Edgar Allan Poe Literary Analysis Essay, Research Paper
Literary Analysis of The Raven
The life of Edgar Allan Poe was as morbid and melancholy as his works. After
the abandonment by his father and the disturbing death of his mother, both prominent
traveling actors, Edgar was reluctantly forced into orphanage. He was later taken into the
home of John Allan, a wealthy tobacco merchant. Their relationship was shaky, at best,
and the contention between the two would last until Allan’s death, where his will left
nothing for Poe. Amidst these calamities, came only more distress. The death John
Allan’s wife, the woman who cared for Poe after his mother died, and a large amount of
debts acquired from gambling that forced him into early resignation from the University
of Virginia, only sent Edgar into a deeper state of despair. But the most devastating blow
came when his beloved wife, Virginnia Clemm, died from the same disease his mother
perished from–consumption. The tragedies in Poe’s life are reflected in his poem, “The
Raven,” and can be predominately seen through the comparison between the loss of his
wife, and the narrators loss of Lenore.
The apparent tone in Edgar Allan Poe’s “The Raven” seemingly represents a very
painful condition of mind, an intellect sensitive to madness and the abyss of melancholy
brought upon by the death of a beloved lady. The parallelism of Poe’s own personal
problems with those of the narrator in “The Raven,” and the repetitive verse by the raven,
makes the reader aware of Poe’s prominent tone of melancholy. A strong device for the
melancholic tone is Poe’s life experiences. The narrator’s sorrow for the lost Lenore is
paralleled with Poe’s own grief regarding the death of his wife. Confined in the chamber
are memories of her who had frequented it. These ghostly recollections bring out a state
of eager anticipation in the reader to know and be relieved of the bewilderment that the
narrator and consequently Poe himself are experiencing; the narrator ponders whether he
will see his wife in the afterlife.
After Virginnia’s lingering death, Poe tried to relieve his grief by drinking. A
parallelism is formed in “The Raven” between the condescending actions of the raven
towards the narrator and the taunting of alcohol towards Poe. The raven condescends that
Poe will never see his lost love again when uttering, “forget this lost Lenore,” in line 84.
Alcohol taunts Poe into ceaseless depression and caused him to have a life-long problem
with alcoholism, which eventually led to his death. In a similar manner to which alcohol
explored Poe’s inner devastation, the raven brings out the narrator’s innermost fears that
he will never see his Lenore again.
The articulation of language through the use of the raven and it’s refrain is also
utilized to produce the melancholic tone in “The Raven.” In the poem it is important that
the answers to the questions are already known, to illustrate the self-torture to which the
narrator endures. Repetition of “Nevermore” baffles the narrator into a victimized state
of mind. Articulation of “Nevermore” also emphasizes the features of the word itself,
specifically its meaning. Through focusing on the raven and its raspy “Nevermore,” an
effect is developed that highlights a gloomy and depressed state of mind. A refrain is
used throughout Edgar Allan Poe’s “The Raven,” to impress upon the developing tone of
melancholy. The refrain accomplishes this emphasis through its creation of an awareness
of the inevitable; realizing that the raven’s response to any question will be “Nevermore,”
the character asks about his lost love, the “rare and radiant maiden whom the angels name
Lenore” (line 96), perhaps on purpose to experience further torture and anguish.
Through “The Raven,” Poe makes his personal hell become strangely
mesmerizing and enjoyable for everyone. Poe’s haunting descriptions, unnerving
parallelism between his life and the poem, and alarming continuation of a melancholic
tone, draws the reader into spheres of insanity which at once explores the soul and pleases
Noted for its supernatural atmosphere and musically rhythmic tone, “The Raven” by Edgar Allan Poe was first published in 1845. Once published, “The Raven” made Edgar Allan Poe widely popular, although he did not flourish financially. Poe received a large amount of attention from critics, who not only interpreted, but critiqued his work. He claimed to have structured the poem logically and systematically, so that the poem would appeal to not only critical tastes, but popular as well.
The writing of the poem is like no other. The mysterious mood it conveys and deep meaning take you beyond the text into an almost nightmare-like illusion. Poe claimed that the poem was inspired by a talking raven in Barnaby Rudge: A Tale of the Riots of Eighty by Charles Dickens. It is also noted that Poe used the intricate rhythm and meter of Elizabeth Barrett’s poem “Lady Geraldine’s Courtship” in making the internal rhyme as well as alliteration.
