The Raven - Analysis

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The Raven – Horror themes

The Raven is a narrative poem written by the renowned American writer Edgar Allan Poe in 1845. Greatly celebrated for its melody and musical tune and rhythm, the poem is still recognized as being one of the most notable and popular poems of all time. The poem has a dark, sinister and depressive atmosphere that also supports the gothic themed writing style, which was popular in the period in which he lived. Although the poem received worldwide acknowledgement, he didn’t gain much financial success, but it certainly made his name familiar to the common tongue. The poem tells the story of a distraught man filled with sorrow from his lost love, Lenore.

Resume

In the beginning of the poem the scene is situated in a chamber at midnight with an atmosphere described as being “dreary” and in general as melancholy themed. A knocking is heard at the door while an unnamed male protagonist, “weak and weary” suppress his grief for his lost love with scary books of “forgotten lore”. The knocking sound once more and finally he opens the door, but soon realizes that nobody is there. After hearing continuous knocking and whispers of Lenore, a raven flies through the window into the chamber and positions itself at the bust of Pallas Athena above the door. Angrily he tries to scare the raven to fly away again, but is astounded to hear the word “nevermore” coming from its beak. Amazed, he begins to question the raven about his future and afterlife, but is greatly disappointed in the raven’s continuous answer “nevermore”. Due to his deep disappointment he orders the raven away, but is just answered with “nevermore”. Apparently, the raven remains stationary for all eternity.

Form and structure

The Raven is in particular acknowledged for its intriguing melody and structure. The poem is composed of 18 stanzas in six lines for each one. Interestingly, Edgar Allan Poe used the seldom practiced trochaic octameter[1] in order to create the poems...
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