Your Thoughts! What does this poem mean to you? What do you see when you read this poem? What seems confusing?
Setting The chamber of a house at midnight. Poe uses the word chamber rather than bedroom apparently because chamber has a dark and mysterious connotation.
Analyzing Poe Why does Poe use so many dashes? Who is Lenore? Is the speaker really Poe? A lot of times writers write from their own experiences, just as we understand their writing from our own experiences. What is Poe’s message to his audience?
What Might “The Raven” Really be About? It is possible that Lenore, the idealized deceased woman in the poem, represents Poe’s beloved wife, Virginia, who was in poor health when Poe wrote "The Raven." She died two years after the publication of the poem, when she was only in her mid-twenties.
Poe’s Intent –Melancholy—a gloomy state of mind, esp. when habitual or prolonged; depression Did Poe’s poem have a melancholy effect on you? –Raven—any of several large, corvine birds having lustrous, black plumage and a loud, harsh call Why the raven? Is the raven more gothic?
Poe’s Intent Cont’d Poe also considered a parrot as the bird instead of the raven; however, because of the melancholy tone, and the symbolism of ravens as birds of ill-omen, he found the raven more suitable for the mood in the poem –Nevermore—never again; never thereafter What tone is Poe setting with the repetition of this one word? How does this one word help you understand the poem?
Poe’s Diction As in his short stories, Poe is careful to use primarily words that contribute to the overall atmosphere and tone of the poem. These words include weary, dreary, bleak, dying, sorrow, sad, darkness, stillness, mystery, ebony, grave, stern, lonely, grim, ghastly, and gaunt. –What connotations do these words have?
Symbolism The Raven the bust of Pallas (goddess of wisdom) Midnight and December The chamber
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