What is important about the title in Edgar Allan Poe's poem "The Raven"? Why did the author use this title?

1 Answer | Add Yours

beateach's profile pic

beateach | Elementary School Teacher | (Level 1) Educator

Posted on

The symbolism associated with ravens makes the title to Edgar Allan Poe's poem “The Raven” appropriate. In many European countries, the raven is a symbol of grief, sadness, or death. This alone would make the bird symbolic of the topic of the poem, as the man deals with his grief at the death of his beloved Lenore.

In Ancient Greek mythology, the raven acts as a messenger, which again is fitting for this poem. The poem says, "Ghastly grim and ancient Raven wandering from the Nightly shore—" As the man speaks to the bird he is looking for a message, hoping that it will be from his lost love. The speaker calls the bird “Prophet,” another allusion to a messenger. As the speaker questions the bird, the bird ominously repeats the word “Nevermore.” This is his message as he sits on the “bust of Pallas.”

Edger Allan Poe aptly named his poem “The Raven” based on the symbolism associated with the bird.

Sources:

We’ve answered 318,973 questions. We can answer yours, too.

Ask a question