The name "Annabel Lee" continues the pattern of a number of Poe's names for his dead women in that it contains the lulling but melancholy "L" sound. Furthermore, "Annabel Lee" has a peaceful, musical rhythm which reflects the overall musicality of the poem, which makes heavy use of the refrain phrases "in this kingdom by the sea" and "of the beautiful Annabel Lee," as well as of the repetition of other words. In particular, although the poem's stanzas have a somewhat irregular length and structure, the rhyme scheme continually emphasizes the three words "me," "Lee," and "sea," enforcing the linked nature of these concepts within the poem while giving the poem a song-like sound.
As the title, the phrase "a dream within a dream" has a special significance to any interpretations of the poem. Poe takes the idea of a daydream and twists it so that the narrator's perception of reality occurs at two degrees of detachment away from reality. Consequently, this reality reflects upon itself through the dream medium, and the narrator can no longer distinguish causality in his perception. By showing the narrator's distress at his observations, Poe magnifies the risks of uncertainty and of the potential changes to his identity. Time is a powerful but mysterious force that promotes cognitive dissonance between the protagonist's self and his abilities of comprehension, and the daydream proves to have ensnared him. Alternatively, the poem itself may be viewed as the outermost dream, where the inner dream is merely a function of the narrator's mind.