What really makes the poem so powerful are the elements Poe uses. First he sets the scene, “Once upon a midnight dreary, while I pondered, weak and weary, Over many a quaint and curious volume of forgotten lore-…” already it’s clear that it is late at night and a man is weak and tired trying to ease his sorrow by reading old books of “forgotten lore” (DiYanni 1173). Then the poem goes on to tell that there is a tapping at his chamber door. When he opens the door he is surprised to find, “Darkness there and nothing more” (1173). He whispers into the darkness “Lenore,” hoping that his lost love had returned, but all that was heard was, “an echo [that] murmured back the word, ‘Lenore!’”(1173). Angered and perplexed, he turns back into his chamber, suddenly there is a loud tapping at the window lattice. H.
. middle of paper.
DiYanni, Robert. "Chapter Seventeen, The Raven." Literature: Reading Fiction, Poetry, and Drama. 6th ed. Boston: McGraw-Hill, 2007. 1173-175. Print.
Magistrale, Tony. "The Art of Poetry." Student Companion to Edgar Allan Poe. Westport, Conn. ;London: Greenwood, 2001. 39-41. Print.
Meltzer, Milton. ""The Raven" - and Fame." Edgar Allan Poe: a Biography. Brookfield, CT: Twenty-First Century, 2003. 105-16. Print.
"Poe, Edgar Allan (1809 - 1849) - Credo Reference Topic." Credo Reference Home. Web. 13 Feb. 2011.
Quinn, Arthur Hobson. and Shawn Rosenheim. "New York- "The Raven" and Other Matters." Edgar Allan Poe: a Critical Biography. Baltimore (Md.): John Hopkins UP, 1998. 405-50. Print.
"The Raven." Wikipedia, the Free Encyclopedia. Web. 13 Feb. 2011.
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Literary Analysis Essay The Raven
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Summary: A short analysis of Edgar Allen Poe's "The Raven," this three page paper discusses the use of such literary devices as rhyme, rhythm, meter and symbolism to effectively convey a tone of mystery and fear.
Edgar Allen Poe's journey into the realm of death, fear and the macabre, "The Raven" is an exploration into the loneliness and despair associated with the loss of a loved one. Through the clever use of rhyme, meter, imagery, symbolism and word choice, Poe catapults us into a world of sinister images, morbid predilections and unearthly machinations. We are, at once, submerged in the pulsing, driving force of supernatural fear as only Poe is able to create. And with every use of the haunting refrain "Nevermore," upon which the chilling cadence of this poem is built, Poe transforms a story steeped in remorse and sorrow into a tale of preternatural mystery and suspense.
The first, and most powerful literary device that Poe incorporates in "The Raven" is the use of rhythm and rhyme. Using the rhythm of stressed and unstressed words, "Once upon a midnight dreary, while I.
This section contains 688 words
(approx. 3 pages at 300 words per page)
U2A6 Robert Desjardine
The Raven by Edgar Allan Poe
The Poem I believe to be the best ever written is “ The Raven” by Edgar Allan Poe. This poem was a sensation when published in 1845, and it continues to stir the same emotion in readers today as it did then. His use of several poetic devices in precise locations creates a dark sing-song rhythm to the poem. These include meter, alliteration, repetition, simile, personification, among many others. Each flowing so that it all draws in the reader and makes the tale come alive in the minds eye.
The poem is about a man sitting alone in his chamber falling asleep in a book trying to forget about his deceased love, when he hears a knocking at his door. After finding nothing he presumes it must be from the window, upon opening the window a raven flies in. The man is amused and asks the bird his name to which the bird replies “ Nevermore”. As the man sits to ponder this reply he begins to think of his lost love. He feels the air grow thicker and begins to think god sent the raven to make him forget Lenore. The raven answers his question with one answer, “ Nevermore”. The man then enraged asks the raven if he and Lenore will ever be together again in heaven, to which the raven replies as expected, “Nevermore”. “And the Raven. And the lamplight o'er him streaming throws his shadow on the floor; And my soul from out that shadow that lies floating on the floor, Shall be lifted- nevermore!” ( lines 106-107, The Raven, Poe)
The Meter of this poem follows a well structured trochaic octameter for the first five lines of each stanza with the sixth line being a trochaic tetrameter. This is mixed with the darker imagery of the poem gives it a truly dark yet whimsical mood. The trochaic octameter is a line with eight pairs of stressed-unstressed syllables, each pair is called a foot. These kind of feet (having pairs of stressed-
unstressed syllables) are known as trochee. When a line contains.
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