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A Poe story which fuses the themes of transcendence and lost love is Ligeia Poes own favorite of his tales The storys narrator marries a woman of exquisite beauty--a woman named Ligeia To the narrator and to Poe naturally she is the perfect woman for she possesses classical beauty expanded intellect and spiritual purity He makes Ligeia his wife The narrator describes at length the strange attributes of his bride--her raven-black luxuriant hair her low musical voice her ivory skin lofty forehead her delicate nose and radiant smile However Ligeias most striking feature are her black mysterious eyes which kindled in the narrator an inscrutable sentiment which would not admit of analysis In Ligeia it is the ladys eyes which represent to her husband the total knowledge embodied in her person Hoffman 228 Ligeias knowledge exceeds that of anyone whom the narrator has met The acquisitions of Ligeia were gigantic were astounding yet I was sufficiently aware of her infinite supremacy to resign myself with childlike confidence to her guidance through the chaotic world of metaphysical investigation at which I was most busily occupied during the early years of our marriage With how vast a triumph--with how vivid a delightdid I feelthat delicious vista by slow degrees expanding before me down whose long gorgeous and all untrodden path I might at length pass onward to a goal of wisdom too divinely precious not to be forbidden Poe Modern Library ed 657 But Ligeia grows ill Even her intense passion for life could not save her from the Conqueror Worm Her last words were shrieked in despair Man doth not yield him to the angels nor unto death utterly save only through the weakness of his feeble will 659 By this time the reader has already witnessed in the story foreshadowing that Ligeias is more than just a feeble will And the will therein lieth which dieth not Who knoweth the
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