The Raven Literary Analysis

Subject: Literature
Type: Analytical Essay
Pages: 4
Word count: 846
Topics: Book, Edgar Allan Poe, Symbolism, The Raven

The greatness of the poem “The Raven”

Edgar Allan Poe is undoubtedly considered as one of the most prominent writers in American literature, an unsurpassed genius of mystery and terror. Among Poe’s most celebrated pieces is his poem “The Raven”, which was created in 1845. A thorough examination of all of its components will uncover the multitude of concealed Easter eggs that contribute to the poem’s success in giving any human reader chills. Through an appreciation of the literary background and the craftsmanship behind the poem, one can make sense of the language and construction, symbols and symbolic features used throughout. The most significant thing is that the reader will receive a distinct perspective on the vulnerability of human intelligence, particularly when it comes to the terrible human experience of bereavement and sorrow.

Structure and alliteration in the poem

As enigmatic and disturbing as its composer, “The Raven” can be divided into eighteen stanzas of six lines each, which possess the exact identical structures. It has a distinct rhyme scheme that passes across the entire piece in the scheme of 1-2-3-2-2-2-2. Within this scheme, there is likewise a relationship between lines 1 and 3, which invariably contain internal rhyme in virtually the precise same places. It was with these patterns of rhyme that Poe was in a position to establish the rhythm and pace necessary for the tense character of this narrative. The employment of alliteration in this passage is further highlighted as it uses the natural rhythmic patterns as a benefit to underline particular lyrics that will elicit an intense reaction from the audience. This is furthermore wonderfully portrayed in the first stanza, as the words “dreary” and “weary” suggest to the reader the narrator’s state of mind and allow the possibility of what might be outside the gate. As noted earlier, all these regularities in composition and language are present throughout the poem and, obviously, only underscore the symbols that the author has masterfully chosen.

Symbolism in “The Raven”

Among the most prominent symbols of the poem is the notorious raven. In poetry, ravens are mostly recognized for their function as heralds. In these circumstances, the Raven is the messenger of a severe truth that involves the storyteller to absolute craziness. Indeed, the speaker’s conflict between rationality and irrationality is illustrated effectively before the visible emergence of the Raven. The speaker finishes six of the first seven stanzas with the statement “nothing more,” symbolizing his exhausting battle to discover a rational explanation for what his tortured brain is conjuring up. It is in the eighth stanza, after the introduction of the Raven, that the storyteller embarks on a descending helix into irrationality, presented by the recurring line “Nevermore”. Although it appears as a diversion, he rapidly loses the ability to stay focused and is pursued by the bird’s thoughts, which he believes had no meaning to begin with. He finds that he cannot get rid of the agonizing flashbacks of his lost love, and he is so devastated by sorrow that he approaches the Raven for comfort. He asks for “nepenthe” and “balm in Gilead,” symbols of his desire to erase and deliver himself from his experiences. It is his desperation to reduce the ache he experiences due to the passing of his love that has pushed him to the brink and brought us to one of the leading subjects of this narrative.

Topics used in the poem

The poem “The Raven” clearly has a considerable number of distinct motifs, although they all possess an identically gloomy tone. One of the driving elements of the unique journey that Poe was able to uncover in this eerily psychological poem is the underlying issues of pain and sorrow. The poem completely embraces the terrible global phenomenon of displacing a loved one and dealing with the agonizing recollections of those we have loved. Poe also highlights the subjects of insanity and hopelessness because of their connection to sorrow. As individuals, we are consistently searching for solutions to problems we cannot account for and can frequently be overwhelmed by the voices in our minds. Death and sorrow are oftentimes two of the most insular and oppressive feelings one can undergo, and Poe compels the audience to approach face to face with them, albeit only for a short time.


For many readers, it is completely apparent why Edgar Allan Poe is still one of the most revered writers in American history. The reason is that he has no equal in the genres of mystery and terror. His poem “The Raven” is a renowned case in point of how effectively he can evoke goosebumps through his meticulous use of language and composition, symbols and psychological topics. “The Raven” vividly captures the narrator’s fragile mental condition and conveys a sense of what insanity to us looks like. It is definitely an engaging take on the current debate about psychological health and the alternative ways our minds handle mental distress. Without question, as you read “The Raven” you will reflect on the human psyche and possibly retain distressing images of someone we lost long ago.

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