The Raven Analysis: ‘The Raven’ is a poem written by Edgar Allan Poe. The poem is about the harrowing night in the narrator’s life, where there are constant knocks and a talking raven, which says one word- “Nevermore.”
Students can also check the English Summary to revise with them during exam preparation.
Analysis of The Raven
The poem, ‘The Raven’ is about a man grieving the loss of a loved one. In the cold December, midnight, the narrator talks to himself and ignores the continuous knocking on his window. He starts to convince himself that no one is there at the door. However, he eventually opens it to find himself staring at the darkness.
The narrator wonders if it was his loved one, Lenore, who had returned to him. There’s no one there, and a raven flies into his room. This speaking raven says only one word, “nevermore.” The repetition of words in the poem further enhances the feeling of grief and sorrow.
It is a poem that follows the narrative poem written by Edgar Allan in the first person. In the poem, there is the personification of intense grief and loss. The mood of the poem is dramatic. This mood of the lyrics emphasizes the narrator’s feeling of grief and loss.
It is a poem that explores the war of emotions that the narrator is feeling. The poem,’ The Raven’ is a ballad written in eighteen stanzas with six lines each.
In the poem, the rhyming scheme is ABCBBB. In this poem, Poe uses many literary devices such as alliteration, personification, and repetition.
He uses alliteration when he uses words like “weak and weary” and “Doubting, dreaming dreams”. There’s the personification of grief and loss through ‘The Raven.’
The Raven Analysis Stanzas
- Stanza 1: The poem begins with a dramatic effect when the narrator uses words like “once upon a time.” In the poem, the narrator knows that it is a poem full of drama. Through the use of imagery, the narrator makes the reader aware that it is a sad story. The narrator seems emotionally exhausted. He uses the symbol of the door, which stands for insecurity. In the stanza, there appears to be a visitor knocking at the entrance of the narrator’s insecurities.
- Stanza 2: It is a stanza that in-depth showcases the feelings that the poet is feeling. This foreshadows the end of the poem. It portrays how trapped the reader is feeling, and he’s dealing with Lenore’s loss, who can never be with again. The narrator feels like she is lost forever.
- Stanza 3: In the third stanza, the poet describes the surroundings of the narrator. These give hints about the mood and inner feelings of the narrator. It’s a peak of the emotional turmoil that the narrator is growing through it. He’s trying to calm all his fears and telling himself that everything is going to be alright.
- Stanza 4: The narrator starts feeling confident enough to open the door and check who is knocking at the door. He’s preparing himself to open the door to his insecurities and weaknesses. However, he is confronted with darkness. This is how he feels when he introspects his inner self and looks
- Stanza 5: Poe’s character is reflective and is stunned at looking at everything he’s been through it. He feels surprised at his hardships and suffering in life through the lens of his insecurities. He was looking for a visitor. Instead, he found emptiness.
- Stanza 6: The narrator starts thinking if he’s insane because he imagines things. He snaps out his shock and, after closing the door, starts thinking if his fears are confirmed. The loss of Lenore is making him lose control over his life. He starts realizing he will forever live with the loss of Lenore.
- Stanza 7: The Raven flies into the room of the narrator. It is a symbol of how the narrator feels about the loss of Lenore. The Raven takes a seat at the statue of Pallas, which symbolizes how the narrator’s emotional turmoil is comprising his rational thinking.
- Stanza 8: The narrator gets a chance to look at the face of his loss and grief directly. When the narrator asks the name of the Raven, he replies, saying “Nevermore”. This is a reminder of his suffering and loss. The Nevermore reminds him of his deepest feelings.
- Stanza 9: The narrator is shocked at the Raven speaking to him. It feels like his loss and grief are speaking so directly to him. He feels this is an opportunity to see his inner feelings and name it: nevermore. This is how he thinks about never being able to see Lenore again.
- Stanza 10: Poe’s character starts accepting the presence of the Raven in his life. He feels like the Raven will leave him like everyone else in his life. This hints at how the narrator feels like other feelings come and go with a sense of grief.
- Stanza 11: The repetition of the word “nevermore” by the Raven shocks the narrator. This stanza explores how the narrator is trying to ignore the finality of his feelings. The thought of living in this state of grief scares the narrator. Therefore, he prefers to live in denial.
- Stanza 12: The narrator feels fascinated by the Raven. He’s getting annoyed at the realization that these feelings are growing stronger. The narrator knows he can’t go back from here as he opened the door to these feelings. He wants these feelings to be temporary and eventually fade away. This makes me contemplate how these feelings shouldn’t be there for nevermore.
- Stanza 13: The character has so much more feelings than what he is trying to fight while confronting his grief. He falls in the relapses of the memories of Lenore. The things around him make him realize how Lenore will not be with him again.
- Stanza 14: The realization that he has lost the physical body of Lenore makes the narrator panic. He thinks this is a sign from God that he should forget Lenore and move on from her. This makes him start to force himself to start ignoring her. However, the Raven makes his claim that he will never forget Lenore.
- Stanza 15: The character starts losing his cool and starts shouting at his emotions. He feels like they are prophets who are prophesying his unhappy life. This makes him question if he will ever be happy again or have to stay in a state of sadness forever.
- Stanza 16: Poe’s character starts spiraling into chaos as he realizes that he will never come out of the pain and grief he is feeling right now. He starts asking the Raven if he will ever get to hold Lenore in his hands again. The feeling of loss that the character is feeling intensifies.
- Stanza 17: His emotions and fears consume the character. He starts screaming and cries at the loneliness he feels and wants to get away from his wisdom and rational thinking.
- Stanza 18: Poe’s character is standing still in his room after coming to terms with his situation’s reality. The commotion shifts from outside the surface to inside him. He faced his fears and insecurities, but now he’s regretting that decision. He despises these emotions. The mood of that emotion leaves with him forever. He has defeated all his feelings by facing them. However, he will nevermore find peace.
The Raven Analysis Themes
In the poem, ‘The Raven’ there are many themes. It is a poem which deals with themes of loss, grief and sadness. The two main themes of the poem,’ The Raven’, are grief and the possibility of an afterlife.
The first theme of the poem is grief. This theme of suffering is a recurring theme in many of Poe’s poems. Along with grief, there are interconnected themes of sadness, memory, loss and the supernatural.
The theme of grief is how readers hint at the loneliness that the narrator is feeling in his life. He is dealing with the loss of a loved one alone. The narrator is at home thinking about life, death and the afterlife while there’s a constant knocking at the window. Instead of trying to see who it is, the narrator decides best to ignore the Raven. At the end of the poem, it feels like the narrator has no way out of the life of loneliness, loss and grief.
About Edgar Allan Poe
Edgar Allan Poe is a significant figure in the world of literature and poetry. ‘The Raven’ is one of the masterpieces of Poe. In Poe’s poetry, he expresses his strong command over the language and technique and original and inspired imagination.
In the late 19th century, Allan Poe’s poetry and short stories influenced the French Symbolists. The influence was so significant that it altered the direction of modern literature.
Poe’s parents died when he was three, and John Allan raised him in Richmond, Virginia. His relationship with John Allan disintegrated, and he enlisted in the army and published his first sets of poems, ‘Tamerlane, and Other Poems.’