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The Raven Analysis

Author: Poetry of Edgar Allan Poe Type: Poetry Views: 17287

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Once upon a midnight dreary, while I pondered, weak and weary,

Over many a quaint and curious volume of forgotten lore,

While I nodded, nearly napping, suddenly there came a tapping,

As of some one gently rapping, rapping at my chamber door.

"'Tis some visitor," I muttered, "tapping at my chamber door-

Only this, and nothing more."

Ah, distinctly I remember it was in the bleak December,

And each separate dying ember wrought its ghost upon the floor.

Eagerly I wished the morrow;- vainly I had sought to borrow

From my books surcease of sorrow- sorrow for the lost Lenore-

For the rare and radiant maiden whom the angels name Lenore-

Nameless here for evermore.

And the silken sad uncertain rustling of each purple curtain

Thrilled me- filled me with fantastic terrors never felt before;

So that now, to still the beating of my heart, I stood repeating,

"'Tis some visitor entreating entrance at my chamber door-

Some late visitor entreating entrance at my chamber door;-

This it is, and nothing more."

Presently my soul grew stronger; hesitating then no longer,

"Sir," said I, "or Madam, truly your forgiveness I implore;

But the fact is I was napping, and so gently you came rapping,

And so faintly you came tapping, tapping at my chamber door,

That I scarce was sure I heard you"- here I opened wide the door;-

Darkness there, and nothing more.

Deep into that darkness peering, long I stood there wondering,


Doubting, dreaming dreams no mortals ever dared to dream before;

But the silence was unbroken, and the stillness gave no token,

And the only word there spoken was the whispered word, "Lenore!"

This I whispered, and an echo murmured back the word, "Lenore!"-

Merely this, and nothing more.

Back into the chamber turning, all my soul within me burning,

Soon again I heard a tapping somewhat louder than before.

"Surely," said I, "surely that is something at my window lattice:

Let me see, then, what thereat is, and this mystery explore-

Let my heart be still a moment and this mystery explore;-

'Tis the wind and nothing more."

Open here I flung the shutter, when, with many a flirt and


In there stepped a stately raven of the saintly days of yore;

Not the least obeisance made he; not a minute stopped or stayed


But, with mien of lord or lady, perched above my chamber door-

Perched upon a bust of Pallas just above my chamber door-

Perched, and sat, and nothing more.

Then this ebony bird beguiling my sad fancy into smiling,

By the grave and stern decorum of the countenance it wore.

"Though thy crest be shorn and shaven, thou," I said, "art sure no


Ghastly grim and ancient raven wandering from the Nightly shore-

Tell me what thy lordly name is on the Night's Plutonian shore!"

Quoth the Raven, "Nevermore."

Much I marvelled this ungainly fowl to hear discourse so plainly,

Though its answer little meaning- little relevancy bore;

For we cannot help agreeing that no living human being

Ever yet was blest with seeing bird above his chamber door-

Bird or beast upon the sculptured bust above his chamber door,

With such name as "Nevermore."

But the raven, sitting lonely on the placid bust, spoke only

That one word, as if his soul in that one word he did outpour.

Nothing further then he uttered- not a feather then he fluttered-

Till I scarcely more than muttered, "other friends have flown


On the morrow he will leave me, as my hopes have flown before."

Then the bird said, "Nevermore."

Startled at the stillness broken by reply so aptly spoken,

"Doubtless," said I, "what it utters is its only stock and store,

Caught from some unhappy master whom unmerciful Disaster

Followed fast and followed faster till his songs one burden bore-

Till the dirges of his Hope that melancholy burden bore

Of 'Never- nevermore'."

But the Raven still beguiling all my fancy into smiling,

Straight I wheeled a cushioned seat in front of bird, and bust and


Then upon the velvet sinking, I betook myself to linking

Fancy unto fancy, thinking what this ominous bird of yore-

What this grim, ungainly, ghastly, gaunt and ominous bird of yore

Meant in croaking "Nevermore."

