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  • Titill er á ensku Obsession in Edgar Allan Poe's Berenice and Ligeia
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    This essay gives some insight into a world of psychological problems and the effects that they have upon the two narrators and the women in their life in two short stories written by Edgar Allan Poe. He leaves his readers feeling rather disturbed at times. Poe himself said that “Ligeia” is his best work and critics seem to agree with him. “Berenice” is on the other hand considered to be Poe’s most gruesome tale and he himself said that it was almost too horrible – on the verge of bad taste. The two narrators, an unnamed narrator in “Ligeia,” and Egaeus in “Berenice” – one of the few to whom Poe gives a name – suffer from psychological complications that leaves them unable to care for the women in their life. Egaeus admits to suffering monomania, meaning that he obsesses with one particular thing. The narrator of “Ligeia” does not confess to any mental problems other than those caused by too much opium, which makes him hallucinate.
    The narrators suffer from memory loss, hallucinations and obsession. The obsession is all consuming and the narrators lose all touch with reality. One little smile from Berenice turns Egaeus’s world upside down for he becomes obsessed with her teeth. Ligeia’s death does not stop the narrator from loving her; he becomes obsessed with her. His obsession with Ligeia makes it impossible for him to love Rowena, the woman he remarries; he hates her. When these women fall ill it is the aforementioned obsession that determines what happens to them. The narrator of “Ligeia” is so consumed with thoughts of Ligeia that he can do nothing to help Rowena and so she withers away and dies. Conversely, Egaeus’s obsession saves Berenice’s life

  • 6.5.2016

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