe’s short story, “Ligeia” (1838) didn't include the poem "The Conqueror Worm." Does the inclusion of the
poem add anything special to the story, or does it simply help reinforce a theme? If so, what?

Answer: The inclusion of the poem does not add anything special to the story. The poem gives us a look into what Ligeia is thinking. The story works well without the poem because we still understand the love the main character has for Ligeia, and how even in his current hallucinated state, he can care for his wife. His wife is dying and although he is trying to help her, it is only making it worse.

Posted by: Brianna Broughton at October 27, 2014 02:11 AM

Anthony Colello 
Dr. Hobbs
ENG CA02 Love and Desire in Literature
22 October 2014

Question:
Why does the narrator marry Rowena? How does he feel about her, and why?

Answer:
The narrator marries Rowena in an attempt to be happy again, "and perchance with a faint hope of alleviating my sorrows" (Poe, 8). This marriage is the narrators way of coping with the loss of his beloved.  He does not care for his wife, "I loathed her with a hatred belonging more to demon than to man" (10).  He admits that his hatred exceeded that of a normal hatred for another human being. He hates her because she cannot be the woman that he wishes she were. The narrator wishes she was his precious Ligeia, "can I never be mistaken --these are the full, and the black, and the wild eyes --of my lost love --of the lady --of the LADY LIGEIA." Here the narrator sees his old love interest, Ligeia, reanimated from the meaningless corpse of his current wife Rowena.

Posted by: Anthony Colello at October 27, 2014 02:40 PM

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