Edgar Allen Poe's Poem The Raven

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Explication of the Word Melancholy as Used in Edgar Allen Poe’s Poem, The Raven
Startled at the stillness broken by reply so aptly spoken,
"Doubtless," said I, “what it utters is its only stock and store Caught from some unhappy master whom unmerciful Disaster
Followed fast and followed faster till his songs one burden bore—
Till the dirges of his Hope that melancholy burden bore
Of 'Never—nevermore.
Eleventh stanza, line 65, The Raven, Edgar Allen Poe- 1845
The word melancholy when used as an adjective, is defined by The Oxford English Dictionary as: a. Of a person: gloomy, mournful, or dejected; inclined to sadness or gloominess; gloomily or mournfully introspective. Now also (of a person's mood, feelings, thoughts, etc.): characterized
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The narrator describes himself as “weak and weary.” While experiencing a near-sleep state, or possibly a dream or hallucination the narrator hears a tapping at his door. Believing it is a visitor, the narrator at first ignores the tapping, but because the tapping persists, he eventually opens his window and in flies a raven a bird that symbolizes a dark omen. The narrator is startled to hear the raven speak the word “nevermore” repeatedly and the narrator comes to the conclusion that the raven has learned this one word through his past melancholic master. On line 65 of Poe’s poem, Poe uses the word melancholy to describe what he believes is the emotional state of the imagined owner. By imagining a previous owner, the speaker allows himself to assuage his fear that the raven is actually communicating to him about his own melancholic state, the death of his love Lenore. The speaker firmly confirms this idea by using the word “Doubtless.” The fact that the speaker says the word doubtless aloud only helps him to make his assertion sounder to himself. Believing that the raven is not talking to him is a form of psychological projection. The narrator projects or propels his own emotions, in this case melancholy onto the raven’s owner as a defense mechanism to deny his own feelings of melancholy. This is an illustration of the classic defense mechanism of avoidance, used to circumvent the pain of
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