The Raven By Edgar Allan Poe

1157 WordsMay 9, 20175 Pages
“The Raven” is a fictional poem written by Edgar Allan Poe in which the audience witnesses the narrator’s gradual change from a weary scholar to grieving lover. While falling asleep, he suddenly hears a tap at his chamber door. In alarm, the scholar tries to reason with himself and explain away the soft tapping. Eventually, he gains courage, opens the door, and finds it void of anyone. The narrator immediately wonders if it is perhaps his lost love, Lenore waiting for him, yet the only answer to his inquiry is his echoing voice. However, as he shuts the door, he hears a gentle tapping again, opens a window, and a raven enters. Poe’s use of a raven cannot be a coincidence. According to Gregory McNamee, Why not quoth the curlew? Quoth the…show more content…
The scholar presents an urgency in possessing the answers to what is unknown to him, like any great scholar would do. However, it seems to be unknown to the man why the raven utters the word, “Nevermore”, in response to his probing. Poe uses specific language and timing to get his point across. By stating this in response to the man’s questions, it leaves both the narrator and reader perplexed. Innocent questions can quickly take a turn to a more serious note, however. When questions about the raven lead the narrator nowhere, Poe seems to proceed with a mystical or supernatural approach and portrays the bird as a possible oracle. This leaves the narrator to ask this important question: “Is there—is there balm in Gilead?—tell me—tell me, I implore!” (Poe line 89). It is evident the narrator is beginning to lose control of his level-head and seems to be implying more than he is saying. Why does he wonder about this great beyond? The only probable response is because his love is gone. Not willing to give up yet, the scholar asks another important question, “’Prophet!’ said I, ‘thing of evil!/prophet still, if bird or devil!/By that Heaven that bends above us/by that God we both adore/ Tell this soul with sorrow laden if, within the distant

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