Raven 1845 by Edgar Alan Poe is a poem about a bleak December night, a nameless speaker reads an ancient esoteric book in his room. He is heartbroken at the loss of his beloved Lenore, who died not long ago, and he is hoping that reading will help him forget about her.
He is about to go off to sleep when he hears a knock on the door. Instinctively, he feels concerned; yet, his confidence grows as he realizes that it is most likely just a guest. He apologizes for the delay in his answer and calls back. Unwanted guests that are creepy always enter human life without prior notice, like Annabelle.
The door is unlocked, but no one is present when he opens it. Only his own words echo back to him as he murmurs “Lenore” to the darkness outside. Ominously, there is still some noise coming from the window. However, despite this, the speaker remains nervous.
An unseen raven perches on Pallas Athena’s statue above the entryway as he opens the windows. The appearance of the bird provides a brief moment of relief for the speaker. He asks the bird’s name in jest. That, in itself, is enough to startle him.
He yells, “Nevermore.” That raven‘s message gets lost on the speaker. His calm returns, and he begins to predict that the bird will soon take off on its own. “Nevermore,” says the raven once more. In an effort to find solace, the speaker speculates that the bird had a master who instructed it to utter that one, pointless syllable.
The speaker is intrigued, so he slides his chair closer to the raven. He takes a few seconds to relax in the chair and think about the raven. Lenore would never again be able to relax in this chair, he realizes. He reminds himself that God has given him one more chance to atone for his sins, but he can’t help but think about Lenore.
Forgive him, Lenore, he says himself. The raven responds by saying, “Nevermore,” as though in answer. The bird is now referred to as “evil” and a “prophet” by the speaker. Do you think you’ll ever find any kind of relief? “Nevermore,” whispers the raven.
He wonders aloud whether he’ll be able to hold Lenore in Heaven. “Nevermore,” the crow responds. Angry, the narrator tells the raven to let him all alone in his bedroom.
Screaming at it, he blames the raven for lying. The bird just sings, “Nevermore,” without changing its pitch.
He believes that the raven’s shadow will eternally linger over his soul since it still perches on the statue of Pallas Athena.
Who is Edgar Alan Poe?
It is Edgar Allan Poe’s inventive and deep short tales, scary poems, and critical views, which provided a very powerful justification for the shortened version in both poetry & fiction, that have made him a great literary figure worldwide.
It is generally accepted that Poe, who is often regarded as the father of contemporary short fiction, was also the primary progenitor of the European literary movement known as “art for art’s sake” in the late 1800s.
Poe, in contrast to past critics, was more concerned with the nuances of style and structure that led to a work’s success or failure than those critics before him. This writer’s work showed a mastery of language and technique, as well as an inventive and imaginative mind.
He was a true talent. The French Symbolists of the late 19th century were significantly impacted by Edgar Allan Poe’s poetry and short tales, which in turn influenced contemporary literature.
Poe’s parents worked in the entertainment industry as performers. They were performers of a Boston repertory company in 1809 when he was born. Allan, a wealthy exporter of Richmond, Virginia, reared Poe when both of his parents had died before he was three years old, but he never formally adopted him. In 1825, Poe was enrolled at the University of Virginia in Charlottesville, where he studied for two years.
He excelled academically while there but was compelled to quit after just under a year due to bad debts and Allan’s inability to financially support him. Upon his arrival to Richmond around 1827, Poe’s friendship with Allan dissolved, and shortly after Poe served in the army and released his first poetry book, Tamerlane and Other scary Poem.
The second volume, Al Aaraaf, and Tamerlane attracted just a little amount of attention when it was published in 1829. The book remained overlooked by both readers and critics. After earning the rank of regimental sergeant major in the military, Poe was honorably discharged and accepted to a United States Military Academy at West Point the following year.
Poe was dismissed from the Academy for failing to do his tasks and breaking rules because his foster father, Allan, refused to provide him with the financial resources he needed to remain a cadet.
