My first impressions of this poem were of “The Raven” was confused.  It makes me feel surprised, yet, at the same time, perplexed. A line that especially evokes the first feeling for me is, ““Though thy crest be shorn and shaven, thou,” I said, “art sure no craven,

Ghastly grim and ancient Raven wandering from the Nightly shore—

Tell me what thy lordly name is on the Night’s Plutonian shore!”

Quoth the Raven “Nevermore.”  The other feeling  of perplexed arises when I read the line(s), “I was napping, and so gently you came rapping,

And so faintly you came tapping, tapping at my chamber door,

That I scarce was sure I heard you”—here I opened wide the door;—

Darkness there and nothing more”.  Perhaps because someone was knocking yet no one was at the door which makes me perplexed. But the thing is that the knocking was consisted.

What I know about the situation – what’s happening in the poem – is that the dude who is talking is slowly becoming crazy due to the raven that is talking and saying “nevermore”. What I know about the speaker is that they are the kind of person who are scared of what they don’t understand. This is suggested by the line  ““Prophet!” said I, “thing of evil!—prophet still, if bird or devil!—

Whether Tempter sent, or whether tempest tossed thee here ashore,

Desolate yet all undaunted, on this desert land enchanted—

On this home by Horror haunted—tell me truly, I implore—

Is there—”.   The speaker seems to be speaking to himself, and perhaps to the raven.  I say this because He is alone and is trying to prove to himself that he is sane when he calls the raven the devil.  The poem doesn’t seem to spring from a particular historical moment. The poem revolves around several themes, including suffering and fear. If this poem were a question, the answer would be “that the Raven is the reaper that is going after this man.” If it were an answer, question would be “What is the Ravens purpose?”  The title suggests The raven will play a big part of this poem. The poem’s form is a narrative. This form is a vehicle for the content of the poem.  If the poem were a Sestina, it would not guide me toward an understanding of the poem’s meaning. A narrative explains its meaning by showing how the event the speaker takes affect him by making him seem insane.

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CC BY-SA 4.0 Close Reading of “The Raven” by Octavio is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 4.0 International License.

1 Comment
  1. Wendy 5 months ago

    Dear : Octavio
    I am curious by your analysis on the poem you chose , “ The Raven,” because your analysis on it made me question, is the man really sane? Your analysis on the poem helped me see that there are different point of views to it.
    One sentence you wrote that stands out for me is: “I say this because He is alone and is trying to prove to himself that he is sane when he calls the raven the devil. ” I think this is shocking because I never thought of this poem in this form. I always thought that the Raven and other things occurring in his home are in his imagination.
    Another sentence that I was curious about was: “ If this poem were a question, the answer would be “that the Raven is the reaper that is going after this man.” If it were an answer, question would be “What is the Ravens purpose?”.” This stood out for me because it also made wonder if the Raven is a reaper. It made me wonder if the raven is really real or if it’s just in the speakers imagination.
    Your analysis really helped out for when I was writing my own analysis.
    Thanks for your writing. I look forward to seeing what you write next.

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