The Raven

1725 Words 7 Pages
Analysing a Ballad Through its emotional appeal, melancholy themes, and suspenseful plot, The Raven provides an audience with an introspective literary experience. Poe is able to exploit the Gothic setting of the poem to establish a vivid atmosphere of obsession, undying devotion, madness, and loneliness. In the beginning of the poem, the narrator is grieving the loss of his beloved Lenore on a dark December night, while attempting to read in his somnolent state. Suddenly, he is awoken by a tapping noise that seems to have originated from his chamber door. Thinking it is a visitor, he gets up from his chair and opens the door, to find only darkness. Perturbed, the young man continues to hear the same tapping noise and establishes that it is …show more content…
It grows to the point where the grieving young man gradually descends into madness, interpreting the creature’s identical responses without the aid of rational thought, consequently drawing his own obsessive conclusions. The narrative ends with the melancholy protagonist certain that his soul “from out that shadow that lies floating on the floor / Shall be lifted—nevermore” (107-108). The verbs in the final stanza are all conjugated in the present tense, which is indicative of the fact that the raven still sits on the bust of Pallas above the young man’s door, and that he believes that his soul shall never leave the shadow of the raven. From the very beginning, it becomes clear that the narrator is emotionally disturbed as he fights to forget his lost love by staying up late into the night. Indubitably, this is suggestive of the young man’s obsessive nature, as memories of Lenore seem to be vivid and immortalized in his memory. Her departure seems to make the young man’s own continued existence melancholic and meaningless, which further adds to the point that despite the fact he wants nothing more than to forget her, his undying devotion and lucid memories shall make it impossible. He remains focused on her even in his …show more content…
Additionally, when the raven enters the room, within only moments of its arrival, the narrator becomes transfixed. He even pulls up a velvet cushion in front of it and never leaves it. Like with Lenore, he grows obsessed with the bird, asking it theological questions and later accusing it of malicious intent. He even begins to scream at the fowl, in a fit of insanity. Both Lenore and the raven are receivers of the narrator’s passion and obsession; they shall always occupy a place in his susceptible mind. Many stanzas in the poem are solely dedicated to either the young man’s communications with the bird, or of him lamenting the death of Lenore. In other words, a majority of the poem revolves around the protagonist’s fervent, rapid mental dependencies and focuses. In addition to devotion and obsession, the ballad also encompasses concepts of loneliness and madness. When the narrator begins his melancholy tale, he is alone in his room during a very difficult time. He spends a considerable amount of time thinking about his fair dead maiden, and based on his frame of mind, nobody else seems to be grieving with him. Furthermore, when the raven makes its first appearance, he grows disillusioned for a few moments when he

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