The main themes of Edgar Allan Poe's narrative poem "The Raven" are undying devotion, loss and the lingering grief that cannot be diminished. The poem's narrator, a young man and presumably a student, is mourning the death of his lover, Lenore. Despite his attempts to lessen his grief through his studies and his pondering "many a quaint and curious volume of forgotten lore," he is wrenched back to his sorrow by a talking raven who repeatedly utters the famous refrain "nevermore," a painful reference to the fact that the narrator will never again be reunited with his beloved Lenore.Know More
In Poe's own words, he decided upon the raven as the poem's primary symbol, because it represented "Mournful and Never-ending Remembrance." The raven further instigates the grieving young man's distress and helps push him further down the path towards what the reader expects will eventually end in madness. By the end of the poem, the narrator appears to realize that the raven is actually his own grief-imprisoned and tortured soul.
"The Raven" first appeared in print and with its authorship attributed to Poe, on January 29, 1845, in the New York Evening Mirror. The publication brought Poe a great deal of fame on both sides of the Atlantic, but little financial success. It has since become known as one of the most famous poems ever written.Learn more about Poetry
Edgar Allen Poe's poem "The Raven" is driven by a theme of beauty, which Poe considered to be epitomized by sadness. The poem's sadness, then, derives from the story as it tells of a lost love, and a raven who brings back memories of this beloved woman. The narrator of the poem is lonely as a result of his loss, and finds company in a raven he fears will be gone by morning.Full Answer >
In his poem "The Raven" Edgar Allen Poe makes allusions to two famous sources, the Bible and Greek mythology. Poe alludes to Greek mythology by bringing up Pallas Athena and a Plutonian shore. He alludes to the Bible by mentioning seraphim and referencing the balm of Gilead.Full Answer >
Edgar Allen Poe wrote "The Tell-Tale Heart" in order to demonstrate his theory of composition. This theory states that short stories should be relatable, controlled and compressed. According to Poe, short stories should be readable in a single sitting. Because of this, "The Tell-Tale Heart" is only 10 paragraphs long.Full Answer >
Poe's concept of a "single effect" applies to short stories, and basically states that every element of a story should contribute to a single emotional effect of the story. This rule was important, because Poe was the founder of the short story, and this consequently became a foundational rule of the genre.Full Answer >