While reading “The Raven” by Edgar Allen Poe, the narrator’s increasingly anxious tone sets an eerie mood throughout the story. At the beginning, a royal narrator, who is unnamed, relaxes in his chair, but something disturbs him by tapping on his chamber door; he tries to ignore the sound, but it reminds him of a late maiden, Lenore. Although it was easy to reach a general understanding, painting a complete picture required definitions of unknown words and phrases; the elaborate meanings really expand the setting and plot. The narrator uses the word “surcease,” line 10, to tell the listener that he wishes to read a book, so he can put an end to his mourning. After investigating the tapping at the door and finding no one there, he hears a voice thought to be Lenore; she is deceased, so hearing her makes the narrator fearful. Afterwards, a series of tapping sounds come from the window, and as he opens it to investigate, a raven flies in. “Obeisance” is used in line 39 to show the Raven’s lack of respect towards the narrator as it sits atop a bust of Pallas, the Greek Goddess of Wisdom. Directly after, the use of “beguiling” and “countenance” in lines 43 and 44 describe that the bird’s trickery and facial expression made the narrator smile. In line 47, when asked for its name on the Nightly shore of Pluto, Roman God of Death, the Raven replies “Nevermore.” This is the only word the Raven says throughout the course of the poem, and it causes the narrator to worry; he describes the bird as ominous, foreshadowing evil, line 70. Then, in lines 79 and 80, he claims to feel the presence of Seraphim, the highest rank of angels, swinging a censer and causing the air to thicken. The narrator turns to nepenthe, a kind of drug, to forget about Lenore, line 83. However, regardless of his efforts, the Raven will not leave, so he does not stop drinking and dies in the end, but the Raven still sits upon his door, casting a shadow over his body, lines...
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