Examples Of Insanity In The Raven

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Insanity in "The Raven" "The Raven" by Edgar Allen Poe, is written in a somber and eerie tone consistent with the majority of Poe's writings. The speaker of the poem is quite obviously disturbed and in the midst of an indomitable depression. He longs for his "lost Lenore"(688), and grieves for her throughout his interactions with the main antagonist of the story, the raven outside of his door. The overall theme of madness that results from the speakers inability to deal with his grief appropriately is unmistakable. The speaker exhibits several symptoms of legitimate legal insanity in that he speaks directly to a raven and genuinely expects a cogent reply from it, and he shows some rather impulsive behavior brought on simply by the presence …show more content…

The raven that arrives at his chamber door may exist, and may be physically present to the speaker. But the phrase that it continuously repeats is imagined by the speaker. It is a fantastical figment of the speaker's imagination that the raven is speaking directly to him, saying, "nevermore, nevermore". He believes that the raven is mocking him and yells towards it, asking "tell me truly, I implore – Is there – is there balm in Gilead? - tell me, I implore"(690)! When the raven answers him with the same ghoulish response "nevermore"(690). He does not stop but continues to push for answers from the raven, instructing it to "tell this soul with sorrow laden if, within the distant Aidenn, It shall clasp a sainted maiden whom the angels names Lenore.."(690). The raven of course being a bird with no humanistic qualities incapable of speech only caws in response, but the speaker only hears the name of his lost lover "Lenore". This constitutes a defining symptom of legal insanity in that he "cannot distinguish fantasy from reality"(insanity), the raven is seen as reality by the speaker, but it's cawing of the name "Lenore" is only a fantasy that the speakers believes to be a reality. In a court of law, this would be a reasonable argument to …show more content…

He lashes out towards the raven and thought of this creature mocking him and his lost love. The speaker cries out, shrieking "Be that word our sign of parting, bird or fiend"(690)! He cannot reign in his impulsive temper, continuing to scream "Get thee back into the tempest and the Night's Plutonian shore! Leave no black plume as a token of that lie thy soul hath spoken"(690)! The raven of course replies with its constant "nevermore". This impulsive behavior are signs of the speaker slipping deeper and deeper into the madness of his own circumstances. He is surrounded with pain and anguish resulting from his lost love and his impulsive behavior towards a common raven indicates that he is quickly progressing towards outright insanity. If he cannot appropriately deal with common everyday occurrences in his life like a bird outside his door, than there is reason to believe that he has gone legally

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