Meaning of Edgar Allan Poe's The Raven Essay

Meaning of Edgar Allan Poe's The Raven Essay

Length: 1298 words (3.7 double-spaced pages)

Rating: Strong Essays

Open Document

Essay Preview

     Edgar Allan Poe's "The Raven" employs a raven itself as a symbol of the torture, mainly the self-inflicted torture, of the narrator over his lost love, Lenore.     

The raven, it can be argued, is possibly a figment of the imagination of the narrator, obviously distraught over the death of Lenore. The narrator claims in the first stanza that he is weak and weary (731). He is almost napping as he hears the rapping at the door, which could quite possibly make the sound something he heard in a near dream-like state, not an actual sound.

He is terrified of being alone in the chamber he is in when the poem takes place. The "sad, uncertain rustling of each purple curtain thrilled me-filled me with fantastic terrors never felt before" (731). When the poem opens, he is reading over books of "forgotten lore" (731). His imagination is probably already running wild. His surroundings are conducive to the situation he finds himself in. The word "chamber" itself implies a cold, rigid feel, like the narrator has shut himself away from everything in order to be alone to brood and torture himself.

The words "ghost" and "dying ember" give the reader a feeling of discomfort, like something is not quite right with the situation. The narrator opens the chamber door into darkness, deep darkness, and silence. He stands there, fearing what is before him, "dreaming dreams no mortal ever dared to dream before" (732). December is also the time of year when most plants are dead, to which extent the narrator remarks that it is a "bleak December", making for a dismal scene both outside and inside the chamber. There is also a "tempest", a storm, brewing outside, not good for calming the spirits of the narrator.

Thoughts are running through his head and it is safe to say that he is frightening himself more than the situation merits at this point. He says he has to still the beating of his heart by repeating outside the door, "'Tis some visitor entreating entrance at my chamber door" (731). He is literally trying to talk himself down from the frightened state he is in. The mind is the most powerful tool of one's imagination, and the narrator's is definitely working in overdrive.

Given the language used by the narrator and the surroundings he has placed himself in, one could think that the whole story was a figment of the narrator's imagination. Just like when watching...


... middle of paper ...


...ven sitting on the chair.

As the poem comes to a close, we see that the narrator will forever be reminded of death and the fact that he, as a part of his nature, cannot understand it. And he will be forever reminded of Lenore and his loss, as the raven is sitting there above the door-"and the raven, never flitting, still is sitting, still is sitting on the pallid bust of Pallas just above my chamber door?" (734).

The raven plays an important part in the poem, hence the title, "The Raven." The raven has so many meanings: death, sorrow, fear, frustration, and the self-inflicted torture of the narrator. All these things can attest to the mental state of the narrator due to the loss of Lenore.

"Take thy beak from out my heart, and take thy form from off my door," he pleads. But the raven will not go. The raven will sit above the narrator's door every day for eternity to remind the narrator that he cannot understand death. And left under the shadow the raven casts on the floor is the soul of the narrator that shall be lifted-nevermore!



Works Cited

McMichael, George, et al. Anthology of American Literature, 7th ed., vol. 1. Upper Saddle River: Prentice-Hall, 2000.

Need Writing Help?

Get feedback on grammar, clarity, concision and logic instantly.

Check your paper »

The Raven By Edgar Allan Poe Essay

- Edgar Allan Poe’s “The Raven” follows the story of a young man who is sadden by the death of a woman named Leonore. As the reader advance through the poem, the main character is getting more and more emotionally unstable. He is clearly suffering from some kind of mental illness most likely depression. The narrator is in first person, we are living the poem through the eyes of the main character. (He compulsorily constructs self-destructive meaning around a raven’s repetition of the word 'Nevermore ', until he finally despairs of being reunited with his beloved Lenore in another world....   [tags: Edgar Allan Poe, The Raven]

Strong Essays
1099 words (3.1 pages)

The Raven By Edgar Allan Poe Essay

- Edgar Allan Poe is a writer known for mystery and macabre, his stories are dark and Gothic to many readers. In a story, it is all the way the reader interprets it, one reader may read the story a completely different way than the next. In the poem, "The Raven", many would think that Poe is representing gothic elements. He uses symbols and metaphors in his story to represent things in the story to his own life events. Poe 's life was very dark and Gothic, and the story is about a period in his life that was very depressing and disheartening for him....   [tags: Edgar Allan Poe, The Raven]

Strong Essays
1021 words (2.9 pages)

The Raven By Edgar Allan Poe Essay

- The Raven, a standout amongst the most acclaimed lyrics in the historical backdrop of the verse composed by none other than Edgar Allan Poe was initially distributed in 1845. What is the genuine significance of this magnum opus. What did Poe need us to comprehend from this. For a great many people who have had the benefit of perusing this excellent lyric, their responses to the above inquiries would without a doubt be that Poe is composing this ballad with the special propose to outline the solid effect left by the demise of a friend or family member in the psyche of the bereaved person....   [tags: Edgar Allan Poe, The Raven]

