Poe Essay, Research Paper
Edgar Allan Poe s The Raven is a fabulous poem that is looked at by numerous students each year. This poem is a dark poem that has a sad tone to it. A man is nearly napping (l. 3) in his chamber when he hears a knock on his door. Instantly he believes it possibly could be his dead wife, which somehow came back from the dead. However, when he opens the door he only sees is Darkness (l. 24). Then a tapping (l. 32) at his window draws him over to it. When he opens the window a stately raven (l. 38) enters his chamber. Soon, the man and the Raven get into a conversation. Although the man knows what the Raven will respond to each of his questions, he continues asking to satisfy his need to know why he is there. As the man grows more intrigued by the bird he seems to grow crazy. He is wondering throughout the poem where his deceased wife is, whether she went to heaven or hell. At the end of the poem, the raven stays in the chamber forevermore to continue to haunt the man for eternity. A simple bird can make a man go crazy by no more than repeating one word.
In the first stanza, the man is nearly asleep, when a noise that he thinks is a knock at his door awakens him. The first thing he thinks of is that his wife has come back to be with him again. He believes this even though she has been dead for a rather long time. This eludes early on that the man in the poem may be slightly crazy. In addition, the bleak December (l. 7) shows that he is dreary man that thinks of the dead often. At this point in his life, it is a difficult time for him because he wished the morrow (l. 9), and he does not want to live the way he presently does. In the third stanza, he frightens himself by thinking to of what could linger behind his chamber door. He tries to calm himself by repeating Tis some visiter entreating entrance at my chamber door (l.16-17) twice. Saying that calms him enough to go to see who is actually behind the door. As he walks toward the door he apologizes to whoever is on the other side. He feels he has been rude to them by not answering the door as quickly as he could have. When he opens the door, though, he sees that there is no one behind the door of his chamber.
His obsession for his precious Lenore becomes most evident here. As he stares into the emptiness he sees nothing, but suddenly he thinks he hears her name, Lenore, come out of the nothing that is in front of him. He hears it and then responses to it repeating Lenore (l. 29), but still no one is there. As he goes back into his chamber, he is quite confused. He does not know if what he heard was real or just something that he dreamed. As he ponders that dilemma he hears another sound, this time, however, this time it comes from his window. He wants to believe that the sound is only the wind scratching against the window. However, he must check it out though because of his need to find his most valuable Lenore. In the seventh stanza, he makes his way to the window and flings open the shutter. He is looking for a big surprise, but all he receives is a stately raven (l.38). The bird flutters in and immediately makes a perch above the man s chamber door. When he sits above the door, he sits next to a bust of Pallas. The man then thinks that the raven must be full of wisdom and knowledge because Pallas was the Greek goddess of wisdom. The man then begins to ask the raven some questions. The bird answers the first two with Nevermore (l. 48), at that point, the man realizes that he spoke only that one word (l. 55-56) and it will be the answer to every question that he asks. He continues to ask questions to the bird. He asks the bird if it is from hell: the answer nevermore . So then he asks if it is from heaven: the answer, of course, nevermore . He then asks to forget the fond memories of Lenore that haunt him every day of his existence. The raven answers nevermore .
In the 15th stanza, he generously calls the bird a Prophet! (l. 85). However, the bird cannot tell the future. He has been taught only one word and that word is his answer to every question asked of him. The next question he asks the raven is there balm in Gilead? (l. 89). The answer to that question sends the man into a fury. If there is no balm in Gilead then there is little medical resin to heal all of the people of world that will see death come to early in their life and mankind will die. He then wants to know if his precious Lenore has gone to heaven. The obvious answer makes the man quite upset; knowing that the love of his life has not gone to heaven makes him outraged. After the last answer, he tells the raven to get out of his house, but the raven says he will never remove himself from the chamber, and haunt the man for the rest of his life. He, then, succumbs to the bird and realizes that for the rest of his life he will be haunted by both the memory of Lenore, and by the bird.
A man can go crazy very easily if he is unstable. The man is unstable to begin with, but when the raven comes to taunt him; he has a complete mental breakdown. The bird living in his chamber for the rest of his life will kill the man quickly. Poe is one of the most highly regarded writers of the early 19th century. Many different students year in and year out study him and this poem. Not only is this poem very intriguing in its contents, but also it is quite unique in its structure. It is very rare that a poem has lines longer than ten syllables, but every line throughout this poem has more than ten syllables. Also this is a very lengthy poem; it is nearly 110 lines long. Very few poets are talented enough to carry a rhyme scheme for that long of a poem.