the raven

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  • Lenore?
  • Setting:  "once upon a midnight dreary" (line 1) "I remember it was in the bleak December" (line 7)   "silken, sad, uncertain rustling of each purple curtain" (line 13)  The setting in this poem is dark and ominous. Midnight and December are thought to be the coldest, darkest, and loneliest times of the year. 
  • Speaker: He is very melodramatic and intense. He constantly talked to himself and seemed to go crazy because of the raven's constant reminder of Lenore. "'Tis some visitor," I muttered, "tapping at my chamber door"' (line 5)
  • Imagery: "And his eyes have all the seeming of a demon's that is dreaming, And the lamp-light o'er him streaming throws his shadow on the floor; And my soul from out that shadow that lies floating on the floor" (line 105) This quote uses dark and ominous imagery to describe the raven. Also, this quote leaves the reader with the image of madness in both the raven and the speaker.
  • Nevermore!
  • Symbol: The Raven The Raven is the most obvious symbol in this poem. The Raven symbolizes the neverending remembrance of the speaker's loss of Lenore. "But the Raven, sitting lonely on the placid bust, spoke only that one word as if his soul in that one word he did outpour. Nothing further then he uttered – not a feather then he fluttered...Then the bird said "Nevermore."' (line 55)
  • Theme: Madness Madness is shown throughout this poem because of the speaker talks about wild dreams and a burning soul. "Doubting, dreaming dreams no mortal ever dared to dream before" (line 26) "Back into the chamber turning, all my soul within me burning" (line 31)
  • Refrain: The use of the word "Nevermore" (line 48) breaks down the speaker. He thinks the word is a morbid and horrifying prophecy that turns him crazy.
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