Comparing Ligeia 'And' Rappaccini's Daughter

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In the period of Dark Romanticism, stories often focus on the darker side of the human psyche. As well as discovering all the parts of the human and not just focusing on the ideal of perfection. Two stories that embody this period is Nathaniel Hawthorne’s “Rappaccini’s Daughter” in which he constructs a beautiful femme fatal. While Edgar Allen Poe’s “Ligeia” creates this magical, ethereal presence. In a way both stories seem to give off an aura of being a cautionary tale of sorts. Giovanni’s pride and vanity and the narrator’s lust for forbidden knowledge end up killing two people. “Ligeia” is not a real human being. She has been created by the narrator during one of his opium hallucinations. Jack and June Davis note in “Poe’s Ethereal Ligeia” Ligeia is a most suitable female for a narrator who is clearly psychotic, and her substitution for a real person well belies the sanity of the narrator. (Davis 172)” the narrator cannot find anyone that will compare to Ligeia. You cannot compare others to a person that doesn’t exist. Ligeia is created out of the narrator’s subconscious, she is everything he wants but he cannot reach her. She is exceedingly intelligent, suggesting that the narrator wishes to have the amount of intelligence he gives her. So since she is not a real being she cannot die, but Rowena is very…show more content…
Beatrice had to deal with being a science experiment and not treated as human. Ligeia struggled with the idea of mortality, which could be the reason as to why the narrator had such a problem with death of his second wife, causing this fever dream where he saw Ligeia. Hawthorne creates a broad picture to reflect a sort of modern (for that time period) Eden, but it is ultimately to show the reflection of sin. With Poe it is darker, even though the female figure is romanticized and set upon this pedestal in an obsessive

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