Does The Speaker Feel GUILTY Over The Death Of His Lover In 'THE RAVEN'? : LUSENET : The Work of Edgar Allan Poe : One Thread

Does the speaker feel guilty about the death of Lenore in 'The Raven'? DId he perhaps kill her therefore he will "Nevermore" find peace and never join her in heaven? Please help, this idea is hopefully central to a 3000 word report due in next week!! Thanks.

-- Anonymous, February 17, 2002


This is to be honest- extremely remote. Although Poe keeps things vague and suggestive AND in certain details one might interpret a hidden murder(Tale of the Ragged Mountain), this poem seems more concerned with another problem. For Poe the importance of having future Hope anchored in a female ideal(To Helen)was paramount, but uncertain. After all he knows his place, past memories behind him, shadowy death ahead. He alternates between hope and despair and the Raven puts him squarely on the edge of the dilemma. And being stuck with no assured hope but an assured loss of the past makes the Raven a shadow over over his soul, en eternal limbo of the man still alive but all happiness lost.

So as an emblem of a "Mournful and Never-ending Remembrance" (Poe's "The Philosophy of Composition") this is the melancholy tension running throughout Poe's work. The woman is mostly symbolic but the poem restates Poe's personal position viv a vis the world and eternity.

Guilt does enter a bit in if you read "Eleanora" and even "Ligeia" and "Morella" where the hero struggles to get on with his life(remarry) but the first love beyond the grave binds him. Assuredly, as strong as that bond is, and as fixed in existential haunting as the writer is, Poe is normal enough to desire escape and feel horror mixed with his love's undying presence. That is the complexity that removes Poe from simple stock plot endings. If you have ever felt damned by your Muse once the books are put away and the lights are off, you may understand part of what he was going through. There is no question of remorse, only of moving from the comfort he tried to have of hoping to tie in with Lenore in heaven to the haunted separation sealed by the continual presence and repeating message of the Raven.

Articles on The Raven at

-- Anonymous, February 18, 2002

yes he's guilty...because i saw him at krispy kreme and he ate 4 doughnuts. he's looking chubby.

-- Anonymous, February 19, 2002

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