Is there dramatic irony in Edgar Allan Poe's "The Raven?"

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Walter Fischer eNotes educator | Certified Educator

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There are, indeed, examples of dramatic irony in Edgar Allan Poe's The Raven, although the situational irony in Poe's famous poem is, to this educator, more pronounced. Situational irony refers to instances within a work of literature in which the opposite of what one expects to happen is what does happen. In The Raven, there is no well-defined outcome; the narrator/protagonist is befuddled and emotionally-drained. Readers of The Raven anticipate some resolution to the mystery of the large black bird that has invaded the sanctuary in which the lovelorn narrator sits, alone and despondent. Poe, however, does not offer any such sense of resolution, ending, as the poem does, with the narrator resigned to his diminished mental state and the raven continuing to sit atop the bust of Pallas. That, to this educator, is situational irony. An example...

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