As a result of Poems’ publication in New York City in 1831, he moved to Baltimore, where he stayed with his aunt Mrs. Maria Clemm while working on his fourth book of poetry, scary Poems.
Analysis Of Raven 1845 by Edgar Alan Poe:
There will never be another Lenore.
In the 1845 poem The Raven, the speaker understands that he is completely cut off from Lenore, both spiritually and physically, by the conclusion of the scary poem.
In Stanza 2, the speaker explains that Lenore is now “nameless” in his world, implying that she has passed away. “I’m imagining dreams no mortal has dared to imagine before,” he says as the doorbell rings.
So, he has an inconceivable belief in the resurrection of his beloved Lenore. In Stanza 13, he contemplates the fact that he would never again be able to feel her “push” into the plush of his chair as he laments his loss of her bodily presence.
This shifts his focus from Lenore to angels or seraphim or can be devils like Valak, as he envisions forgetting her and closing himself off from memories.
In spite of this, the speaker feels he is spiritually cut off from Lenore, as the raven repeats. He’s condemned when the raven warns him that he won’t be able to kiss Lenore in Heaven.
One word from the raven leaves the question open as to whether or not the speaker’s worst thoughts are genuinely reflected in this curse or if the raven knows his doom for sure. In any case, the speaker concludes the poem Raven 1845 by Edgar Alan Poe by declaring that he believes he had lost Lenore forever.
The speaker’s grief will never fade.
In the poem Raven 1845 by Edgar Alan Poe, his memories of Lenore are haunting him, and he has to come to grips with it. Lenore’s name is uttered as soon as his door is opened in order to explore the tapping, despite the fact that he claims he is reading a book to distract himself from the memories of Lenore.
Even though the speaker says in Stanza 2 that Lenore will always remain a nameless figure in his universe, it is clear from the poem’s repetition of her name that he cannot bear to forget her.
For example, when he contemplates the fact Lenore will never sit in the chair of his chamber again, even the surprise of seeing an intelligent raven can’t keep him distracted. Using the raven’s refrain, the speaker asks inquiries that he knows the bird would only answer with “Nevermore” after rebuking himself to forget Lenore.
There is a distinct lack of sincerity in the speaker’s wish to forget Lenore. He chooses to concentrate on his pain, and the presence of the raven aids him in this endeavor. In contrast to the events depicted in the poem, the scary poem’s structure implores the reader to recall Lenore’s name in their minds.
“Lenore” or a word that rhymes with it are usually the B syllable that repeats and over half of each stanza in the ABCBBB rhyme scheme.
As the speaker’s anguish grows, the reverberating ring of her name serves as a constant reminder to him and the reader both. Finally, the speaker realizes that he will always be haunted by the death of Lenore.
Madness triumphs over sanity.
Anguish and shame permeate every line in this poetry and keep the speaker from being sensible. The speaker’s demeanor shifts from reasonable to sorrowful as the story progresses in the 1845 poem the raven.
He’s sitting in a chamber with a bust of the Greek goddess and reading books, both of which are signs that he’s trying to broaden his horizons intellectually.
From his words, it’s clear that he places high importance on knowledge and critical thinking. Throughout the first stanzas, the speaker tries to rationalize the strange noises he hears, telling himself that they are the sound of a guest or the wind.
Signs of a logical mind may be shown in this way: The speaker’s joy and relief upon learning the bird’s name imply that he began the conversation with the bird as a sort of prank. However, the raven’s first word signals a major shift in the speaker’s perspective.
To get the bird’s attention, the speaker asks progressively urgent questions because he has no assurance the bird will be able to provide an accurate response.
As far as he understands, the bird can only repeat one phrase, which suggests that the speaker has infused this word by his own sinister implications.
Finally, he accuses the raven of lying since it repeated exactly what he predicted it would say. At the poem’s conclusion, the deathly blackbird perched on Athena’s bust serves as a metaphor for the way sorrow and madness (more about sorrow and madness can be found here!) obscure reason and enable the worst and darkest parts of desire to take control.
