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Morella


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Edgar Allan Poe (1809—1849) American short-story writer, poet, and critic

 

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Story by Poe, published in 1835 and reprinted in Tales of the Grotesque and Arabesque (1840).

Morella, a student of the German mystics, is a woman of extraordinary learning and mental power. Her husband is devoted to her, and acknowledges her intellectual superiority, but she realizes that he does not love her. When she declines in health, he is repelled by her melancholy beauty. She seems resigned, but at last tells him that she is dying and yet shall live, that “her whom in life thou didst abhor, in death thou shalt adore.” She dies in childbirth, leaving a daughter who is loved by the lonely father, even though he recognizes her increasing resemblance to his dead wife. He neglects to name the child, but when she is 14 decides to have her baptized. At the font, a perverse impulse causes him to utter the name Morella, at which she falls dead, saying “I am here!” Distracted, the father bears her corpse to the tomb, where he finds no trace of the first Morella.

Subjects: Literature.


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