This I sat engaged in guessing, but no syllable expressing

To the fowl whose fiery eyes now burned into my bosom's core;

This and more I sat divining, with my head at ease reclining

On the cushion's velvet lining that the lamplight gloated o'er,

But whose velvet violet lining with the lamplight gloating o'er,

She shall press, ah, nevermore!

Then methought the air grew denser, perfumed from an unseen censer

Swung by Seraphim whose footfalls tinkled on the tufted floor.

"Wretch," I cried, "thy God hath lent thee- by these angels he

hath sent thee

Respite- respite and nepenthe, from thy memories of Lenore!

Quaff, oh quaff this kind nepenthe and forget this lost Lenore!"

Quoth the Raven, "Nevermore."

"Prophet!" said I, "thing of evil!- prophet still, if bird or


Whether Tempter sent, or whether tempest tossed thee here ashore,

Desolate yet all undaunted, on this desert land enchanted-

On this home by horror haunted- tell me truly, I implore-

Is there- is there balm in Gilead?- tell me- tell me, I implore!"

Quoth the Raven, "Nevermore."

"Prophet!" said I, "thing of evil- prophet still, if bird or


By that Heaven that bends above us- by that God we both adore-

Tell this soul with sorrow laden if, within the distant Aidenn,

It shall clasp a sainted maiden whom the angels name Lenore-

Clasp a rare and radiant maiden whom the angels name Lenore."

Quoth the Raven, "Nevermore."

"Be that word our sign in parting, bird or fiend," I shrieked,


"Get thee back into the tempest and the Night's Plutonian shore!

Leave no black plume as a token of that lie thy soul hath spoken!

Leave my loneliness unbroken!- quit the bust above my door!

Take thy beak from out my heart, and take thy form from off my


Quoth the Raven, "Nevermore."

And the Raven, never flitting, still is sitting, still is sitting

On the pallid bust of Pallas just above my chamber door;

And his eyes have all the seeming of a demon's that is dreaming,

And the lamplight o'er him streaming throws his shadow on the


And my soul from out that shadow that lies floating on the floor

Shall be lifted- nevermore!


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To me, The Raven is simply about the writer\'s struggle with depression-depression that is swiftly degenerating into full madness. It is a narrative, but it is not necessarily based upon Poe\'s real life situation. In fact he uses a whole lot of poetic license if, indeed, the poem is based upon himself.

| Posted on 2013-04-29 | by a guest

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You people are really brutal with your opinions. If you knew anything about Poe at all...you\'d know that he had another woman he considered to be his mother. Her name was Frances Allan. She died when he was 26.

| Posted on 2012-04-20 | by a guest

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| Posted on 2011-11-08 | by a guest

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It must be noted here that Poe\'s wife, Virginia died on January 30, 1847, two years after the poem\'s first publication (January 29, 1845). Poe uses the death of a beautiful woman because he felt that this theme was the most poetic topic of all, especially when told by the grieving lover (read The Philosophy of Composition by EAP published in 1850 where he actually explains the method he used in writing The Raven). His use of the name Lenore is common throughout many stories and poems he wrote.
The Raven is a story of heartbreak and despair. The narrator is presumed to be a scholar (or at least a student as someone here mentioned). This is given away by his reading of many books and the fact that there is a bust of Pallas, the goddess of Wisdom in his room. The narrator figures early that the Raven does not know any other word other than what he assumed was learned from someone who owned or otherwise was close to this bird. And that master must have experienced a tragedy in his own life.
The Raven seems to represent the narrator\'s own despair because it persists on tormenting him rather than give the answers he desperately seeks. There is a sense of guilt on the part of the narrator-could he have prevented the death of his loved one? did he cause her death? These are questions he cannot answer. And the hopes he speaks of he assumes the worst. Therefore regardless of what he wants to know, he concludes the worst. Hence there is no balm in Gilead; Lenor is not in Paradise; He is not going to forget her; etc.
So we eventually see that the unhappy master is probably the narrator himself, and that the Raven is his present being-present state of mind and it has consumed the person he used to be, though somewhere deep inside, that person is still there.