Allusion of Raven 1845 by Edgar Alan Poe:
It is common for Poe to include references to Greek & Roman mythology as well as to the Christian Bible. Pallas Athena, the Goddess of knowledge, is represented by the bust on this statue.
Raven 1845 by Edgar Alan Poe, rationality and education are overshadowed, physically and metaphorically, by the raven’s presence in her room. Raving about “Night’s Plutonian coast,” the speaker implies that this raven is a message from “Death’s Plutonian land,” referencing to Roman underworld deity Pluto.
When the speaker inquiries about Lenore’s whereabouts, the bird seems to be confidently discussing the afterlife. While the speaker is thinking about Lenore, he or she makes frequent references to the Garden of Eden “Aidenn”) and Lenore’s habitation with angels, both of which contrast sharply with his or her references to Christianity.
The speaker’s use of pagan metaphors to describe himself or his present situation but Christian terminology to allude to Lenore highlights the fact that he will never be reunited with her.
‘Nepenthe,’ a wine described in Homer’s Odyssey as well as other old Greek literature and thought to induce forgetfulness, is the speaker’s allusion to the prospect of forgetting Lenore.
The salve of Gilead, mentioned in Jeremiah’s book of the Bible, is then brought up by the speaker. Using both a pagan as well as a Christian remedy for his pain, the speaker makes it clear that he can’t find a solution in either.
Poetic Structure of Raven 1845 by Edgar Alan Poe:
Themes Raven 1845 by Edgar Alan Poe:
Grief’s Power to Separate Us
Gone are the days when a person might live in the here and now and participate in society. The speaker’s struggle to forget his ex-girlfriend Lenore pushes him into despair and sanity throughout the scary poem.
Lenore’s memory continues to haunt the speaker, and he characterizes himself as “weak and tired” at the outset of the passage.
The raven’s statement “nevermore” gradually reminds his speaker of how he will never see Lenore again, despite his initial amusement. He feels that the air has become “denser,” making it difficult to breathe and highlighting that Lenore’s presence in his recollection has fundamentally altered his perspective of reality after this discovery.
However, despite his best efforts, his anguish is once again brought to the surface by the haunting sound of the raven’s song, bringing him back to the here and now.
Even though he urges the raven to let his loneliness be “unbroken,” he is not completely alone because of the memory of Lenore, who accompanies him in the present moment.
Fear of the Mind
It’s unclear whether the speaker is being plagued by his own demons or by something else. A reasonable explanation for everything that occurs in the poem is possible, in spite of its unsettling tone.
At first, he is in an uneasy mood, and the “quaint and odd novel” he’s reading may potentially put him in a gloomy and suggestible frame of mind which the dismal December night further compounds.
In theory, a raven might duplicate the sound of the phrase “nevermore” by making a noise that sounds like “nevermore.” In any case, the ghostly happenings of the poetry are undeniable, and the bird’s refrain perfectly suited to the speaker’s mental condition appears too coincidental, pointing to something otherworldly.
Mental dread may be as disruptive and destructive as physical danger, as seen by this ambiguity, which also shows how capable the mind is of terrorizing itself.
Hearing “nevermore,” which stresses the permanent nature of one’s pain and loss, is what finally causes the speaker to be psychologically ruined, regardless of whether we think the bird can only utter one word or if it gives a premonition of doom.
The speaker will never be reunited with his beloved Lenore again, whether physically or spiritually, as the poem makes clear.
There is only three conceivable consolation for the speaker’s anguish that he swiftly understood would never come true, leaving him with little chance of respite. Because he believes he will be seeing Lenore again after hearing the knock on the door, our speaker first permits himself some optimism that he might see Lenore again.
He loses hope when only his own voice is heard, and the raven’s repeat of the phrase “nevermore” makes it clear that Lenore is gone for good. Next, in the 1845 poem The Raven, the speaker interprets the bird’s arrival as a sign that he may be able to move on from Lenore and find some relief in the process.
