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"The Raven" Annotations
Transcript of "The Raven" Annotations
"Then this ebony bird beguiling my sad fancy into smiling..."
"Let me see, then, what thereat is, and this mystery explore..."
"Deep into the darkness peering, long I stood there wondering, fearing, Doubting, dreaming dreams no mortal ever dared to dream before..."
"Presently my soul grew stronger, hesitating then no longer..."
"Eagerly I wished the morrow; - vainly I had sought to borrow From my books surcease of sorrow..."
"And the silken, sad, uncertain rustling of each purple curtain Thrilled me - filled me with fantastic terrors never felt before..."
"Perched upon a bust of Pallas just above my chamber door Perched, and sat, and nothing more."
The Raven Final Project
https://marketplace.secondlife.com/p/purple-tie-back-curtain/4008998 and edited by picmonkey
The mood of stanza eleven was indifferent.
The narrator's loss had taken a toll on him, and now he was having a conversation with a bird. He refused to believe the truth the raven kept repeating, though it was staring him plain in the face.
At first he tried to tell himself that the bird had a former owner that was depressed (much like himself) and that was how he learned how to say "Nevermore."
But in the figurative language we see how the man stuttered the word "Nevermore," and he began to catch a glimpse of what the raven what hinting at.
"'Tapping at my chamber door Only this and nothing more.'"
"Much I marveled this ungainly fowl to hear discourse so plainly... no living human being Ever yet was blessed with seeing bird above his chamber door..."
"'Other friends have flown before On the morrow he will leave me, as my Hopes have flown before.'"
"Till the dirges of his Hope that melancholy burden bore Of 'Never - nevermore.'"
"What this grim, ungainly, ghastly, gaunt, and ominous bird of yore..." (Poe, line 82)
"But whose velvet-violet lining with the lamp-light gloating o'er, She shall press, ah, nevermore!"
"'Thy God hath lent thee - by these angels he hath sent thee...'"
"Is there - is there a balm in Gilead? - tell me - tell me, I implore!"
"'Prophet!' said I, 'thing of evil! - prophet still, if bird or devil!'"
"'Leave my loneliness unbroken!'"
"And his eyes have all the seeming of a demon's that is dreaming... And my soul from out that shadow that lies floating on the floor Shall be lifted - nevermore!" (Poe, lines 122, 124-125)
Repetition: "And the Raven, never flitting, still is sitting, still is sitting"
Partial Rhyme: "And his eyes have all the
of a demon's that is
Allusion: "On the pallid
bust of Pallas
just above my chamber door"
Hyperbole: "And my soul from out that shadow that lies floating on the floor
Shall be lifted --- nevermore!"
Rhyme: "Leave no black plume as a
of that lie thy soul hath
Allusion: "Get thee back into the tempest and the
Repetition: "...my sad
into smiling" "
, thinking what this ominous bird of yore"
Rhyme (Partial): "Tell this soul with sorrow
if, within the distant
Metaphor: "bird or devil!"
Allusion: "Tell this soul with sorrow laden if, within the distant
on the tufted floor"
Rhyme (partial): "the air grew
, perfumed from an unseen
Metaphor/Imagery: "The air grew denser, perfumed from an unseen censer"
empter sent, or whether
Metaphor: "--- prophet still, if bird or devil!
Allusion: "Is there --- is there balm in Gilead?"
Onomatopoeia/Cacophony: "muttered," "rapping," "tapping"
Rhyme (Partial): "While I nodded, nearly
, sudden there came a
, As of some one gently
Rhyme Scheme: ABCBBB (The rhyme scheme is consistent for every stanza in the poem.)
Meter: Trochaic style that goes Stressed and Unstressed and has a syllable count of two; also, it has eight feet in all except the last line of each stanza which only has 3.5 feet (That structure lasts throughout the poem)
illed me with
antastic terrors never
Imagery: "And the silken, sad, uncertain rustling of each purple curtain"
Rhyme (Partial): "to still the
of my heart I stood
Rhyme (Partial): "Eagerly I wished the
;- vainly I sought to
from my books surcease of
Flashback: "Ah, distinctly I
it was in a bleak December"
Imagery: "And each separate
ghost upon the floor
Personification: "each separate
ember wrought its
upon the floor"
Symbolism: "From my books surcease of sorrow" his books are his escape (cease) from sorrow
Repetition: "On the cushion's
Rhyme (partial): "This I sat engaged in
, but no syllable
my soul grew stronger,
Rhyme (Partial): "But the fact was I was
, and so gently you came
, and so faintly you came
Personification: "Presently my soul
Rhyme (partial): "Startled at the stillness
by reply so aptly
er til his songs one burden bore"
Rhyme (partial): "Nothing farther then he
---- not a feather then he
Til I scarcely more than
---- not a
Repetition: "Other friends
have flown before
On the morrow he will leave me, as my Hopes
have flown before
Rhyme (Partial): "Back into the chamber
, all my soul within me
Repetition: "Ever yet was blessed with seeing bird
above my chamber door
Bird or beast upon the sculptured bust
above my chamber door"
Rhyme (partial): "Much I marvelled this
fowl to hear discourse so
reams no mortal ever
ared to dream before"
Rhyme (Partial): "Deep into that darkness
, long I stood there
" + "But the silence was
, and the stillness gave no
, and the only word there
Personification: "and an echo
back the word, "Lenore!""
