“The Raven” is one of the most famous poems that Edgar A.
Poe published. The poem is known for its gothic and dramatic qualities. In
Edgar A. Poe’s “The Raven” the speaker is depressed over his lost love Lenore.
He conveys this message through various literary devices such as symbol,
character, narration, and abstract language.
The main character, our narrator for the story is portrayed
by Poe in the opening lines as a rather collected yet disturbed character;
voicing his concern for the reader’s assumption at his insanity. Providing
dramatic irony in the poem the reader knows that the narrator is indeed
demented. “The Raven” he discusses the characters flaws of the narrator: “And
the only word there spoken was the whispered word, “Lenore?” This I whispered,
and an echo murmured back the word, “Lenore!” (29). This is a human response to
his loss of his beloved Lenore. Finally, when the passage comes to an end the
lover is lamenting the loss of his love and is sitting on Pallas, while the
raven seems to further instigate his stress about his constant repetition using
the word “Nevermore”. This is our average metaphor for an average human, that
desires to see his other significant other.
The unnamed narrator sets the atmosphere in a gothic setting
with a lonely mansion with a dying fire, and at night while he attempts to
distract himself from his troubles and worries. He thinks occasionally of his
emotions. Nevertheless, he is confused and annoyed by the bird that repeats
that one word over and over again. He appears throughout the poem to be fighting
with the raven but is actually struggling within himself. Eventually he
realizes that the Raven is sending a message and he starts to move on by the
bird staying with him forevermore. “And
the Raven, never flitting, still is sitting, still is sitting on the pallid
bust of Pallas just about my chamber door”. (101) The main character in the
story assumes he is not mad but continues to show the readers the opposite.
The Raven is just a bird, but a representation of death the
loss of Lenore. It only speaks one word throughout the poem saying “Nevermore” in
a repetition. In Greek mythology, ravens are associated with Apollo which sent a
white raven, or crow to spy on his love. The Raven speaks only words of wisdom,
letting the audience know that the bird is reminding the main character the loss
of his love Lenore. The narrator believes that the Raven has been a wandering
ancient creature. Lenore is another one
of the other symbolisms that takes places in the poem for lost love and in a
sense the loss of the narrator’s soul. Our narrators sorrow for his lost is the
driving force behind the conversation with the raven. “Quoth the Raven,
Nevermore”. (45-46) This reference helps create a stronger link between the
Raven and an old world of Queens and Kings and knight’s era.
Edgar Allen Poe’ The Raven, was published in January 1845. Poe’s
ideal at the time was about writing fiction poems which was unheard at the
time. Many readers found Poe’s work enraptured and said the poem was very
vapid. Poe claimed that “Beauty of whatever kind is a supreme development
invariably excites the sensitive soul to tears”. He chose to make a woman as
one of his main topics because he believed that nothing was more poetical than
a beautiful melancholy. As Poe was writing this poem he was trying to attempt
to carve out a living for himself as a poet.
Poe throughout the passage related to humanistic traits like
depression, vanity, loneliness and pride through various of literary devices
like the Raven which symbolizes the human fear of death. He has achieved this
in many diverse ways from abstract meaning of the word “Nevermore” to the
connotation of what a raven actually represents. The unreliable first-person
narrator whom serves as our metaphor for an average person suffering a loss of
a loved one resembling our narrator’s broken heart.