How is the narrator characterized in the poem "The Raven" by Edgar Allan Poe?

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The narrator of this poem is characterized as extremely sad, incredibly intelligent, and highly imaginative. First, he is grief-stricken and filled with "sorrow for the lost Lenore," his lover who has died. He describes the way he has tried to find "surcease of sorrow" by reading an old book, a "curious volume of forgotten lore." Then, when he hears a knocking at his door and no one is there, he imagines that it could be the ghost of Lenore, and this frustrated hope makes his soul seem to burn within him,—perhaps with grief, with fright, or with some combination of the two. When the raven actually steps into his room, he speaks to it, asking what its name is "on the Night's Plutonian shore," appearing to reference the Roman god of death, Pluto, and the Underworld itself. The bird also perches on a bust of Athena, the Greek goddess of wisdom, in the midst of the narrator's library. The narrator goes on to ask if there is "balm in Gilead" or hope of reunion with Lenore in "the distant Aidenn," or Paradise/Heaven. These myriad references and his well-rounded vocabulary also indicate a high level of intelligence. It seems possible that the narrator's fright actually stems from the combination of his grief, his intelligence, and his imagination.

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The narrator in the poem, "The Raven," by Edgar Allan Poe is characterized as distraught and overwhelmingly sad. He has lost his love, Lenore, and the visit from the raven seems to intensify those depressed feelings. The narrator is trying not to think of Lenore, but she becomes all he can think of. When the raven shows up, and he questions it, its only answer is "Nevermore." The narrator is left with the thought that he will never again see Lenore, that there is no place (such as Heaven) where they will be reunited. Before the raven appears, the narrator is able, for the most part, to push his memories of Lenore out of his mind, but by the end of the poem, he is in agony over his lost love.

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