In "The Raven" how does the speaker's state of mind change as the poem progesses? and what causes them?

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tinicraw | High School Teacher | (Level 1) Educator Emeritus

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Well first of all, the main character is grieving over the loss of Lenore at the beginning of the poem. It's a night-time during a time in history that didn't have electricity, so in my mind I see a barely lit chamber by few candles. He's in a very loney and depressed place physically, emotionally and mentally; this is only aggitated by the entrance and annoying presence of the Raven. The speaker asks the Raven where he came from, not expecting an answer, and is shocked when the bird answers.  This helps to flip him out and he compensates by going off onto this tirade of speech with the bird.  It takes him hearing the word "Nevermore" five times before he reaches for an alcoholic drink to help ease the madness in his head ("Quaff, oh quaff this kind nepenthe" Line 45). So the speaker goes from a sad and depressed state of mourning and ends up in a crazed, drunken state of hallucination (it would seem to me) because then he "sees" the Raven's shadow and his soul "floating on the floor" (Line 69).

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