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This poem of Poe is full with gothic atmosphere as his short stories. In this poem this man,who lost his wife, makes a journey thorough his subconscious with the help of Raven. the allusion of pallas, \'goddess of wisdom\' also proves it. But his mind always repeat \"nevermore\", that is; he will never be able to reach his Lenore again.

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This is a poem about lost love through death or whatever. The raven is just a haunting reminder that he has lost his true love Lenore and nevermore will he live in optimism again. Nevermore will he find a \"sainted maiden\" maiden like Lenore. He loved and lost and he can never love again. Which is why he closes by saying his spirit will never be lifted by love again - \"And my soul from out that shadow that lies floating on the floor
Shall be lifted- nevermore!\"
His life is over, its slow death from here.

| Posted on 2011-04-11 | by a guest

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But, Poe wrote the \"Raven\" in 1845 and his wife did pass 2 yrs, later in 1847. So i\'m guessing it was more about lose in general and all he had been through in such a sshort life. much saddness, sorrow, of the lost days of morrow, and he just used the word Lenore! that\'s my thought anyway... i do agree with many of you though.

| Posted on 2011-02-21 | by a guest

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I believe that this poem goes a lot more in depth than any of you have realized. In this poem, the raven signifies the character\'s grief over his lost love, and at the end of the poem, the man is finally coming to terms with the fact that he will never overcome his grief for the loss of his lover, Lenore. Lenore also means Helen, therefore meaning Helen of Troy, who represents real but also unnatural beauty. The bust of Pallas, which sits above the chamber door, is a bust of the Greek goddess Athena, the goddess of wisdom. I think it is important to notice that the raven chooses this place to perch, because this is how Poe chose to show that when grief and sorrow are present in a man\'s life, wisdom and common sense may not be.
This is a beautiful poem that has many more meanings than I have shed light upon. These ideas of mine are only a few of my many opinions about this poem.

| Posted on 2010-12-06 | by a guest

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“The Raven” is a narrative poem. A narrative poem tells a story not simply by painting a word picture like some poems, but with a plot that develops. “The Raven” is about a student studying late into the night, grieving over his beautiful but dead love, Lenore. The student hears knocking and finds a raven responsible for the noise. Ravens traditionally symbolize evil and death. The student asks many times about meeting his love after death, to which the raven always replies “Nevermore.” This ends up driving the young man crazy.

The most important elements to recognize in this poem are the use of repetition and rhyme. Notice the uses of “Lenore,” “door,” and “nevermore” to create a feeling of gloom. The repetition of “nevermore” and “nothing more” makes the piece sound final. Although many of the lines end in a rhyme, the important technique Poe uses is internal rhymes, which are patterns of rhyming that occur in the middle of lines (end rhyme). In lines 3-4, for example, there is “napping” and “rapping” in addition to repetitions that include “tapping.” Another example of internal rhyme is found in lines 9-10 with “morrow” and “sorrow.” As you read and listen to “The Raven,” pay attention for rhymes, repetition, and the mood they create.

