Are you afraid of the dark. In Edgar Allan Poes The Raven, everything seems instead vague. The ambiance is tense, dark, heavyaˆ¦ the perfect scene for a Gothic narrative. Get downing with the verse form ‘s construction, I will make an in-depth analysis of this celebrated and iconic American verse form. I will besides analyse the verse form ‘s symbolism ( Palla ‘s flop, the Corvus corax, Lenore, the storyteller himselfaˆ¦ ) and seek to find whether the Corvus corax was truly at that place or if he was a figment of the storyteller ‘s imaginativeness.
Did you know that Poe wrote an essay on the creative activity of “ The Raven ” ? It is entitled The Philosophy of Composition. In this essay Poe comments that the length of a text has to be limited1. Poe figured that a verse form should be around one hundred lines, and “ The Raven ” is 108 lines.A The most of import thing to see in The Philosophy of Composition is the fact that “ The Raven, ” is writtenA backwards. The result is determined foremost, and the whole secret plan is set ; so the web grows backwards from that result. As for the verse form construction, we can easy see that “ The Raven ” is a really carefully organized verse form, everything was thought of exhaustively. The first and 3rd lines have internal rime ( drab and weary ) . In the 4th line, the rime from the 3rd line shows up in the center of the sentence, giving the verse form a “ musical ” feeling. The most seeable rime in the verse form appears at the terminal of the 2nd, 4th, 5th, and 6th lines in each stanza ; it is an or sound, which rhymes with the most iconic word of the verse form, never again.
Why did Poe usage Pallas, the goddess of wisdom, as a perch for the Corvus corax? Harmonizing to Poe himself a”ˆas quoted from The Philosophy of Compositiona”ˆ “ because of the “ plangency of the word, Pallas, itself ” ( p.6 ) . He could hold besides used the goddess ‘s flop to flim-flam the storyteller into believing that the raven radius from wisdom, even that he had cognition that came from other universe. Furthermore, it besides suggests that the storyteller is a well-read adult male, and an erudite, because an ordinary adult male would non hold such an
object. As Pallas Athena was a goddess, strong and beautiful, it could besides be a nexus between the sorrowing adult male and his lost love, Lenore. It seems instead meaningful to me that the Corvus corax is perched atop a symbol of wisdom, because it makes it look like he has intelligence, or like he speaks the head of Pallas herself, alternatively of being merely a tamed bird that learned one word. Of class, if we take the words of Poe himself to bosom, the flop of Pallas is simply cosmetic, merely at that place because he thought it was a beautiful word to utilize, though I unfeignedly uncertainty he would be so superficial, there must be a deeper significance. And, speech production of symbols, why use a Corvus corax? An bird of Minerva would hold been more fitting to be perched on top of Athena ‘s flop, as it is a symbol of wisdom and is a bird linked to the goddess. Poe did see utilizing a parrot, but he thought that a Corvus corax would assist put the moodA? , and it surely does, a parrot would non be about every bit chilling as the Corvus corax. Poe put a batch of accent in the manner that the Corvus corax makes his entryway, saying that his attitude was that of “ Godhead or lady ” ( 7, 4 ) ; in the following stanza, the Corvus corax ‘s most celebrated phrase ( “ Quoth the Raven, ‘Nevermore ‘ ” ) appears for the first clip ( 8, 6 ) , and the storyteller finds the bird ‘s bunk amusing, though that sentiment will rapidly alter as the verse form progresss, and he goes from seeing the Corvus corax as entertaining, to seeing him as a prophesier when he thought that the bird was announcing his hereafter, and, eventually, believing he was a Satan, sent from snake pit ( 15, 1 ) . By the terminal of the verse form the storyteller is genuinely panicky, and the last image we get is one of desperation, with the overpowering presence of the Corvus corax at that place to stalk him everlastingly, and his lost Lenore ever on his head.
