The Bird As A Metaphor For Grief In "the Raven"

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The bird as a metaphor for grief in "The Raven"


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The bird as a metaphor for grief in "The Raven"


The Raven is the most famous poetic composition by Edgar Allan Poe. It was written in the year 1845. The poet describes the anguish it caused to him because of the death of his beloved, which he called “Lenore”. That anguish embodies a black crow (raven), after being questioned, answered again and again, never again, "Nevermore." This is an obsessive rhythmic poem in which anxiety is gripping the reader in full of internal rhyme, alliteration. The creative process of the poem is described by Poe in his essay Philosophy of Composition, which explains step by step the methodology used by the author for the realization of the poem.

About the Author

Edgar Allen Poe is best known as an author of fantastic tales of woe. The early orphaned Poe was raised in the house of the merchant John Allan, who in 1826 enabled him to study at University of Virginia. Gambling debts and an eccentric lifestyle soon led to a quarrel with Allan. After discharge from the military in 1833, Poe wrote the award-winning story, “the manuscript in the bottle”. From 1835, he worked as an editor of several journals. Poe lived, came by occasional drunkenness in professional difficulties, mostly in the economic hardship of the death of his young wife in 1847 he never recovered and died a year later under unexplained circumstances. (McMichael, pp.45) Influenced by Romanticism and especially through the work of Samuel Taylor Coleridge, Poe wrote poems in his youth full of musicality of language, which came at the age of highest mastery. In the poetic principle, Poe designed a hierarchy of genres; in the method of composition he made his effective aesthetic ideal of a text clear to the world. The poem, “The Raven 1845” is considered the most famous poem of the author. In this poem, Poe impressively expresses the emotions of a man and the mourning for his deceased lover, and metaphorically uses the bird “raven” to symbolize his grief. (Poe pp.76)

The Raven as a metaphor of Grief

Throughout our history, birds have been considered to be examples of the flight of souls and they are said to have powers to act as the intermediates between heaven and earth. Poets and writers have been long been using the examples of birds in their works and the exemplification of birds has been used according to the characteristics which are found in the works of writers who watch the birds, for ...
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