In this research paper I will be analyzing the poem titled, “The Raven” written by Edgar Allan Poe. I will be examining the history surrounding the development of the poem and how major events may have influenced Poe. I will be exploring the roles and development of the characters within the poem and how Poe uses symbolism to evolve them and create depth in the characters throughout the poem.
At the end of this research paper I will have elaborated on the poem’s combination of all the elements of superstition, history and atmosphere to develop a timeless piece of American literature that still influences modern forms of expression throughout the world. The events of the world in 1844 were massive in the religious stage of the globe. Changes in leadership throughout a number of denominations dominated the view of the world. Joseph Smith Jar. Founder of the Latter Day Saint, dies and causes expansion for the religion; a false prediction of the second coming leads to The Great Disappointment; and B¤b publicly proclaims to be the simultaneous return of Elijah, John the Baptist, Jesus, and the messiah of Miasmas yet still seems to be gaining more followers. To a self-confessed atheist such as Poe, these events crate a certain idea of people who he sees place too much value in something as superstitious as religion.
And the death of people who rely upon reason and forethought, such as Franz Mozart, Vegan Aberrantly, and Thomas Campbell is more than enough inspiration for a poem where one of the main characters is heavy on spirituality and lacks critical logic. In 1844 Poe had Just moved back to New York City after winning a hundred dollar prize for, “The Gold Bug. Additionally, Poe publishes “The Balloon Hoax” and “The Purloined Letter” in 1844. And although he was writing “The Raven” in 1844 it wasn’t published until 1845.
Sadly, for Poe, 1845 wasn’t going to be a successful as the previous year. Even though he was working 14 hour days he still wasn’t able to make a living. This would be considered a very dark time for him psychologically and as such it would be no surprise that his literature would veer from physical horrors like those seen in “Mask of the Red Death” to a more suspenseful focus for story development like what is seen in “The Raven. ” The primary character in the poem is the narrator and after reading the first stanza the reader can assume that the narrator has a melodramatic flare.
At times his tone is so intense that he almost comes across as frantic in everyday life and not just when he is conversing with the raven directly. It is the intensity of the narrator that captivates the reader much like Dry Frankincense screaming to the heavens that his creation is alive. It is debatable that the narrator dies at the end of the floor. ” my soul from out that shadow that lies floating on the floor shall be lifted” (Stanza 18). All AT Nils Touts AT madness are Owe to a deep sorrow Tanat Is caused Dye ten loss AT Nils love, Lenore, who has been dead long before the beginning of the poem.
Yet as much as his eccentricities attract the reader they also develop and uneasiness that can only be cause by witnessing an unnatural action off man. “Quaff, Oh quaff this kind nepenthe! ” (Stanza 14) screams the narrator with the intensity and obsessive over tones of an addict but he knows that he will not reach his desire, his dead love Lenore. Throughout the poem the narrator becomes increasingly agitated mentally ND this is also seen in his physical demeanor as his rationalizations become increasingly excitable, even as his dialogue is perpetually met by the ravens response, “Nevermore. At the end of the poem the narrator feels that his soul will never leave the ravens shadow after hearing this response for the final time. In the beginning of the poem, it is made aware that Lenore has been dead for an unknown amount of time. Regardless, the narrator’s obvious depression has caused him to become a recluse and have a questionable grasp on sanity. Nothing is actually known about Lenore other than the narrator’s love for her. She could be a wife, sister or girlfriend. Poe is quoted saying, “The death off beautiful woman is unquestionably the most poetical topic in the world. It is hard to argue this point as “The Raven” has survived one hundred and fifty years. It is this element off broken heart that causes the reader to not only relate to the narrator, but to be anchored to him with references to his lost love throughout his bouts of madness. The only thing that steals his mind away from thoughts of Lenore is his unexpected visitor, the raven. Poe titled the poem “The Raven” with intent. On the first reading of the poem it allows for the readers preparation on what to expect as the raven isn’t mentioned in the poem until the seventh stanza.
So as a first time reader, there remains a curiosity concerning the purpose of the title. Most notably, the title focuses the attention on the raven after its introduction. By making it the title character Poe makes the reader wonder what the bird actually is, if it has been sent with a specific purpose by a specific person or entity, or what the raven represents. After reading the poem and having a clear understanding of its use of dark elements it’s no wonder hat Poe uses a raven as the narrator’s tormentor and not his original idea of using a parrot.