Poe used internal and end rhymes to create a rhythm that engages the reader. The repetition creates another rhythm that draws the reader into a somber mood. It creates an unavoidable sense that the student is losing touch with reality. Additionally, Poe used alliteration (repeating a consonant sound) to create onomatopoeia (where sounds echo their feelings) to create more of a mood of terror. “This grim, ungainly, ghastly, gaunt, and ominous bird of yore,” for example, the repeated use of g sounds does more to make the raven sound scary than simply telling the reader that the bird was terrifying.

| Posted on 2010-12-03 | by a guest

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Its about him losing a lost love. It doesnt matter who its about. Really. It could be anyone, his wife, sister, mother, any girl, or even his father (but really, don\'t think that cuz its dumb). Its a good poem, nuf sed.

| Posted on 2010-12-02 | by a guest

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A lonely man tries to ease his \"sorrow for the lost Lenore,\" by distracting his mind with old books of \"forgotten lore.\" He is interrupted while he is \"nearly napping,\" by a \"tapping on [his] chamber door.\" As he opens up the door, he finds \"darkness there and nothing more.\" Into the darkness he whispers, \"Lenore,\" hoping his lost love had come back, but all that could be heard was \"an echo [that] murmured back the word \'Lenore!\'\"
With a burning soul, the man returns to his chamber, and this time he can hear a tapping at the window lattice. As he \"flung [open] the shutter,\" \"in [there] stepped a stately Raven,\" the bird of ill-omen (Poe, 1850). The raven perched on the bust of Pallas, the goddess of wisdom in Greek mythology, above his chamber door.
The man asks the Raven for his name, and surprisingly it answers, and croaks \"Nevermore.\" The man knows that the bird does not speak from wisdom, but has been taught by \"some unhappy master,\" and that the word \"nevermore\" is its only \"stock and store.\"
The man welcomes the raven, and is afraid that the raven will be gone in the morning, \"as [his] Hopes have flown before\"; however, the raven answers, \"Nevermore.\" The man smiled, and pulled up a chair, interested in what the raven \"meant in croaking, ‘Nevermore.’\" The chair, where Lenore once sat, brought back painful memories. The man, who knows the irrational nature in the raven’s speech, still cannot help but ask the raven questions. Since the narrator is aware that the raven only knows one word, he can anticipate the bird\'s responses. \"Is there balm in Gilead?\" - \"Nevermore.\" Can Lenore be found in paradise? - \"Nevermore.\" \"Take thy form from off my door!\" - \"Nevermore.\" Finally the man concedes, realizing that to continue this dialogue would be pointless. And his \"soul from out that shadow\" that the raven throws on the floor, \"Shall be lifted -- Nevermore!\"

| Posted on 2010-11-30 | by a guest

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A very interesting poem - also, a very fast read. I found it almost impossible to read it slowly - the writing just carried the reader through it very quickly.
Like much of Poe\'s work, the meaning of the poem is ambiguous. It is generally the case in good poetry that it is left down to the reader to interpret the story as they see fit. This is why poetry is such a good written medium as it allows each reader to have an individual experience of the poem. As for myself, I believe he is talking about loss and grieving in general. I do not believe he wrote the poem specifically about a single member of his family - i simply think it is a general summation of his feelings towards death and suffering. After all, he suffered his fair share of deaths in his short lifetime.

| Posted on 2010-11-18 | by a guest

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i only understood one analysis of all you guys messasges
but the real meaning of this poem is that poe lost his loved one, his wife so its saying that when he was crying and reading a book and also he was feeling depressed about his loved one, his wife so when his crying and begging for help he hears a knock a his door so he comes through the door and he opens it and he doesn\'t see anyone so he asks who is this and he is feeling a little bit scare so a raven says nevermore so he is still freaked out because it\'s a bird talking and that is not normal so he keeps asking the raven questions about his wife and if he will ever see her againg but the bird still responding \"nevermore and nothing more\" so he still asking the raven how lenore is doing in paradise or if she made it to paradise and the bird responds him nevermore. so the raven can mean two things darkness, mystery, and death darkness because he lost his love, lenore you can compare this to a real death of your loved how you felt, maybe you felt darkness because you are depressed and angry because you did not want that person died so angriness is darkness. mystery because the bird is still answer him \"nevermore\" and he keeps asking the raven questions so that means mystery. death because he lost lenore. if you want any help with a poem contact me at my email

| Posted on 2010-11-17 | by a guest

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