The Raven By Edgar Allan Poe

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Essay 1 In the poem “The Raven”, Edgar Allan Poe expresses a current state of drunkenness, drug use, and depression as existing in a dark and dreary prison like setting, tormented by the memories of a lost love. Poe’s literary career was undoubtedly influenced by the many tragedies he suffered in his life. These misfortunes are evident in the correlation between his characters in his writings and real life events. It is clear that Poe had a problematic life from a young age; he struggled with mental illness, depression, and substance abuse including alcohol and opium use. Poe’s suffering is present in his dark, depressing, and tormented poem “The Raven”. In the third stanza of the poem, Poe describes a “purple curtain that thrilled him and filled him with fantastic terrors never felt before” this represents opium use, as opium is a dark purple, heavy-scented addictive drug.. In “Soldier Poe” (p. 329), Philip Beidler points out that “In biographical legend Poe is remembered as a tortured aesthete, a solitary, unrecognized, romantic genius, adrift in a cash-and-carry society; less flatteringly he is recalled as a drunkard, an opium addict, a wastrel, a philanderer.” Opium causes hallucinations, which caused Poe to believe that the raven was talking to him and taunting him. Also, opium triggered him to “doubt and dream dreams no mortal ever dared to dream before” (Poe 5). The purple curtains in the poem may have symbolized as a haze of smoke from the drug. Alcoholism,

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