Strong Essays
1151 words (3.3 pages)

Essay about The Raven By Edgar Allan Poe

- Edgar Allen Poe’s The Raven is one of his famous poems about loneliness as a result of death. Many specific examples are used to back up how the speaker feels about his loneliness due to the death of his love. The speaker would rather remain lonely than to have the pain of being reminded of his lost love, Lenore. The pain in which death brings will always remain, as shown in this poem. Poe uses various literary devices to convey this theme throughout the poem. The poem, The Raven, focuses on the lifelong sorrow and loneliness due to the death of a loved one....   [tags: Edgar Allan Poe, Poetry, The Raven]

Strong Essays
1453 words (4.2 pages)

Essay about The Raven, By Edgar Allan Poe

- In “The Raven,” by Edgar Allan Poe, one of the most important symbols is the bust. Typically unnoticed by the reader, the bust is specifically detailed and characterized to give it a deeper meaning. The narrator states that the raven “[perches] upon a bust of Pallas just above his chamber door” (Baym 638). Pallas is known as a Greek goddess. She is the goddess of wisdom and the arts. It is in fact commonly understood that birds perch on statues of heroes or important individuals and it mean nothing....   [tags: Edgar Allan Poe, The Raven, Romanticism]

Strong Essays
1165 words (3.3 pages)

The Raven By Edgar Allan Poe Essay

- Edgar Allan Poe’s “The Raven” is a dark reflection on lost love, death and loss of hope. This poem dramatizes the emotions of the poet, who has lost his beloved, and unsuccessfully tries to distract himself from sadness, through studying books. However, books are little help and a single visitor, a Raven, disturbs his solitude. Through the poem Poe uses symbolism, imagery and tone to enforce his theme of sadness and loss. Also, with the use of assonance, alliteration, rhyme and repetition, the poem achieves a melodic level that almost feels like singing when read out loud....   [tags: Edgar Allan Poe, The Raven, Poetry]

Strong Essays
720 words (2.1 pages)

The Raven And The Black Cat By Edgar Allan Poe Essay

- Edgar Allan Poe Essay As time goes on, each and every human gets closer and closer to dying. For some it will come sooner than others, but there is no way to escape. Unfortunately for Edgar Allan Poe, death surrounded him for all of his life. “The Raven” and “The Black Cat” by Edgar Allan Poe exemplify aspects of death from his personal life, although the stories’s use of animals as symbols and stimulating plots differ, proving that the past is not to be forgotten. To begin with, symbolism in both tales is used to represent death in Poe’s life....   [tags: Edgar Allan Poe, The Raven]

Strong Essays
1490 words (4.3 pages)

Essay about Edgar Allan Poe 's Life Is Reflected Through The Loss Of The Raven

- For poets, it is essential that they write about what they know and what they feel, as the substance of what they are revealing will enhance their work and ultimately attract audiences. Edgar Allan Poe is one poet whose personal endeavours can be extracted from his poems. His works such as The Raven, Annabel-Lee and Ulalume are just a few of his most celebrated poems that reflect diverse aspects of Poe’s own life. Poe’s reoccurring themes of death in conjunction with love, the subconsciousness of self and ambiguity attracted audiences to become entranced in his work (Spark Notes, 2014)....   [tags: Edgar Allan Poe, Poetry, The Raven]

Strong Essays
1302 words (3.7 pages)

The Raven By Edgar Allen Poe Essay

- Edgar Allen Poe’s poem, "The Raven" starts off in a dark setting with an apartment on a "bleak December" night. The reader meets an agonized man sifting through his books while mourning over the premature death of a woman named Lenore. When the character is introduced to the raven he asks about Lenore and the chance in afterlife in which the bird replies “nevermore” which confirms his worst fears. This piece by Edgar Allen Poe is unparalleled; his poem’s theme is not predictable, it leads to a bitter negative ending and is surrounded by pain....   [tags: Edgar Allan Poe, The Raven]

Strong Essays
1017 words (2.9 pages)

Analysis of Edgar Allan Poe's The Raven Essay

- Analysis of Edgar Allan Poe's The Raven Edgar Allan Poe’s “The Raven,” though parodied, republished, and altered countless times, has withstood the test of time as one of the most recognizable and famous works of poetry in the English language. Carefully measured stanzas with a fascinating rhyme scheme embedded throughout, together with the unique and completely individualistic style of its author, are but a few of the elements that combine to elevate this poem in the public eye. It reaches an as-yet-unparalleled plane of poetic excellence....   [tags: Egar Allan Poe Raven Essays Analysis]

Strong Essays
812 words (2.3 pages)