Last Updated 05 Jan 2023

The Biography of Edgar Allan Poe and the Imagery, Structure, and Symbolism of His Poem The Raven

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It is late one night one December evening, there was a man sitting in his room reading while nodding off all while trying to forget the love of his life Lenore. He then hears someone or something knocking on the door. He apologizes to the "visitor" he thinks is outside, and opens the door and finds no one is there. This scares him but he collects himself and agrees that it was just the wind on the window. So he goes to open the window and when he does a raven flies in. the raven just sits on a bust above the door and our narrators first thought is to speak to the bird. He asked the bird its name and the bird responds with "Nevermore." Surprised the man then continues to ask questions; unfortunately the bird only says "Nevermore." The bird never changes his answer as the speaker asks personal questions and the speaker goes insane.

Some of the imagery used in this poem is, "Once upon a midnight dreary, while I pondered, weak and weary, over many a quaint and curious volume of forgotten lore;" the midnight dreary almost makes you visualize a gloomy dark midnight. (1-2) Poe's ability to make you visualize what is happening in the story or poem is uncanny. "The Raven" does not truly follow a rhyme scheme; the poem is written in open form because it has no set rhyme scheme or rhythm.

Poe never really followed rules of poetry he night have done it occasionally but mostly his work was done in open form. Poe's tone is depressed, insane or grieving. "Sorrow for the lost Lenore" this quote proves that the character is depressed and I believe that the man in the story is Poe, therefore, his tone could be grief. The Raven is a symbol for death, and I also think that it is a symbol for Lenore. The statement "nevermore" makes me feel as if he will never see her again and the bird saying that proves that the Raven is a symbol.

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Poe was born in Boston Massachusetts to Elizabeth Arnold Poe and David Poe. His parents died when he was three years old they were professional actors. He was then raised in the home of Frances Keeling Valentine Allan and her husband John Allan in Richmond Virginia.

As a child Poe's education was watched over by his step-father, and he went to the finest schools in Boston. In 1825 he attended the University of Virginia in Charlottesville, but he “was forced to leave due to inadequate financial support from his step-father."(Raven) Poe then moved back to Richmond in 1827 but left for Boston soon after. In Boston he enlisted into the army, and it was there that he published his first works, Tamerlane, and some poems. Poe was discharged in 1829, but they never really explain why he was discharged. People enjoyed his first to works greatly. After attending school in New York and Baltimore he married his cousin Virginia Clemm. Virginia fell victim to tuberculosis and died in 1847; Poe later died on October 7th 1849.

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