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Edgar Allan Poe The Raven - Research Paper Example

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Edgar Allan Poe started writing during his later years at Westpoint where he published his first collection of poetry, “Tamerlane and Other Poems”. Most of Poe’s works evoke of feelings of sadness which somehow mirrors his lonely and tragic life, having been orphaned at…
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Edgar Allan Poe The Raven

It was possible that Lenore was the deceased woman being referred to in the poem (Cummings , par 9). The poem tells of a bereaved man who is completely devastated by the lost his loved one, Lenore. Suddenly in his moment of sadness, a raven appears who keeps on repeating the word “nevermore”, as if telling the man that he will never see his beloved again, not even in heaven.
As in most works of Poe, “The Raven” has a very melancholy tone which is emphasized by Poe’s use of words such as “weary”, “dreary”, “bleak”, “dying”, “sorrow”, “darkness”, “stillness”, “ebony” and “grave” (Cummings , par 7). He also uses internal and end rhymes and alliterations to enhance the theme of the poem.
“The Raven” was first published on January 29, 1845 in the New York Evening Mirror (eNotes.com, Inc. , par 1). It is said that the sources of “The Raven” are Elizabeth Barrett Browning’s “Lady Geraldine’s 1843 Courtship”, Charles Dickens’ “Barnaby Rudge” and the two poems by Thomas Holly Chivers, “To Allegra Florence” and “Isadore” (eNotes.com, Inc. , par 1). Poe revealed in his “The Philosophy of Composition” that he wrote about death in “The Raven” after asking himself what it is among the universal understanding of mankind is the most melancholy (Poe , par 20). Furthermore, he also asked himself what it is that is most universally appreciable and his answer was “beauty” (Poe , par 13). Having these two topics in mind, he then thought of combining them and writing a poem about the death of a beautiful woman which he considered “the most poetical topic in the world” (Poe , par 20).
In terms of symbolism, Poe also considered using a parrot in the poem because it was capable of speech. However, he decided to use a raven instead since the theme of the poem is melancholy. A raven is known to be a bird which symbolizes ill omen; thus, Poe decided that it was more ... Read More
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