Similarly, the use of the term “nevermore” destroys this optimism, as previously in the scary poem, the speaker’s own effort to divert himself from his pain by reading likewise fails. Lastly, the speaker inquires as can see Lenore at Heaven, which even the raven denies.
“Nevermore” is an indisputable truth, implying that the speaker’s circumstances will never change. In order for the speaker’s pleadings for forgiveness to work, he only asks his raven questions concerning Lenore after he has established that the bird always will respond “nevermore.”
Our textual evidence shows the speaker never sees or remembers Lenore again, but we have no way of knowing whether he will see her again in the hereafter, which indicates that he utilizes the raven’s solitary phrase to express his own emotion.
We have plenty of textual evidence to support this. He’s put himself in a situation where he’ll only get a gloomy response, implying that he’s responsible for his own despair.
Symbols Raven 1845 by Edgar Alan Poe:
The raven, Pallas’ bust, and the speaker’s chamber are three of the play’s most important symbols. The speaker’s anguish is shown via the use of all of these symbols.
It’s the raven that symbolizes the speaker’s inescapable anguish for Lenore. As the narrator himself observes when he alludes to the birds as coming from “Night’s Plutonian coast,” or the underworld, ravens have long been associated with death.
By repeating “nevermore,” the raven serves as a poignant and poignant reminder to the speaker that he’ll never again see Lenore, in this lifetime or next, and that he can never forget her.
A raven invading a speaker’s solitary contemplation thus illustrates how the anguish of the speaker permeates every thought. It is his anguish that hangs over him like a cloud at the conclusion of this poem when the speaker says the raven’s shadow hanging over him.
The Bust of Pallas
Pallas Athena, the Goddess of knowledge, is the inspiration for the name “Pallas.” One of the most important symbols in mythology is the Pallas bust on which the raven rests.
The raven’s message threatens the speaker’s sanity when it sits on this sculpture of Athena as it does here.
The bird’s inability to leave the statue or sit anyplace else in the area further indicates how the speaker’s sadness is immovable and eventually obscures his reasonable cognitive process.
This poetry takes place in a small room, which reflects the speaker’s desire to avoid the pain of losing a loved one. It’s only when he goes to check on the banging at the door that he allows himself to get distracted by thoughts of Lenore.
The raven’s entry into the speaker’s room is a metaphor for the way sadness has invaded his life. For even in his solitary confinement, he is not impermeable or secure.
Rhythm and Meter Raven 1845 by Edgar Alan Poe:
As Poe carefully used rhyme and meter to produce “The Raven’s” hypnotic sound and frightening atmosphere, the poem’s trademark hypnotic sound & creepy atmosphere were achieved.
The B rhyme is usually a “or” sound, and the rhyme scheme is ABCBBB (Lenore, door, nevermore, etc.).
Poems are often written in eight metrical feet of trochaic octameter (a total of sixteen syllables), where stressed and unstressed words alternate one after the other. Despite this, all of the lines using the B rhyming pattern are catalectic—incomplete sentences that omit the last, unstressed word.
When the last line of each stanza follows the pattern of stressed and then unstressed, it is a catalectic line, written in trochaic tetrameter.
When Poe wrote “The Philosophy of Composition,” he explained how he meticulously crafted the poem’s structure to include this particular combination.
Poe was a great admirer of originality, and he passionately thought that painstaking, deliberate creation was at the core of great art.
Elizabeth Barrett Browning used trochaic octameter in her poem Lady Geraldine’s Courtship, which Poe took inspiration from, but the uniqueness comes from Poe’s essay, which states that the octameter and catalectic feet are combined to create an original form.
Poe is very conscious of the rhyming structure he employs. There are more B lines in this design than in any other.
Repetition of terms that rhyme with “Lenore” (such as the bird’s repeat of “nevermore”), as well as the speaker’s anguish, generates a haunting impact on the reader.