Analysis Essay on Ligeia

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Return From the Dead: Ligeia
The word ambiguous describes that which is capable of two or more contradictory meanings. This word perfectly portrays the Poe story Ligeia in a nutshell. Throughout the text the reader is expected to interpret the story and make distinctions between which of the two possible meanings is in all actuality the "true" reading. But unbeknownst to a vast majority of the scholars who attempt to interpret and analyze the text, both of the conclusions to which the reader can venture are relevant. The author wants to lead the reader astray and therefore uses as much evidence as possible to make the multiple angles from which the reader can view the text as "correct". What many do not pick up on is the fact that no amount of evidence from either of the viewpoints out weighs that of the other. Some may believe the narrator only wished Ligeia would return so he completely imagined the events contained throughout the story. While other readers may believe that Ligeia did actually return and it was through her own will that this event happened. The goal of this essay is to disprove the misconception that there is only one way to view the story.

The first examination of the story to be discussed is the possibility that Ligeia has returned as a result of her own will from beyond the grave as an attempt to "tie up" loose ends with her former husband who did wrong by her. This theory has much to support it as in the fact the blood mysteriously drops into the cup from which she is drinking along with other events, which can only be described as "supernatural". What one fails to realize is that the narrator describes himself as unreliable from the beginning of the story. He is an alleged opium user, he is greatly paranoid, and seems to experience a deal of guilt from the events that led to Ligeia's untimely death. The author would like the reader to analyze the story along these particular lines because then the narrator could not be portray as...
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