Rhyme (Partial)/Alliteration: "Open here I
, when, with many a
Alliteration: "In there stepped a stately Raven of the saintly days of yore."
Assonance: "In there stepped a st
ven of the s
ys of yore."
Allusion: "Tell me what thy lordly name is on the
Night's Plutonian shore!
Rhyme (partial): ""Though thy crest be shorn or
, thou" I said, "art sure no
This image depicts the setting this poem took place in. Included in the picture is the novel the man had been reading, his chair, the bust of Pallas, and the raven. The setting is very eerie.
The figurative language portrays the mood of stanza one, which is innocent curiosity. It set up a mysterious atmosphere as well, because he had a visitor at midnight. Stranger still, he wasn't surprised at all that there was someone knocking on his door, he was merely curious.
The cacophony that Poe used established the mood as well. It portrayed the knocking as sudden, almost urgent.
The embers are symbolism. Like the dying embers, the man felt like his life was dwindling, due to the weight of his sorrows.
The figurative language explained how the man escaped his depression through reading. The mood for Stanza two was very somber. This stanza is the first time his "lost Lenore" is mentioned, and the reader feels pity for the man, drowning in his sorrows.
By stating the death of the embers, the imagery helps create the eerie mood of the stanza.
But the whole poem is a flashback, which is important. The flashback in itself means that the man lived to tell his story, and that he did not die like the embers on the floor.
The curtains are key to expressing the mood of stanza three. The stanza begins with describing them as "silken, sad, and uncertain."
As previously mentioned, the mood of the third stanza is one of uncertainty.
The figurative language explained how the man wasn't just curious any more. It was late at night and he was over-thinking things. He was terrified of the possibilities lurking outside his door. He felt 'rustled' by this and did not feel sure of himself, thus the loud sound of his beating heart in his ears.
The repetition in the stanza indicated that the man was trying to convince himself that there was nothing to be afraid of. He wasn't as sure of the visitor as he was in the first stanza.
The bright and cheery door gives off a sense of welcome and excitement. By asking the visitor's forgiveness, the man expressed how he welcomes the thought of company. He gathered his courage, and with a rush of adrenaline, he opened the door.
The mood of stanza four is inquisitive, fueled by the man's sudden boldness.
After fretting about the visitor in the last stanza, he gathered his wits to welcome his late night visitor. He became a gracious host.
The figurative language shows how his curiosity grew stronger- so strong, that he was compelled to see who was on the other side of the door.
He let a hint of annoyance enter his voice when he said he was busy napping, but then he "opened wide the door;" the actions of someone wanting a guest.
The door "deep into that darkness peering" is where the narrator's imagination takes over and the his state of mind becomes one of excitable agitation. And imagined whispers of the dark pour out the word "Lenore!" for him to hear.
Stanza five is when we start to see the mood of the poem start to take a sense of foreboding.
The narrator's mind began to run wild. His imagination started to bring unrealistic ideas from the darkness into the light, trying to give them reason and logic. Desperately he started hoping that his lost love, Lenore, had come back to him. This both excited and agitated him.
The figurative language shows his door being open to dark potential. The outside world may have been quiet, but quite the opposite was occurring in his brain. The tempting thought of Lenore being with him once more was over-bearing.
In this stanza the repetition described the extent to how overwhelmed he felt. Alexithymia was taking over. He gave an echo the ability to answer him, saying "'Lenore!' Merely this and nothing more."
This window lattice represents the man's burning desire to open doors, or in this case, open windows, and explore the night's unexpected turn of events.
The mood of the sixth stanza is very anxious.
The figurative language showcases how the narrator has come to the realization that Lenore is not there, but that someone - or something - else is. He tried to convince himself that it was only "the wind and nothing more," but he knew deep down that that was not the case.
Poe used the partial rhyme to emphasize the narrator's uneasiness.
With the bird "perched upon a bust of Pallas" it gave it a natural air of wisdom. For the narrator, this made whatever the raven said more believable and illuminating.
The mood for stanza seven was filled with the man's thirst for knowledge.
This stanza reveals that the narrator thinks of the bird as wise, like Pallas, so he was willing to take any advice the raven had for him. He believed their encounter to be enlightening and educational for him.
