“The Raven” by Edgar Allen Poe
“Quoth the Raven ‘nevermore’” (Raven: 48). In “The Raven” by Edgar Allen Poe. The speaker is continually losing his mind as he morns the death of his lover, Lenore. Poe was able to maintain a melancholy feeling throughout his poem using the refrain “nevermore” and following some very strict, self-set, rules. Every stanza in the poem uses the same rhyme scheme, ABCBBB. He used many literary devices including alliteration, assonance, and onomatopoeia. His rhythm is also very structured and unwavering.
The rhyme scheme used by Poe in his poem “The Raven” is described as ABCBBB. Every stanza in “The Raven” follows this rhyme scheme to create a very structured poem. Poe also uses internal rhyme where two words in the third rhyme will rhyme with each other and with another word in the fourth line. In the second stanza the word morrow in line three rhymes with the word borrow also in line three and sorrow in line four. Poe also uses repetition to not only conform to his rhyme scheme, but to emphasize the word as well. “’Wretch,’ I cried, ‘thy God hath lent thee – by these angels he hath sent thee” (Raven: 81) is an example of Poe using repetition to rhyme. Poe used trochaic octameter for his poem. Poe used many other devices in his poem such as alliteration and consonance. “Doubting, dreaming dreams no mortal ever dared to dream before;” (Raven: 26) is an example of alliteration and consonance. Poe used alliteration to increase the effect of the line. “The silken, sad, uncertain rustling of each purple curtain” (Raven: 13) is an example of an onomatopoeia used by Poe in his poem.
The tone of “The Raven” is morbid and depressing. Poe used a man who had lost his lost Lenore to deepen the melancholy feeling, because losing a loved one is the grimmest subjects there is. Poe had a raven, an already grim animal, to repeat the word “nevermore” whenever the narrator would speak to it. One other way Poe increased the melancholy effect is the torture of the narrator. The answer the narrator received each time was already predetermined and both the reader and the narrator knew what the reply was going to be; therefore, continuously torturing the narrator.
Poe also used many similes, metaphors, and examples of personification. “Quoth the Raven ‘Nevermore’” (Raven: 48) is an example of personification found in Poe’s poem “The Raven”. Since birds cannot really talk, the raven was given a human characteristic of speech. “And his eyes have all the seeming of a demon’s that is dreaming,” is an example of a metaphor used in “The Raven” by Poe to compare the raven’s eyes to a demon’s; therefore, comparing the raven to a demon. “That one word, as if his soul in that one word he did outpour.” (Raven: 56) is an example of a simile that Poe used to compare the raven’s reply to the narrators state of grief.
Poe used many devices to produce the melancholy feeling found in his poem “The Raven” including alliteration, assonance, consonance, and onomatopoeia. The tone of the poem was created using depressing symbols, topics, and themes. Poe followed a very strict rhyme scheme throughout the entire poem. After looking through the poem and carefully examining how much work was put into it to make it so strict, we can conclude that the poem was carefully though through and produced by a literary genius to have pieced it all together so perfectly.