Analysis Of The Poem ' The Dead '

1416 WordsMar 17, 20176 Pages
The Dead Muse: A Critical Analysis of The Raven Your Name Your University The Dead Muse: A Critical Analysis of The Raven The Raven by Edgar Allen Poe is a very famous poem which intricately weaves layer upon layer of meaning through singsong verses. Combining allusions to literature, mythology and religion, the poem tells many stories at once while evoking a feeling of nonsense and a descent into insanity. It is hard to understand what the poem is about—if anything at all, and Poe does not seem eager to elucidate this. However, one such thread weaving through the poem may be a story of Poe 's struggle with poverty and obscurity, as he incessantly grasps for elusive fame without success. In this sense, his search for lost Lenore may…show more content…
At first he musters strength and feels his soul growing, but upon opening the door, Poe (1845) writes, “Deep into that darkness peering, long I stood there wondering, fearing / Doubting, dreaming dreams no mortal ever dared to dream before” (lines 25-26). Having taken a step towards the muse, we see the artist in his attempt to reach out to something on a familiar canvas, that of darkness and dreaming. The invocation of the imagination here makes it clear that he is searching for Lenore not in the physical realm, but within the unseen and untapped creative landscape. It is not, however, working and the darkness merely echoes his own loneliness. The fact that he is searching through obscure works itself is also important as it symbolizes more than just a curious mind but an artist who is trapped in obscurity. The loneliness in turn may be understood as a metaphor for poverty, and he, the aspiring artist, is unable to break out of this trap—into fame, and wealth. Lenore herself is an obscure being, one of whom nothing is known save for the sole line identifying her as “the rare and radiant maiden whom the angels name Lenore” (Poe, 1845, line 10). This lack of knowledge about her means she cannot possibly be a lover whom he has lost, but rather must be a lover whom he has never known. However, the narrator clings to his isolation and books in hopes of finding her, rather than seeking connection with the outside world which will sustain
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