The Melancholic Tone of The Raven by Edgar Allan Poe

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The Melancholic Tone of The Raven by Edgar Allan Poe

Edgar Allan Poe's "The Raven," is representing Poe's own introvertedness, which is strangely moving and attractive to the reader. In his essay entitled "The Philosophy of Composition," Poe reveals his intent in writing "The Raven" and also describes the work of writing the poem as being carefully calculated in all aspects. Of all melancholy topics, Poe wished to use the most understood, death, specifically death involving a beautiful woman.

The tone in Edgar Allan Poe's "The Raven" represents a painful state of mind, a mind that is vulnerable to madness that is brought upon by the death of his beloved lady. Which is representing Poe's own personal problems, with those of the narrator in "The Raven," his use of symbolism, and the language through the use of the raven's refrain, the reader becomes aware of Poe's prominent tone of sadness. A way that really brought out the melancholic tone in "The Raven" is Poe's use of the first person. Poe used his real life experiences and put it down as first person so it seems more real. After all his misfortunes in his life, which included living a life of poverty and being orphaned at a young age, Poe's beloved wife Virginnia, died after a long illness. 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 recollections cultivate an enormous motive in the reader to know and be relieved of the bewilderment that plagues the narrator and Poe himself; the narrator wonders whether he will see his wife in the afterlife. After Virginnia's lingering death, Poe tried to relieve his grief by

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drinking. A ...

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...he angels name Lenore," probably on purpose to further torture and anguish himself (Thompson, 95). Throughout the poem "The Raven," Poe makes a personal, introverted hell strangely mesmerizing poem to all. Poe's haunting descriptions, unnerving parallelism between his life and the poem, and startling yet purposeful exploration of symbolism and situation, makes the reader look into realms of insanity which explores the soul in which is enjoyable yet strange.


Poe, Edgar Allan. Essays and Reviews. Ed. G. R. Thompson. New York: Literary

Classics of the United States, Inc., 1984.

Quinn, Arthur Hobson. "Edgar Allan Poe, A Critical Biography." Baltimore: John

Hopkins University Press, 1998 (second printing).

Silverman, Kenneth. "Edgar A. Poe, Mournful and Never-ending Remembrance." New

York: Harper Collins Publishers, 1992.