The Raven, Poe’s Poetic Effects

This is the poetic effects Edgar Allen Poe uses in the story, The Raven.

Poets can use different poetic effects to get a reader’s attention. An example of one of these effects is to create mood. This is what Edgar Allen Poe does in “The Raven”. He creates a hopeless mood in many different ways. In his narrative poem, “The Raven”, Edgar Allen Poe creates a hopeless mood through the use of setting and character. Specifically, the gloomy, morose setting and the symbolic character of the Raven contribute to the overall hopeless mood.

            One way that Poe establishes the hopeless mood is through setting of the poem. One example of this is in line seven: “It was in a bleak December” (Poe 7). This creates a feeling of coldness and despair. Also we read in line one “midnight dreary” (Poe 1), which further emphasizes a sense of loneliness and silence in the house.  Another example is the repeated images of darkness. For example in line twenty-four we read “Darkness there and nothing more” (Poe 24).  The last example of how Poe establishes a hopeless mood is that the action of the poem takes place in an empty, dreary, house. The action inside the house of the tapping on the chamber door creates an ominous mood.  It is suspenseful to see who may be on the other side of that door. The house is also empty and the speaker is alone and sad. For example we read in line twenty one and twenty two “Rapping, and so faintly you came tapping, tapping at my chamber door” (Poe 21-22).

Through the writer’s use of repeated dark images, ominous tapping from a stranger at his door and the setting of the poem which is a dark lonely house in a December midnight, the speaker creates a hopeless mood.

Another way Poe establishes a hopeless mood of his poem is through the character of the raven which is a symbol of hopelessness. One way the raven is a symbol of hopelessness is the image of the bird. The raven is black, which is a symbol in literature for dark and morose. For example in line 43: “Ebony bird” (Poe 43). This means a dark or black bird. Another way the raven is a symbol is the repetition of his word “Nevermore”. Poe uses this word multiple times to say that he will see his beloved Lenore nevermore. His repeated use of nevermore creates despair (Poe 48, 54, 60,66, 72,78,84,90,96,102,108).  A final example is the tone of the speaker to the bird. In the beginning you can see that he is relaxed and asks the bird questions. When the bird finally answers him, the man becomes so frightened. The dialogue between the speaker and the bird quickly becomes angry and irritating. This creates an eerie and morose mood for the poem. The darkness of the raven, the constant taunting of the bird and his use of the word nevermore, and the escalated dialogue between the raven and the character all create a dreadful mood for the reader.

In the narrative poem “The Raven”, Edgar Allen Poe creates a hopeless mood through the use of setting and character. Specifically, the gloomy, morose setting and the symbolic character of the raven contributes to the overall hopeless mood.  The use of these types of poetic effects can be very effective in creating a mood for the reader and very powerful in making the reader feel strong emotions such as fear and despair.

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3 Comments
  1. Posted August 14, 2010 at 10:03 pm

    Great Work….Keep it up.

  2. Posted August 15, 2010 at 7:50 am

    Thanks for sharing

  3. Posted October 31, 2010 at 10:10 am

    The Raven is a great poem and a must see

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