Poem Interpretation: the Raven

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In this essay, I will discuss the elements involved and my interpretation of the poem The Raven, by Edgar Allen Poe. Many poems, including this particular one, are made up of a number of elements which are combined to give the reader a certain thought or feeling. I will also discuss the poet's philosophy on poetry and how this plays a role in The Raven.

For me poetry is usually rather difficult to decipher the real meaning behind the rhyming and sentences that do not really flow with everyday speaking. This poem is an elegy in closed form which encompasses elements such as: alliteration, syntax, diction, rhyme, and has been one of the most parodied poems of all American literature. After much reflection, I believe the way in which Poe intended this poem to be interpreted is that this is a story of a lonely man, who has just suffered a loss of perhaps his wife Lenore. He tries to ease his sorrow by distracting himself with books of old folklore. While he is napping, he hears a rapping at his chamber door. He opens the door and peeks out wondering if by chance he would see his love, but to his dismay, no one is there. Next, he hears a tapping at the window lattice; he swings open the windows and a raven steps in and perches on top of the bust of Pallas (Goddess of wisdom). The raven symbolizes a non-reasoning creature who can only say the word "nevermore". The speaker puts himself through a bought of self-torture by continuing to ask this bird questions to which he already knows the answer to, and for which he knows the raven can only answer "nevermore". The raven sitting atop the bust of Pallas is a symbol to the speaker, because he believes that the raven is wise because he is perched on the goddess of wisdom. Both midnight and December symbolize the end of something and the anticipation of something new to come. This seems to make sense since the speaker has suffered the loss of his love, thus the end of their relationship, and the beginning...
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