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Who is the speaker in"The Raven," written by Edgar Allan Poe?Who is the speaker in the...

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nikitasing | Student, Undergraduate | eNoter

Posted November 6, 2012 at 11:50 PM via web

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Who is the speaker in"The Raven," written by Edgar Allan Poe?

Who is the speaker in the poem? What is his state of mind? 

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litteacher8 | Middle School Teacher | (Level 1) Distinguished Educator

Posted November 7, 2012 at 1:51 AM (Answer #2)

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In “The Raven” the speaker is a student.  We don’t know much else about him other than that he has lost his girl.  He is sitting up late at night, and miserable, when the bird knocks on his door.

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nikitasing | Student, Undergraduate | eNoter

Posted November 8, 2012 at 12:41 AM (Answer #3)

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In “The Raven” the speaker is a student.  We don’t know much else about him other than that he has lost his girl.  He is sitting up late at night, and miserable, when the bird knocks on his door.

How does the raven mirror the speaker’s mental state?
 “The Raven” contains a good deal of alliteration. Identify some examples. How does this use of repeated initial consonant sounds help to convey the mood of the poem? The speaker refers to the raven in a number of different ways. At one point, it is simply “an ebony bird” (line 42); at another, it is a “prophet” and “a thing of evil” (85). How else does the speaker characterize the raven?
 What is the symbolic significance of the raven? of the repeated word “nevermore”? of the bust of Pallas, the ancient Greek god of wisdom? Are the poem’s symbols conventional? Are they universal or archetypal?
 Are any symbols obscure or highly idiosyncratic?
What is the literal meaning of each symbol in the context of the poem? Beyond its literal meaning, what else could each symbol suggest? How does your interpretation of each symbol enhance your understanding of the poem?

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nikitasing | Student, Undergraduate | eNoter

Posted November 8, 2012 at 9:55 PM (Answer #4)

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How does the raven mirror the speaker’s mental state?
“The Raven” contains a good deal of alliteration. Identify some examples. How does this use of repeated initial consonant sounds help to convey the mood of the poem? The speaker refers to the raven in a number of different ways. At one point, it is simply “an ebony bird” (line 42); at another, it is a “prophet” and “a thing of evil” (85). How else does the speaker characterize the raven?
What is the symbolic significance of the raven? of the repeated word “nevermore”? of the bust of Pallas, the ancient Greek god of wisdom? Are the poem’s symbols conventional? Are they universal or archetypal?
Are any symbols obscure or highly idiosyncratic?
What is the literal meaning of each symbol in the context of the poem? Beyond its literal meaning, what else could each symbol suggest? How does your interpretation of each symbol enhance your understanding of the poem?

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literaturenerd | High School Teacher | (Level 2) Educator Emeritus

Posted November 22, 2012 at 1:52 AM (Answer #5)

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As you have posed other questions, I will address the examples of alliteration. Alliteration is the repetition of a consonant sound, within a line of poetry. An example of alliteration is found in the initial line of the poem.

Once upon a midnight dreary, while I pondered weak and weary.

In this line, the consonant sound of "w" is repeated in "while," "weak," and "weary."

This illustrates the dreamlike state of the speaker, given the conversation with the raven.

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