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Summary Book

Ligeia the book

“Ligeia” is a book written by Edgar Allan Poe and published in 1838, where the love the protagonist feels for his wife, Ligeia, is revealed. Here the author presents us with an enigmatic text that exposes the theme of the resurrection as a solid explanation of the facts presented. However, it fills us with uncertainty and doubts regarding the reality of the events.

Ligeia Characters:

The central character of the story and narrator does not have a name within the plot. He is obsessed by the beauty of his wife and describes her in detail highlighting her qualities. Ligeia, is the wife of this main narrator, whom he loved and adored. She was a beautiful, striking and intelligent woman who had captivated her husband with her charms. There is also his second wife Rowena, who wanted to gain her husband’s acceptance.

Summary of the story:

The plot begins with Ligeia’s husband, who is the narrator but his name is unknown. He describes his wife and highlights all her qualities, her beauty, her intelligence and her esotericism. He also describes the place where they met, he names a well-known river in Europe called Rin. Although he had professed his love for her for many years, his wife sadly falls ill suddenly, and fails to recover and dies.


When this happens, the husband is heartbroken and decides to leave for England so that he can clear his mind and try to heal his wounds. He tries to flee from the memories of his beloved wife, although he does not succeed. There he meets Rowena Trevanion de Tremaine, whom he ends up marrying. She is a classic Hollywood-looking woman, and while she was beautiful, she still couldn’t forget about Ligeia. As time goes by, she also gets sick, despite all the care her husband had given her.

One night, very strangely, he falls into a type of trance, and he hallucinates with a pink liquid that falls into his current wife’s drink. After a time Rowena dies, and her body is watched by her husband. However, something very strange happens, Rowena seems to revive for moments and despite the incessant attempts at resuscitation she relapses again. But during sunrise, the apparently Rowana gets up, and drops the blankets she was wrapped in and you can visualize Ligeia’s appearance, her eyes and hair.

Analysis of the work:

“Ligeia” is a book that tells us about a woman very loved by her husband who sadly passes away, and her husband does not stop thinking about her and continuing to love her even though she is no longer by his side. This work exposes different themes such as the resurrection, although it is not explicitly observed, because the husband was in a trance, and everything seems to be the product of his hallucinations. However, the image of Ligeia reflected in Rowena catches the reader’s attention a lot and fills him with uncertainty.

On the other hand, the name of his first wife Ligeia, perhaps was inspired by mermaids according to mythology and the meaning that this term represents. This character is described in detail as a mysterious, beautiful, intelligent woman with attributes of esotericism. Therefore the narrator magnifies its qualities and revives it within its hallucinations.

On the other hand, the narrator mentions that after Ligeia’s death you could hear whispers and wails that resemble siren songs, in search of love. This is very characteristic of the author, since he always seeks to exalt the characteristics and qualities of his characters in a majestic way at the scriptural level. Similarly, this work reflects the narrator’s desperation to forget a woman, but on the other hand, his insistence on not letting that love die.

It should be noted that the author reflects part of his life in his works, in which the love he had for his wife and the damage caused by his death is known. Which appears in his works as a constant. We can also find different striking elements when it comes to deciphering the author’s message, since the narrator is dependent on opium, perhaps looking for a way out to forget the sudden death of his beloved wife.
However, the work fills us with uncertainty, since it is not known what the real reality of the events is, in which Rowena personifies Ligeia. This gives the idea of ​​the resurrection. But it could just be the product of an opium hallucination, or maybe it was Rowena’s strategy to get her husband’s attention and be truly loved and accepted.

Finally “Ligeia” shows us a work with a Gothic narrative discourse that reveals once again the skill of this writer to create a literary world full of uncertainty. Here the reader has the task of recreating his own story and deciphering the enigma that he presents to us in order to approach reading. In this way, it offers us clues that will help us put together the plot puzzle.

Citas textuales:

“In our efforts to bring to memory a long-forgotten thing, we often find ourselves on the very edge of memory, without being able to remember at last. Y”

  “In the intensity of his desire to live, only to live, comfort and reason were the height of madness”

  “Man does not surrender to angels, nor entirely to death, except only for the weakness of his weak will.”
“In our efforts to bring to memory a long-forgotten thing, we often find ourselves on the very edge of memory, without finally being able to remember.”

  “In the intensity of his desire to live, only to live, comfort and reason were the height of madness”

  “Man does not surrender to angels, nor entirely to death, except only for the weakness of his weak will.”