Death, Loss And Beauty In The Raven By Edgar Allan Poe

Good Essays
Edgar Allan Poe, a man who faced much critiquing during his time, wrote a poem centered around death, loss, and beauty, “The Raven”. Although in the twenty-first century this topic would seem odd and not many people could relate to the poem, during Poe’s time this type of poem was expected and praised highly. Poe, unlike most men, lost his mother at a very young age, causing him to worship females and hold them closer than males. Although this poem is about a young student who is “harassed” by a ghost that reminds him countless times of his lover, many people still are able to notice the similarities to Poe’s life. The themes reflected in “The Raven” convey the loss and death suffered by Edgar Allan Poe in his life. Edgar Allan Poe was …show more content…
This is very noticeable in his poem because the young student is trying to forget his beautiful love that died. Poe uses this theme to show the sorrow that he himself felt from his lost loves. “After choosing beauty as the province, Poe considered sadness to be the highest manifestation of beauty” (Hallquist 3). The sadness that Poe felt is shown throughout this poem when the student is mourning and being constantly reminded of the loss. Poe has always been greatly affected by death, in fact, Poe became very ill after Virginia’s death (Benton 4). This is very similar to the student because he is not able to forget his lost love and is constantly reminded of her with the pesky and demonic raven. Another relation of Poe’s and the student’s sorrow is when the student tells the bird to remove the beak from his heart. This becomes a symbol of the sorrow that they both shared (Enote 2). Many people feel that the death Poe faced in his earliest years may have shaped his writing in his later years. The death that was imminent in Poe’s life shaped the themes of death in this poem and the tone of sadness. Poe was able to turn the misfortunes of his life into a beautiful poem still read …show more content…
This relates to Poe in the sense that his first love Virginia had died and he was unable to forget her, mourning himself to sickness. Poe said he must combine the two ideas of the raven and the mourning lover (Szumski 142). Poe wanted to use an irrational thinking creature and also create a very rational scenario of the mourning lover in order to simulate the effects that love, beauty and death can have on a life. Poe relied on beauty greatly in the raven because he believed it could stimulate all senses of the human nature. Poe said, “Beauty of whatever kind, in its supreme development, invariably excites the sensitive soul to tears” (Scraba 35). Poe knew throughout his life that he was going to use the beauty and love that he was exposed to in order to stimulate all senses of the

Related Documents

  • Decent Essays

    The speaker is comparing her to the stares, providing detailed depth of his grief. He believes that she is watching over him. Eventually, he becomes totally insane and sleeps in her grave- he lost his sanity due to his love. Others may temporarily sulk over lost love. However, Poe felt his lost love…

    • 1421 Words
    • 6 Pages
    Decent Essays
  • Decent Essays

    Poe uses lost love in “Annabel Lee” and “The Raven” to prove that death is difficult to accept. In “Annabel Lee”, poe uses a perspective of a man who lost his wife and shows that their love is inseparable. The narrator in the poem, he grieves in sorrow over the death of Annabel Lee and that he still dreams and thinks of her. “So that her highborn kinsman came and bore her away from me, to shut her up in a sepulchre” (Poe 1). Annabel Lee was taken away by her upper-class family members and that the family and death were trying to tear their love apart, by shutting her up in a sepulchre or a tomb.…

    • 794 Words
    • 4 Pages
    Decent Essays
  • Decent Essays

    Grief holds power over the mind, bringing sorrowful thoughts and painful memories to a life once bound for happiness. Edgar Allan Poe’s childhood could have been one of dreams, but instead was consumed by the nightmare that was the death of both his parents. In the years that followed, many of those around him met their demise and left a mark on the writer. Seemingly in a constant state of grief, Poe never saw true happiness. Specifically, the death of Poe’s wife brought him pain shortly before he wrote the poem “A Dream Within a Dream.” Soon after the same poem was published, mysterious circumstances led Poe to join his wife in death.…

