Poe's Short Stories

ligeia by edgar allan poe

How do the images help Poe create an effect in this work?

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An initial reading of "Ligeia" provides the case for a supernatural interpretation of the story in which the dead first wife manages to defeat death and her romantic rival in the same blow. However, because of the narrator's hazy memory, obsession over his dead wife, and opium addiction during most of the latter half of the plot, the reliability of his account comes into question. He admits that he disregarded signs of paranormal activity, reasoning that the opium had simply given him a hallucination, and he may have dreamed the apparent revival of Ligeia from Rowena's body because he longed so badly for his first wife, even upon his second wife's death. Opium and romantic madness may have driven him to insanity and led him to poison Rowena without realizing that he was the culprit and not any imagined shade. Because he does not call for the servants, we have no outside witnesses who would be able to confirm or deny his account.