spirit of the dead and Raven

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I am doing a paper trying to relate the raven to spirit of the dead, showing how they are connected and related somehow. I am trying to basically compare the characteristics of both and show how they are two distinct poems but show how they are related and connected in meaning and symbolism.

please help me!!!!

-- Anonymous, February 25, 2002


I never read the spirit of the dead, but here's the symbolism I can draw up from the Raven.

The Raven comes at a time when the reader is remembering his long dead wife, Lenore. He lay down to sleep, hears a knock, opens door, sees no one, sees a raven perched on Pallas' bust. Now do some research (Google.com is a nice search engine) to find out who Pallas is and how he relates to the raven. The raven, as we see, starts out symbolizing hope, then progresses to insanity, then by the end of the poem, him being stuck in the shadow of the raven implies death for him. And all because of a stupid bird that could say, "Nevermore."

-- Anonymous, February 26, 2002

The Spirits of the Dead is an early poem perhaps related to Elmira Royster's dumping of Poe(The Assignation, Now are thoughts thou shalt not banish). The theme of remembrance of the dead in both poems becomes oppressive for the solitary man in a dreary place(their will shall overshadow thee: be still). This poem is all silence whereas the raven progresses quite noisily, even in the dialogue until the shadow and stillness of the unredeemed memory covers the paralysed narrator.

There you have the common thread. Using the early, shorter poem is easier, finding those elements within the longer more dramatic The Raven. The narrator in The Raven is at first seeking consolation, peace, reconcilaiton, some token or symbol of hope. But none comes from the messenger of Night. In the short poem the setting does all the talking: the cemetery of the dead who simply overshadow him, the "red orbs" of the sky tormenting rather than hopeful. The red orbs transforms the usually bright crystal stars of Hope into burning fever(Ulalume). See The Bells for such a progression in the color and function of light. The last setting is breeze, mist and dew in suspension similar to the motionless pall at the end of The Raven.

-- Anonymous, February 27, 2002

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