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”The Raven” by Edgar Allan Poe

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Poem Articulation

            The Raven by Edgar Allan Poe is basically a poem of sorrow in losing a lost love. As depicted in the main character and narrator of the poem, the man – which is in a first person perspective – evokes a sense of loneliness as he spends his time reading old books in his room where he retracts himself from society and continuing to stay up late until midnight. He is then interrupted by a tapping on the door which as he opens, he instinctively expects his departed loved one – ‘Lenore’ – to return but as he whisper into the darkness her name, all he could hear is an echo of his own voice. As he returns to what he was doing before, he hears another tapping but this time on his windowpane. As he opens the window he finds a Raven which steps inside his room and perches itself on a sculpture of Pallas. The man talks and asks for the Ravens name and surprisingly the Raven croaks one word – “Nevermore”.

The man thinks that the bird has been taught to utter the word by someone else who is in misery. The man expects the bird to leave before the evening is over but the Raven once again says “Nevermore”. The man being amused in what he is hearing pulled close and sat on a chair – which was where Lenore usually sat and forced the man to reminisce her once more. Expecting the same answer from the Raven over and over again, the man still insists on asking questions such as “Does Gilead have balm?” and “Can I find Lenore in paradise?” and telling the Raven to “Leave out into the door!”. The Raven never missed to say “Nevermore” into each of what the man has stated. Finally, the man accepts the conversation as nonsense and thus realizes that just like what the Raven is implying from its spoken word and the figure it casts on his room: “Nevermore” can he lift his soul from the sadness he is feeling upon losing Lenore, he will continue still to long for her presence and find no peace.

Poem Language and Symbolism Effect

            The poet has chosen specific words to make the mood of the poem to be ‘dark’ and full of ‘grief’. The raven itself is a symbolism of “bad omen” and as he personifies it as being the creature that utters the word “Nevermore” adds the effect of more interest than letting it being stated by a normal person. Moreover, the statue of Pallas – where the bird has been placed – symbolizes wisdom and thus shows that the Raven may have something important to say. There is a hint of lost sanity in the main character as he “talks” to the Raven. The terms “midnight” and “December” shows a sense of something to end or has already ended and inserts more blackness into the color of the environment. The room of the man which is termed as ‘chamber’ suggests that he is trapped but the terms tempest, fiend and fiery shows the mans loathing in the outside world and thus chooses to be alone.

Other words that coincide with the melancholic tone of the poem and also tell that the man wants healing from it all are: “Plutonian” – Roman God of the underworld, “Aidenn” – Arabic for paradise. “Nepenthe” – ancient potion that is used to forget sorrow, “Balm in Gilead” – an ointment made from Palestine, and “Seraphim” – depicting one of the six winged angels in the context of the Christianity. These words are essential in what the poet wants to convey in his work.

Poem Structure

The poem uses trochaic octameter which is specifically a line which employs eight trochees – or pairs of syllables whether stressed or unstressed. This is evident in the eighteen stanzas of the poem which contain six lines each.

Though the poet repeats certain words, he then removes the monotony of it through using it in different contexts and rhythms through adding pauses and also every once in a while uses rhymes. The repetition of consonant and vowel sounds is also present. The poem’s shortness depicts that it can be read in one sitting and that it is purposely showcasing one mood or emotion.

Works Cited

A comprehensive guide in the analysis of the poem was based from:


As well as in contexts stated in:


Reference to the structure of the poem are cited in: www.123helpme.com/search.asp?text=Edgar+Allan+Poe

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