Essay Questions The Raven

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It tells of a talking raven's mysterious visit to a distraught lover, tracing the man's slow fall into madness.

The lover, often identified as being a student, is lamenting the loss of his love, Lenore.

Its publication made Poe popular in his lifetime, although it did not bring him much financial success.

The poem was soon reprinted, parodied, and illustrated.

Poe claimed to have written the poem logically and methodically, intending to create a poem that would appeal to both critical and popular tastes, as he explained in his 1846 follow-up essay, "The Philosophy of Composition".

The poem was inspired in part by a talking raven in the novel Barnaby Rudge: A Tale of the Riots of 'Eighty by Charles Dickens.Such radicalism can be seen in two works: The Raven and Annabel Lee.In the end, the poem cannot be seen as a literal; the raven remains on the bust of Pallas as an almost schizophrenic delusion: a visible reminder of the pain of lost love.But Edgar Allan Poe invented the modern detective fiction.Without Poe there might have been no Arthur Conan Doyle, Earl Stanley Gardner or even Stephen King, writers whose love of Poe translated into commercial success, if not literary aplomb.Poe’s achievement in The Raven transcends the standard misinterpretation of the poem.The bird is, in many respects, unimportant to the work.Poe explains that the length of the poem is most important, the most appropriate length is 100 lines, and “The Raven” comes in close at 108 lines.The length is important according to Poe because the piece should be read at one sitting to achieve the desired effect.Sitting on a bust of Pallas, the raven seems to further distress the protagonist with its constant repetition of the word "Nevermore".The poem makes use of folk, mythological, religious, and classical references.


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