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clarisse

Ligeia

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Uhm, I have to prepare an oral presentation on Ligeia by Edgar Allan Poe and I've been investigating if "Ligeia" means something in particular but I can't find anything so I was wondering if anybody here knew. Thanks!

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Not that I know of, but you should consult the Oracle....

 

....and by that I mean Wikipedia.

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Hm I had already consulted the Oracle and it failed me so that's why I posted :-( ... but thanks anyway!

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yeah just checked and theydo have a forum tho nothing on the subject and in the main site they don't either so I just posted my question and I guess I'll just have to wait.

Hm even if you don't know what "Ligeia" means is it a common name somewhere?

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"I CANNOT, for my soul, remember how, when, or even precisely where, I first became acquainted with the lady Ligeia"..

 

the opening line of Poe's Ligieia

 

There seems to be no actual meaning behind the name Ligiea...though she does represent feminism. She is equal in intellect if not superior, her looks are stunning and she is the "new women" in every sense. The Narrator's first wife, he worships her.

 

His second wife, Rowena..well, is not very bright, not very stunning....is the non feminist. "the old" woman.

 

In fact Rowena is described as fair haired, and blue eyed while Ligeia is just the opposite..dark haired, and her eyes are described as "orbs of black".

 

When Rowena dies..she is literally replaced...by the resurrection of the feminist Ligeia.

 

"Shrinking from my touch, she let fall from her head, unloosened, the ghastly cerements which had confined it, and there streamed forth, into the rushing atmosphere of the chamber, huge masses of long and dishevelled hair; it was blacker than the raven wings of the midnight! And now slowly opened the eyes of the figure which stood before me. "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"

 

Men like strong women, at least thats Poe's view.

 

Final note: Poe lost most of the women he cared about early: His mother before his third birthday, and his wife Virginia due to Consumption, what we now call tuberculosis (TB). The marriage lasted 11 years.

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Also Poe did have a wife he lived in real life who tragically died. I think her name was Lenore. Maybe Ligeia is an allegory for Poe's desire for someone to return to his life...as Rowena is the sadness he feels from the loss of Lenore. That's just my idea and I'm by no means a good source :)

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