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Literary Analysis of the Raven by Edgar Allan Poe

  • Date Submitted: 10/19/2013 06:35 PM
  • Flesch-Kincaid Score: 63.3 
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U2A6 Robert Desjardine

Literary Analysis

The Raven by Edgar Allan Poe
The Poem I believe to be the best ever written is “ The Raven” by Edgar Allan Poe. This poem was a sensation when published in 1845, and it continues to stir the same emotion in readers today as it did then. His use of several poetic devices in precise locations creates a dark sing-song rhythm to the poem. These include meter, alliteration, repetition, simile, personification, among many others. Each flowing so that it all draws in the reader and makes the tale come alive in the minds eye.

The poem is about a man sitting alone in his chamber falling asleep in a book trying to forget about his deceased love, when he hears a knocking at his door. After finding nothing he presumes it must be from the window, upon opening the window a raven flies in. The man is amused and asks the bird his name to which the bird replies “ Nevermore”. As the man sits to ponder this reply he begins to think of his lost love. He feels the air grow thicker and begins to think god sent the raven to make him forget Lenore. The raven answers his question with one answer, “ Nevermore”. The man then enraged asks the raven if he and Lenore will ever be together again in heaven, to which the raven replies as expected, “Nevermore”. “And the Raven... And the lamplight o'er him streaming throws his shadow on the floor; And my soul from out that shadow that lies floating on the floor, Shall be lifted- nevermore!” ( lines 106-107, The Raven, Poe)

The Meter of this poem follows a well structured trochaic octameter for the first five lines of each stanza with the sixth line being a trochaic tetrameter. This is mixed with the darker imagery of the poem gives it a truly dark yet whimsical mood. The trochaic octameter is a line with eight pairs of stressed-unstressed syllables, each pair is called a foot. These kind of feet (having pairs of stressed-

unstressed syllables) are known as trochee. When a line contains...


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