The Ravengreenspun.com : LUSENET : The Work of Edgar Allan Poe : One Thread
In idiot terms what does The Raven (poem) Mean?Tome it's just a bunch of rhyming words. answer A.S.A.P Thanks Dan,
-- Anonymous, November 17, 1999
The poem the raven is talking about the raven who is reminding Edgar Alan Poe about his wifw who he no longer has. It's kind of hard explaining it on aol. Do some research on Edgar Alan Poe and read the Raven again and you'll understand. When you go to read it think of his life and think of the Raven kind of his conscience.
-- Anonymous, November 18, 1999
Well, The Raven is a long poem about this guys wife, Lenore. The raven somehow reminds the man of his loss, over and over again. This drives him to madness. Many think the raven was in the imagination of the main character of the poem, a product of his own thoughts, his pondering over the "lost Lenore". I've done quite a bit of research on Poe's work, so you should too. It's pretty good stuff.=)
-- Anonymous, November 23, 1999
Well, the fact of the matter is that there can be several meanings to The Raven, just as there can be several meanings to any other work of literature. You need to ask yourself questions while you are reading it in order to better understand it. What's important is to figure out what it means to you, not what it means to someone else. My concern with this posting is to state that no where in the poem does it say anything about the main character ever having been married to Lenore. Although at one point in time I to was mistaken when I automatically assumed that she is (or was) his wife, there is always the possiblity that she could have been someone else of significance to the main character. All in all the main concept is the contemplation of absence and gothic grief.
-- Anonymous, November 24, 1999
I think the raven is the answer to the already insane main character. That the main character grovels and grovels for this "Lenore" until his mind snaps and brings out from his mind a personification of his maddness. This is to be the raven. The raven says over and over, " Nevermore." This word could be represented as " Nevermore" will you be haunted by Lenore." or " This maddness of Lenore with be with you nevermore." This questions has inspired poets and writers to write complete volumes of books upon that very same question.
-- Anonymous, December 01, 1999
My own fanciful theory is that the narrator in the poem is obsessed with a young woman named Lenore (I like to think of her full name as Elenore Ravenshead - with black hair), perhaps he even stalked and murdered her when she did not return his attentions - that would be consistent with some of Poe's darker short stories. The narrator's twisted mind cannot deal with what he's done so he buries the memory from his consciousness but it returns in the form of an imaginary talking raven. The reader will notice that the narrator recognizes fairly quickly that the bird can only speak the single word "nevermore" and yet he continues to utter comments and questions that, when he hears the predictable response, infuriates him. In this sense it is not the raven that torments him, but his own actions.
-- Anonymous, December 20, 1999
Interesting hypothesis Dan (Lenore was murdered by main character in 'Raven'), however, Lenore may also symbolize Poe's mother (Eliza Poe, famous actress of the period), who he lost very early in life, not through murder (and certainly not through matricide!) but through ordinary illness of the time.
-- Anonymous, January 13, 2000
Be careful what you ask for Dan, especially across the internet! : ) Seriously though, as a life long fan and admirer of E. A. Poe, I feel some pangs of regret that anyone can read this work and see it, simply, as a bunch of rhyming words. It has far more to offer than that.
I would presume that since you need this as soon as possible and your request was dated November, my response would be a bit late. So may I respectfully suggest you just stick with the works of Seuss and Green Eggs and Ham? It still rhymes but places minimal demands upon the heart or the intellect. Just kidding dude : )
Not too bad young lady! However, I tend to agree that a wedded relationship is not even implied except and only in the most attendant manner. As the character draws a chair in front of bird and bust and door, he rests his head on the cushions velvet lining that She shall press, ah, nevermore. Does this mean to imply that Lenore had once manually pressed or ironed the wrinkles from this velvet lining? Is this some indication of her mundane wifely duties and therefore the inference could be made that their relationship had been officially endorsed by man and spiritually sanctioned by their church? I have heard this argument before. Personally, I think its a stretch and a rather ambiguous analysis made by late 20th century man upon a mid 19th century work. My preference is that it represents the characters own sorrowful recollection of Lenore, herself, reclining in that very chair.
Youre absolutely right, it is really good stuff! Down through the years, many have attempted comparisons with modern writers. The latest, and most laughably, Steven King. My view is that there has yet to exist an equal with a gift so profoundly demonstrated by E. A. Poe.
Again, there is much too little in this work to presume a married relationship between the character and Lenore. Also, I respectfully disagree that the Raven repeatedly reminds him of Lenore. If there is anything that comes across so boldly in this work, it is the indisputable fact that the character requires no external stimulus to provoke the merest memories of Lenore. Clearly, he is desperate to forget!
In his loss of Lenore, the character has long endured an intolerable existence without her. He will begin to trust in the improbable. He begins looking for solace in events that are impossible and for peace of mind that, he knows, is unattainable. He is inconsolably searching for anything that will ease the pain he feels for his lost love. His utter despair is smothering him, his anguish growing by the hour, his endurance failing him at a faster and faster pace. His only remaining dignity left to him is his own miserable loneliness. Ultimately, in the final stanza, the Raven deprives him even of this.
