Edgar Allen Poe's "The Raven".

Essay by swift326College, UndergraduateA-, September 2003

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"The Raven"

The Raven, by Edgar Allen Poe, is a poem about sadness, loss of hope, and lost love. The poem takes place at night "upon a midnight dreary." The poem examines emotions felt by a young man who has lost his lover to death. The following essay will examine these feelings, and try to distinguish the meaning of the poem.

The first stanza seems to set the mood of the poem, "Once upon a midnight dreary, while I pondered, weak and weary." Its night time and Poe is describing someone who is "dreary," ready to fall asleep. Suddenly, the person is started by a tapping at his door. The young man try's to assure himself that it is a visitor "Only this and nothing more." The second stanza continues to set the mood as the young man feels sorrow towards his lost lover Lenore, whom the young man describes as a "radiant maiden."

This stanza also tells us this young man is tormented by his memories of Lenore. Images of fire, "dying amber," and ghostly shadows "upon the floor" further set the tone for what is to come. A feeling of suspense is being created that almost seems to point towards the possibility that the young man is experiencing a possible demonic possession. Its almost as if this young man is so tormented by his sorrow that may be he is actually hearing these things and "nothing more." This idea being expressed in the 3rd and 4th two stanzas' that create images of fear and terror of the visitor that ultimately ends up as being "Darkness there, and nothing more."

In the fifth stanza, Poe begins to show that this man is suffering from some type of possession or delusional disorder. The young man "dreams no mortal ever...