Last Updated 05 Jan 2023

An Analysis and Review of The Raven, a Poem by Edgar Allan Poe

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Edgar Allen Poe wrote the poem, The Raven in January 1845 and when publication of this poem, he was met with much success. Despite having been an established author and journalist for many years, The Raven is one of his greatest poems for its structure, language, rhyme, and for the story in all.

It is a story about a young man who is grieving over the death of his love Lenore. A raven enters through the man's window and sits on the bust of Pallas on the man's chamber door. The man asked many questions, but the raven only gives one answer, Nevermore. The raven can only speak that single word so, each question the man asks only makes him more upset and reminds him of his loss.

While this poem is considered one of the best poems in literary history, the question is raised; why? Could it be his poetic structure, or maybe a perspective that's never been considered? Either way, The Raven is seen as one of the best pieces of poetry ever written. In order to understand what makes The Raven a great piece, you must look at the appeals it makes. At first look, it comes across as a being an ethos based writing, the the fact that at this point in his life, Poe was already a very well known writer and poet. At a closer look however, it becomes clear that it is actually a pathos based piece. The reason being is that the story is about a man's struggle to deal with the loss of his beloved. The poem begins and ends with this man's focus on the loss of Lenore. It is only when the raven enters the piece that we begin to realize the man's struggle with his loss.

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Because of his sadness, the young man begins to question the reasoning of the raven's being there, thinking the raven is a devil who came from hell to torture him. Lenore is the focus of his sorrow, and his sorrow is what leads to the story of the raven tormenting him. This sadness the man faces and the torture by the raven all play off the idea of pathos.

Poe's vocabulary is also a very strong contributor to pathos in this piece. The language Poe uses is very forceful and upfront, allowing for the piece to be seen in the way Poe wanted to, not leaving it up to interpretation. The audience gains a better understanding behind the story, and that allows for a much stronger connection about what it really means to the man's lost love.

Because of the highly played out emotional content, "The Raven" is able to appeal to a greater audience than Poe intended for. Poe manages to appeal to a larger audience than he expected, because of its very emotionally drawn story line.

The emotion spawns from the loss of Lenore, but also from the mental illnesses the young man goes through because of his love for her. It also appeals on a larger scale because of the poetic structure of the piece; the fact that the piece rhymes and has a very constant flow to it.

This gives the piece much more appeal for the reason that it doesn't need to appeal in the sense of literature. He was able to create one of the best examples of poetry through the depth of his piece, showing the apartment importance of the "The Raven" in the history of literature.

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