How does Edgar Allan Poe portray and develop the emotional dynamics in his poetry such as The Raven?
This is Key Question 1 of my research project. I couldn't find any other websites which would be able to explain to my question properly. Research project is worth 3 credits and an Excellence grade.
If you read the poem here on eNotes, you will see that the mood of horror and masochism builds as the poem progresses. In the beginning, the speaker is in his study, musing, when he hears a sound, that at first is just a curiosity to him. However, the longer he hears it, the more he panics because he does not know what it is -- so he is fearful and begins to imagine all sorts of thing. So the drama builds as his emotions build:
And the silken sad uncertain rustling of each purple curtain
Thrilled me—filled me with fantastic terrors never felt before;
So that now, to still the beating of my heart, I stood repeating, “
“'Tis some visitor entreating entrance at my chamber door—
Some late visitor entreating entrance at my chamber door;—
This it is, and nothing more.”
He keeps trying to convince himself that it is the wind, it is a late visitor, it is nothing to be afraid of.......and yet........and yet!! He calls out. No one answers. Just the tapping. His mind becomes more and more fearful. Notice the words that are used:
Deep into that darkness peering, long I stood there wondering, fearing,
Doubting, dreaming dreams no mortals ever dared to dream before;
Feelings of dread compound. He can see nothing but darkness. He can still hear the pounding. He does not know what it is, so he peers, wonders, fears, doubts, dreams.
But then, he sees the Raven. Oh, it's only a bird. How foolish he was to fear a mere bird. He is relieved. But not for long. The bird speaks, "Nevermore." A cryptic word. The speaker does not understand it. He grows fearful again. "Nevermore" again. He throws a pillow at the bird. "Nevermore." He starts to lose it now. "Wretch" he calls it - "thing of evil!" What in the world is the raven doing? Who has sent it? What does it mean? Does it have anything to do with his lost love, Lenore? In the end, the poem is somewhat unresolved - the bird is still there, staring at the speaker, as if his beak was in the speaker's heart.
Read about the poem and read the text here on eNotes.