This was non the first clip that Poe used a Lenora in his verse form, nor was it the last. It could be that he truly liked the name, but that seems a spot simplistic. Who is Lenore based on? Was she person Poe knew, person he loved, or merely a figment of his imaginativeness? This is still an on-going enigma: cipher knows for certain, and we can merely theorize about her. It could good be that Poe merely liked the name Lenore, it surely has a musicalness to it, and it does stop with an or sound, which matches the remainder of the verse form attractively ; as Poe was a “ beauty-driven ” adult male, it would be a absolutely valid ground to utilize this name in “ The Raven ” . But he did utilize the name on a figure of occasions, and that raises a few inquiries. As cited from The Philosophy of Composition: “ When it most closely allies itself to Beauty: the decease, so, of a beautiful adult female is, unimpeachably, the most poetical subject in the worlda”ˆequally is
beyond uncertainty that the lips best suited for such subjects are those of a bereft loveraˆ¦ ” ( 4 ) . Could it be that he merely needed a dramatic name to travel with a dramatic motive ( a beautiful adult female ‘s decease ) ? It seems so, but I did non like that theory, so I began to look for more hints in Poe ‘s life. Some say that Lenore is based on Poe ‘s immature married woman, Virginia. She died immature, of TB, but that was sometime after “ The Raven ” was written, so it does non look plausible that he would pattern a beautiful dead married woman after his ain beautiful healthy married woman, hence, I do non believe that in this verse form Lenore is Virginia ; in his other Lenore-based narratives, it could be that Lenore represents his married woman: “ Annabel Lee ” , for illustration, could be a testimonial to his already dead married woman. Could “ The Raven ‘s ” Lenore be his dead female parent, Eliza Poe? Some say so, but he lost her when he was really immature, so I do non believe that in this instance she is Lenore. So, who is Lenore based on? Experts argue that she is, in fact, based on his older brother William Henry Leonard Poe. The brothers did non turn up together, and Henry became a crewman for a brief clip. He died immature, of causes unknown -probably tuberculosis- , and really small about his life is known. I do believe that this theory could be true: Lenore could be taken from his brother ‘s name “ Leonard ” , and the interpolation of a Lenore in many of his verse forms could be a testimonial to his lost brother, Poe ‘s manner of mourning him. It is unknown if the brothers had a close bond, but Poe wrote: “ there can be no tie more strong than that of brother for brother – it is non so much that they love one another as that they both love the same parent. ” ( The Cambridge Companion to Edgar Allan Poe: 194 ) . I would instead believe that Poe did establish Lenore on a individual close to him, of import to him, be it his married woman, female parent or brother, than merely utilizing this name for the interest of musicalness and beautiful poesy. In my sentiment, it makes him look like a shallow adult male, more bemused with the fanciful beauty of his creative activities than with feelings. I guess we will ne’er cognize, as he ne’er clarified who Lenore was in neither of his verse form. It will ever stay a enigma, with every reader holding a different reading and sentiment about the intriguing Lenore, and her secret yesteryear.
When reading “ The Raven ” , a inquiry rises: is the storyteller sane? Is he in his right frame of head? He seems to be comfortable, with satiny, violet velvet drapes, marble flops of goddessesaˆ¦ while reading the gap stanza, an image of a library with books decked from the ceiling to the floor comes to mind. He might hold even been imbibing a cup of vino while the storm brewed outside. However, as we keep on reading the verse form, his eccentric personality easy appears. Of class, after the loss of his beautiful bride, he is expected to be sorrowing, mourning, but he does non make it wish a “ normal ” individual: he seems dispersed, one minute he is happy, content, and confident, and a minute subsequently he becomes a wreck of a adult male, unstable, melodramaticaˆ¦ he is on an emotional rollercoaster, about bipolar. The ambiance of the verse form does non assist relieve this visual aspect of lunacy, it magnifies it, with it ‘s feeling of force per unit area, darknessaˆ¦ at times it seems even claustrophobic. The storyteller looks like he benefits at times from this tense feeling, for illustration when he draws the strength to open the door to his chamber, full of energy, when he was antecedently portrayed as a unenrgetic adult male. Poe besides puts luxuriant phrases