    • 1579 Words
    • 7 Pages
    Decent Essays
  • Decent Essays

    One of the most traumatic experiences in Poe’s life was the death of his wife Virginia Clemm. After her death Poe wrote “Annabel Lee” a poem where the narrator, much like Poe, loses the woman he loves. Poe reveals his damaged mental state and his feelings towards death through the first a person speaker in the poem “Annabel Lee” and the different feelings that are experienced while coping with death. The events in Poe’s childhood and young adult life largely contributed to Poe's negative mental state that stayed with him until he died. Poe’s birth father has a bad temper and a drinking problem and eventually abandoned his family leaving them with…

    • 2079 Words
    • 9 Pages
    Decent Essays
  • Decent Essays

    Poe became extremely depressed after her death due to his grief and feelings of loss over Virginia. Poe wrote “The Raven” with his usual melancholy style and incorporated his feelings of grief into the poem’s narrator as well. The feelings of grief evolve in the poem into madness as the depression takes over the narrator. In “The Raven,” Edgar Allen Poe uses symbols, rhyme, and point of view to…

    • 1011 Words
    • 4 Pages
    Decent Essays
  • Decent Essays

    This fear had caused Poe to be distant and not get involved in any serious relationships. Tuberculosis had haunted Poe on certain nights considering his wife, and both foster and birth mother had died from the disease. Poe had always spoke of the death of a young beautiful woman in his poems such as The Raven, Anabel Lee, and Ulalume ("How Does the Edgar Allan Poe 's Poem”). Not only was death a main topic of what he wrote, but death had took a major toll on his life. His most memorable work was influenced from the traumatic events during his younger years that had involved his most close companions who were ill and had died.…

    • 1359 Words
    • 6 Pages
    Decent Essays
  • Decent Essays

    Furthermore, the raven is another symbolistic aspect incorporated by Poe. In most societies, the raven is used in reference to death. For Poe, the death of his mother marked the neverending sadness that appeared to stay in his life, similar to that of the raven who never leaves the narrator in “The Raven.” According to the article “Literary Contexts in Poetry: Edgar Allan Poe 's The Raven," Sanna Dhahir writes “ beyond the exterior details of his lifestyle, the man in "The Raven" is a projection of Poe himself: his fears, his sense of alienation, and his despair”(Dhahir). One of the poem 's overriding themes is loneliness, felt in the finest fibers of the speaker 's soul. This is partially due to the fact that throughout the time frame that Poe was writing this story, Virginia was suffering in the terminal phases of her illness.…

    • 1272 Words
    • 5 Pages
    Decent Essays
  • Decent Essays

    Poe’s poem “Annabel Lee” has the speaker talk about how badly he is grieving for his beloved Annabel Lee. The style that Poe writes in this poem about death and women, and is that he did lose his wife Virginia, biological mother and adoptive mother. Although, writing this poem no one knows why Poe has wrote it. After his death, this poem became popular and women who had a relationship with Poe they claimed it was about them. Some think it could have been about his late wife as well.…

    • 2555 Words
    • 11 Pages
    Decent Essays
  • Decent Essays

    They are very similar in how they suffer and how they deal with their suffering. In order to forget, they block themselves from the outside world, except for the distraught soul in The Fall of the House of Usher who calls for the comfort of an old childhood friend. Edgar Allan Poe himself lived a very dark life. Dave Smith’s essay, “Edgar Allan Poe and the Nightmare Ode”, explores Poe’s life and how it affects his writing. Smith points out that most of Poe’s loved ones died when he was very young, causing him to feel “orphaned” and an outsider.…

    • 1437 Words
    • 6 Pages
    Decent Essays
  • Decent Essays

    The lines passionately describe the misfortunes and sorrows attached to human life. Indeed, the world is filled with sickness, weariness, lost hope and human suffering in general. Ode to a Nightingale is a touching expression of death because Keats wrote it when he was struggling with an overwhelming sense of life’s tragedy. He also appeared to be pessimistic, expressing his own impending death, noting that everyone around him that he loves was dying. The personal yet human character expressed by the speaker outlines the poet’s sense of tragedy attached to human life as well as his sense of personal weariness and suffering.…

    • 1455 Words
    • 6 Pages
    Decent Essays

Related Topics