Analysis Of The Raven By Edgar Allan Poe

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The Raven is one of many famous poems written by the American poet Edgar Allan Poe. Published in January 1845, The Raven is a narrative poem told by a man who had recently lost his significant other, Lenore. During his time of grief, he is visited by a raven whose only response of “nevermore” causes the man to fall into a downward spiral of self torture and misery. Edgar Allan Poe is able to convey the extreme emotions of grief and loss through his effective use of rhythm, repetition, and symbolism.
Throughout The Raven there is a rhythm of stressed and unstressed syllables. While the number of syllables vary with each line, the stanzas each have the same pattern of syllables: 16, 15, 16, 15, 15, and 7. As seen in the opening line, “Once upon a midnight dreary, while I pondered, weak and weary,” (Line 1) the stanza starts with a stressed syllable and ends with an unstressed syllable. The back and forth of stressed and unstressed syllables make the poem sound like a chant and is easy to catch the rhythm of. Poe utilizes this rhythm to build up tension and suspense as well as a sense of hurry as they catch onto the beat of the poem. This is especially prevalent towards the end as the speaker’s mind falls into a frenzy. In lines 85 and 91, “”Prophet!” said I, “thing of evil!--prophet still, if bird or devil,” the rhythm helps emphasize the sense of anguish and also create the image of the speaker yelling out as he is absolutely angered with the raven’s answers. Poe
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