and images on his oral cavity, stressing his evident lunacy: “ Night ‘s Hadean shore ” appears twice ( 8, 5 ; 17,2 ) . The Night is an obvious symbol, a repeating subject of this verse form, along with darkness. Hadean refers to the Roman God of the underworld. So “ Night ‘s Hadean shore ” could be mentioning to the hereafter, proposing that the storyteller thinks that the Corvus corax is a courier for decease. Another unusual word would be “ nepenthe ” ( 14, 4 ) , which was used by ancients to bring on forgetfulness of hurting or sorrow. When the thought of nepenthe appears in the verse form, the storyteller seems to be in some sort of haze, surrounded by dense, perfumed air, with Seraphim singing a thurible ; this contributes to the thought that he is non wholly sane. Another funny trait of this adult male is his compulsion with his dead lady, Lenore. She is ever rounding his head, ever there ; she is invariably brought up ( she foremost appears in the 2nd stanza, referred to as a “ rare and beaming maiden ” ) . Even when he is believing of something else, he ever goes back to believing about her. She merely seems to be everyplace, lending to the dark feeling of the verse form, skulking in the shadows. The storyteller sometimes looks as if he realizes that he needs to travel on, and bury about Lenore ( 15, 4 ) , but, as the Corvus corax so articulately says: “ Nevermore ” . The last clip Lenore appears, he has put her in some sort of base, unapproachable, sainted, radiant. He thinks she is perfect, and she has become a saint-like figure to him, no longer homo. Person one time said that insanity is making the same thing over and over once more but anticipating different consequences. Harmonizing to this definition of insanity, the storyteller was, in fact, insane: he self-tortures by inquiring the unsettling raven inquiry to which he already knows what the reply is traveling to be, the predictable “ never again ” . Then, why ask? Why anguish yourself like that? Another funny minute is when he literally compares his friends to the Corvus corax, stating that the bird will go forth him in the forenoon, merely as they did ( 10, 4-5 ) , and the reply he is given is suiting, sing that the Corvus corax will ne’er abandon him, non for the remainder of his life.
There has been an on-going argument about the Corvus corax itself, whether it was existent or in the storyteller ‘s caput. There are some intimations of the latter, such as when the storyteller feels surrounded by aroma, or when his iconic reply lucifers precisely his inquiries to submerge him in desperation. But, if it was so merely in the storyteller ‘s caput, I think that Poe would hold made it more obvious, for illustration stoping the verse form with the adult male waking up and believing it had all been a dream. Perching itself in the flop could be a intimation that he was truly at that place, as it would be normal behavior in a lost animate being to settle in a high place to hold a complete position of the room it was in after seeking safety from a storm. It would non be far-fetched that a tamed bird could cognize how to talk a word, although I concede that learning a raven how to state “ never again ” is unusual. After set uping that the Corvus corax was physically at that place, the following inquiry would be whether it was merely a tamed pet, or an evil spirit or devil sent from snake pit. There are some mentions to it being a devil, but they largely come from the storyteller when he does non acquire the reply he was trusting to acquire: “ `thing of immorality! – prophesier still, if bird or Satan! “ , “ And his eyes have all the seeming of a devil ‘s that is woolgathering, ( … ) ” I think that the bird was existent, and non a devil ; merely an ordinary bird that knew how to state a word, an true fitting word, but merely a word. Nothing more and nil else. What makes it look so dark and baleful is the storyteller himself, who undertakings his lunacy and desperation onto the bird. Submerging in depression over the loss of his married woman, he finds a fleeting release in the bird, but blowbacks on him as he ends up more down than of all time ; in the last three stanzas we see how much he misses Lenore, and how he asks the Corvus corax if he will of all time reunite with her ; when he is told that they will ne’er see each other once more he abandons all hope, everlastingly. He is now a genuinely broken adult male.
A truly gratifying, fast-paced verse form, “ The Raven ” will ever be an icon of American literature, though it seems that some inquiries will ever be left unreciprocated. Will we of all time know who Lenore was, what the Corvus corax was precisely, or where it came from? Quoth the Corvus corax, `Nevermore. ‘