Throughout the human heritage you’ll find the presence off raven is considered to be an sign of great strife in the witnesses future. The Norse god Eden was often depicted with two ravens, Hugging and Minimum, who were direct representations of “thought” and “memory. ” The use of this particular animal, with its role throughout history, immediately brings the reader to an understanding that the raven comes with predisposition of sinister qualities and intentions. Additionally, given the almost predetermined decision of landing of the head of the roman dodoes of wisdom, Poe gives more subtext to the intelligence of the raven.
Poe was one of the first to insinuate the human-like sounds from an animal was due to a unknown form of education by a far greater force. Poe incorporates two main elements found in Roman mythology. The reference of “Plutonian Shore” (Stanza 9) forces the reader to think of death and the hereafter. This is a reference of Sharon and how a soul had to wait on the shore so he could continue to be Judged. And as the raven enters through the window he is found, “Perched upon a bust of Anza 1). Found In Roman Mythology, Athena Palls was ten assess AT sides.
Knowing this the reader is given the impression that the raven may know more than his form would allow someone to originally think. It’s interesting that Poe uses symbols of mythology to reference an experience such as death. It’s in these references that you begin to see his beliefs as an atheist and a refusal to use religious references that are easily identifiable. Poe even uses time to create an atmosphere of death. Using the time of day at “Midnight” (Stanza 1) tells a story at the end of the day within the month of “December” (Stanza 2), the last month in the ear.
It is uncommon and interesting that Poe uses such uncommon expressions to indicate that death is approaching or that a character’s time is almost coming to an end. The only character in the poem that seems to endure beyond the ending is the raven itself. The entire poem is within a single room. Poe doesn’t elaborate on what this room is actually intended for. “From my books” (Stanza 3) doesn’t directly confirm that he’s in a personal library. Given the time period and the absence of television books throughout any house would be commonplace.
The mentions of such detailed ascriptions are omitted with the intended reaction for the reader to make their own environment to which brooding and self-pity would be suitable. The only anchors to keep a person inside a house are the “silken” and “purple curtains” (Stanza 3) as well as the mention of a fire place where “dying ember” (Stanza 2) slowly crackle in the readers mind. The environment created by Poe is childless and completely void of anything that would represent anything more than a shadow of a Joy he remembers having. The suspense that Poe builds in “The Raven” is still used in modern forms of entertainment.
Indirectly, any ghost movie produced is littered “tapping” (Stanza 4) that is left without a source and the victim is left with “darkness… , and nothing more. ” (Stanza 4). Most recently Hollywood has benefited from America’s dwindling knowledge of Poe and produced the movie “The Raven” where John Sack portrays an extremely altered version of E. A. Poe that isn’t married to his cousin, Virginia. Instead, he is thrown into a murder mystery where the killer mimics his poems and he is forced to solve the clues left by the deranged fan in a failing effort to save is niacin©, Emily Hamilton.
I’m sure the producers of the movie sent some of the profits to the Edgar Allan Poe Museum in Richmond Virginia. But seeing as the movie only made $500,000. 00 in profit it’s doubtful and I’m sure you’ll understand me giving away the ending. “The Raven” has influenced many other people into developing an interpretation of the poem and has had a massive impact on popular culture. Even to the extent of a Japanese and Australian Rock Musical, “Once Upon A Midnight. ” It seems the only limitation to interpretation of “The Raven” is based on the readers win history and personal beliefs.
Bringing life to animals has also been seen on almost a yearly basis in movie theaters. Disney movies have made millions in sales of merchandise of an animal they’ve brought to life using the intelligence and reason that are found in heroes, anti-heroes and villains. Yet, Disney does not extend their homage to Poe by killing the main character. In 1890 a magazine called “Puck Building” depicted President Benjamin Harrison being looked down upon by a raven perched upon a bust of William Henry Harrison, insinuating that the current President Harrison was not t Tort ten presidency.
In conclusion AT tons research paper you have read “The Raven” by Edgar Allan Poe. I analyzed how the history surrounding the development of the poem and how major events may have influenced Poe shaping how the poem was written with the psychological low in his life as a reason to give the poem the tone it has. Vie explored the roles and development of the characters within the poem and how their personalities were essential in making a single situation. Vie identified how Poe uses symbolism and darkness to evolve three characters throughout the poem.
Lastly, I have shown how the poem combines all the elements with superstitions, history and atmosphere to develop a story that still influences modern forms of expression throughout the world and continues to do so in art through painting and even political satire; through the music found in Broadway show interpretations using rock and roll music; and the cinema through Hollywood industrialized butchering of American Literature. So in conclusion, the works of Edgar Alan Poe can be seen as an influence for everyday life and entertainment if you’re familiar with his work.