“The Raven” is one of the most famous poems that Edgar A.
Poe published. The poem is known for its melodic 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 historical context.
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 readers assumption at his insanity. Providing
dramatic irony in that the reader known 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 a “black December” night while he
attempts to distract himself from his troubles and worries. He thinks
occasionally of his emotions but although the effort required to do so he tries
make his words equally slow. 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 perceives the Raven as 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.