Analysis of Edgar Allan Poe's The Raven Essay
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Analysis of Edgar Allan Poe's The Raven
Edgar Allan Poe’s “The Raven,” though parodied, republished, and altered countless times, has withstood the test of time as one of the most recognizable and famous works of poetry in the English language. Carefully measured stanzas with a fascinating rhyme scheme embedded throughout, together with the unique and completely individualistic style of its author, are but a few of the elements that combine to elevate this poem in the public eye. It reaches an as-yet-unparalleled plane of poetic excellence. It is imperative, then, for the reader to understand that the conflict presented in “The Raven” is not the commonly-assumed “Man vs. Animal,” as though to embody the plight of the man as he pits…show more content…
Our only other possible conclusion, then, is that the victim of dementia is the narrator. The bird is as innocent as he is ebony.
This man suffers, as many have, from the pangs of a pierced heart. He has been left alone after the death of his only true infatuation and has undoubtedly found that, contrary to the old adage, it is not better to have loved and lost than to never have loved at all. The “rare and radiant maiden whom the angels name Lenore” (95)- in fact a type and shadow of Poe’s own young bride, who at the time of this poem’s publication was suffering from fatal attack of tuberculosis- was no longer at his side, and our story-teller wonders if, however impossibly, he would ever clasp her to himself again.
At the bird’s appearance and apparent vocal articulation, he is at first impressed, then saddened. He compares this evening visitor as only another friend which will soon depart, just as “other friends have flown before” (58). But the raven again echoes quite aptly his one-word vocabulary, thus leading the man on to think more deeply about the possibilities that exist at this juncture. Somewhere deep inside him, he has realized that it doesn’t matter what question he poses, the bird will respond the same.
“Straight (he) wheeled a cushioned seat in front of bird, and
1. Discuss the use of symbols in Poe's "The Raven."
This essay should identify the major symbols used in the poem, and discuss what effect each has. The most important symbol is the raven itself, with its dark and gloomy appearance lending a sense of inevitability. Other symbols include the Bust of Pallas, who is the Goddess of Wisdom, and the beautiful chamber, which is reminiscent of the beauty of the lost Lenore.
2. Explore the parallels between "The Raven" and Poe's own life.
This essay should focus on Poe's life circumstances at the time of writing, particularly the decline in his wife, Virginia's, health, and the deaths of other women in his life. The sense of doom in the poem should be related to Poe’s pessimism about his own life.
3. The Raven has an undeniable atmosphere of doom. Discuss how this atmosphere is created.
This essay should explore how the different elements of the poem combine to create this atmosphere of doom. Elements which should be discussed include the poem’s subject matter, rhyme and meter, symbolism and word choice.
4. In his essay "The Philosophy of Composition" Poe explored the process he used to write "The Raven." How well does his poem meet the requirements set out in his essay?
This essay should detail the main elements of a good poem, as enunciated by Poe – namely a single effect, brevity, an impression of beauty and a tone of sadness. Each element should be applied to the poem in question.
5. Analyze the mood and tone of Poe's "The Raven."
This essay should focus on the melancholy and dreary mood of the poem. This is created by the choice of words (Gaunt, dreary. . .), the chain of events and the foreboding of the repeated word "Nevermore."
6. Is "The Raven" just a tale of a talking bird? What deeper themes does it explore?
This essay should focus on the themes of the poem – beauty,...
(The entire section is 636 words.)