What ever relationship was shared between Lenore and the main character, I can comfortably assure you it was significant.
Insane you say? Despairing, certainly! Desperate to ease his pain, absolutely! Eager to empty his mind of memories of Lenore, without doubt! He is also frantic, anxious, despondent and miserable. Yet, however improbable it appears to you or I, to him, the Raven represents a final and hopeful link, some propitious possibility that he may, somehow, embrace Lenore once again. To the character, whether this occurs in heaven or in hell is of little import.
Is he insane? Or has he simply reached a point of desperation that you or I have yet to experience or even acknowledge. Poe, like you or I, was merely the product of his experiences. His genius lay in his ability to effectively convey the passion, the moods and the visions as he saw or imagined them to be. I suggest you may want to read Poes own description of how the poem The Raven was constructed. It is a fascinating read and a brief peek into his genius.
Very interesting theory, Dan. I too, see many similarities to some of Poes short stories, particularly, the Imp of the Perverse and The Tell Tale Heart. While I can see how your conclusion could be drawn, I do not see stalking and murder as necessarily consistent with the story conveyed in The Raven.
What I do see as a steady theme in these three works, however, is Poes extraordinary understanding and apparent fascination with the predisposition of man to capriciously disobey those inherent rules that ensure his own survival, his own sanity, or even his own comfort. In effect, why does man (or woman for that matter) take specific risks or pre-considered actions that so clearly breach his own common sense and prudent reasoning.
I do not recall the source but I think that Poe once voiced his own disappointment that man had changed so little in the thousands of years of his existence, in spite of his superior intellect and ability to reason. Ironically, in many respects, this appears just as true today as it seemed 150 years ago.
-- Anonymous, January 19, 2000
Well, it's seems to be something Poe wrote about his former wife Virginia Clemm. The way I understood it was that the raven symbolizes death and it is always knocking at his door to remind him of his lost Lenore(aka Virgina). Death has always plagued his life and at this point in time, it is reminding him of his lost wife, Virginia. Poe probably wrote it because of his wife's death.
-- Anonymous, April 11, 2000
I love you! Sorry about all the hard times.
-- Anonymous, May 08, 2000
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-- Anonymous, May 09, 2000
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-- Anonymous, May 09, 2000
i AM the raven. rap tap tap... NEVERMORE!
-- Anonymous, August 04, 2000
in short the meaning of this poem is....the poet has lost the love of his life and now his gone insane...so he starts seeing a raven .... and when ever he asks him self a question, the raven(his own consciences)asks back with "nevermore"......sooo in the end he drives HIMSELF crazy..............(i think!!!!!)
-- Anonymous, March 11, 2001
The part the strikes me the most is the use of the words 'plutonian shore' Pluto was the greek(?) mythological character who ferried souls across a sea to the underworld. and Poe is asking did tempter (the devil? -temptation) send the raven to him or tempest (storm?) throw him into his chamber-room from that mythological sea. This poem is pretty dark imo, there are alot of references to the spiritual world in it.
My copy of it uses 'raven' in the eigth verse, but 'Raven' throughout the remainder of the poem, is that just a typo or is it significant at all?
-- Anonymous, September 17, 2001
I think the poem, "The Raven" is about a man who is hunted by the death of his 'Lenore'. He slowley drives himself insane as he thinks the raven at his chamber door is a sign from the devil, signally it was his time to pass on.
-- Anonymous, June 11, 2002
FIRST OF ALL, I'M A HUGE FAN OF POE.SECOND MY CONCLUSION WOULD BE THAT "THE RAVEN" WAS NOT ABOUT HIS EARLY WIFE VIRGINIA (BECAUSE SHE DIED 2 YEARS LATER,1847 AND THE POEM WAS PUBLISHED IN 1845)BUT ABOUT A MAN(COULD BE THE AUTHOR) WHO IS ALONE,WAITING FOR THIS LENORE,EITHER TO SEE HER ONCE MORE OR TO COMPLETELY FORGET HER.IT SEEMS THAT LENORE WAS A VERY SPECIAL GIRL IN HIS LIFE AND NOW HE MISS HER THE MOST AND WANTS TO FORGET BUT HER MEMORY STILL HUNTS HIM AND EVERYTHING THAT MOVES REMINDS HIM OF LENORE.I THINK THAT THE BIRD REPRESENTS HIS SELF-CONCIENSE THAT CONTINUALLY TORTURES HIM BY TELLING HIM THE WORD HE HATES MORE "NEVERMORE". ANOTHER THING IS THAT WHENEVER HE TALKS ABOUT A GIRL HE LOVED HE ALWAYS WRITES SOMETHING LINKING THE GIRL WITH ANGELS.
-- Anonymous, September 29, 2002
-- Anonymous, November 27, 2002