Summary Of The Poem The Raven

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“The Raven” “The Raven” is a ballad of eighteen six-line stanzas with decidedly emphatic meter and rhymes. The ballad is a anguishing narrative of a young man who, bereaved by the death of the woman he deeply loved, constructs self-destructive meaning around a raven’s repetition of the word “Nevermore,” as he despairs being reunited with his beloved Lenore, in the after life. Narrated in first person, the poem conveys the speaker’s shift from weary, sorrowful composure to a state of nervous collapse as he recounts his strange experience with the mysterious black bird. The first seven stanzas establish the setting and the narrator’s impressionable state of mind. Weak and overwhelmed with grief, the speaker had sought distraction from his sorrow by reading curiously obscure books. Awakened at midnight by a sound outside his room, he opens the door, expecting a visitor; there’s no one. Apprehensive, he whispers the name Lenore and closes the door. When the tapping continues, he opens a window, admitting a raven that perches upon a bust of Pallas (Athena). In stanzas 8 to 11, the narrator, captivated by the ridiculous image of the black bird in his room, playfully asks the raven its name, as if to reassure himself that it’s not threating. He is startled, however, to hear the raven respond, saying, “Nevermore.” Although the word apparently has little relevance or meaning, the narrator is sobered by the bird’s sad utterance. He assumes that the raven’s owner, having suffered
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