The figurative language embodied how the raven had come to the man with a purpose. The connotative word "perched" was repeated and capitalized to showcase the raven's gracefulness and agility. The bird's choice to rest on the bust of Pallas symbolized his comfort around wisdom.
This visual is of the Night's Plutonian Shore. The first thing the narrator assumed when he saw the bird was that it must have come from the underworld.
The mood for stanza eight was relief.
The figurative language displayed the narrator's relief. He smiled when he saw that the noise was only a bird; he was relieved to see its grim face. He knew immediately the bird was no coward, as he purposefully came from the land of suffering.
This visual symbolizes how the man was so desperate, so determined, that he translated the bird's simple word "Nevermore" into whatever it was he wanted to hear.
The mood for the ninth stanza is one of awe.
This stanza is where the reader begins to question the narrator's sanity. He wasn't even all that surprised when he heard the raven speak. He just stood there in admiration, ignoring the meaning behind the bird's cruel words. He couldn't believe the bird had come to him, of all people.
The figurative language meant how he felt unworthy, yet blessed with the bird's presence above his chamber door.
This image is of a loon taking off in flight. The loon is a symbol of hope. Therefore, the visual is symbolic of how the narrator's "Hopes have flown before."
The mood of stanza ten was uneasy.
The narrator chose to place his trust in the whimsical bird, seeing it as his only friend left. He was clearly losing his mind. The trauma he went through when he lost his beloved Lenore had proved to be too much.
The figurative language represented how Lenore was not the first one to leave him. He had suffered with abandonment many times before. It had become normal for those he cared about to leave, so naturally he accused the raven of leaving him as well.
The personification and repetition of his hopes taking off exemplifies how much loss has previously affected him.
"Startled at the stillness broken by reply so aptly spoken."
The waves in the image represent how abrupt the man's crashing realization was. It was sudden, like the waves of a storm.
The chair is a sign of comfort. The narrator had become comfortable in the presence of the raven, and he knew he must steady himself for the shocking revelation he was about to have.
Enlightenment was the mood of stanza twelve.
He pulled up his chair as if to get a better look at the raven, and to prepare himself for some serious thinking. Deep down he knows what the bird is getting at, but he ws not emotionally prepared for it yet.
The alliteration serves to show the meaning behind the figurative language; the man's focus was on the bird's darker qualities, as opposed to its wisdom. But despite the bird's dark side, the narrator was still intrigued by it.
This old oil lamp illustrates the soothing atmosphere as the man pondered over what the bird could be trying to tell him.
The mood of the thirteenth stanza is bittersweet.
Though the man imagined the raven's eyes to be burning into his chest, he remained at ease.
But in the figurative language he had an epiphany.
With the repetition he realized while he was relaxing in the velvet chair, enjoying the light cast by the lamp, that Lenore would never again be able to enjoy those things. He finally saw that she would not be coming back.
In the fourteenth stanza the narrator thought that the raven was sent by God to help him get over Lenore.
The theme of stanza fourteen is revelation.
This is the peak of the man's madness. The partial rhyme is used to prove his insanity. He felt like the air had become heavier by some invisible force.
He built on his theory, suggesting that their were angels in the room that were at fault for the dense air.
And then, with the figurative language, he suggested that the Raven was sent by God to help him overcome his grief for Lenore.
There is a sudden change in Stanza 15. While the man thought the bird was an angel in the previous stanza, he had now become convinced that the bird was sent by the devil.
Stanza fifteen is very pessimistic.
The raven interjected the man's painful rant, so the man turned his fury on the bird.
He called the bird out, but the bird remained unmoved and calm all the same.
The allusion within the figurative language emphasized the narrator's point. He was not asking if there was a balm in Gilead, he was asking if there was an end to his own agonizing suffering. The bird replied that there would never be.
"Aidenn," or the Garden of Eden, is depicted in this picture. It is a contrast to what the speaker is feeling in this stanza.
The mood for stanza sixteen is foreboding.
In the figurative language, the man acknowledged how the bird was still a prophet, even if he was sent by the devil.
The narrator had taken so many psychological strikes from the raven, but he still had one more question that he had to ask. He asked the raven if, in Heaven, he would ever be able to hold his Lenore again. The raven replied with, "Nevermore."
The single plume symbolizes how the raven had left his mark on the narrator, but he still refused to leave.
The mood of stanza seventeen was one of surrender.
The man experienced his final breaking point in this stanza. He had had enough of the bird's nonsensical "Nevermores."
The figurative language represented how the man was dying to go back to his lonely past self, when he did not have the answers to the questions he dreaded to ask. So he told the bird to leave, but it had other plans. The raven refused to go.
This visual embodies the glassy-eyed, demonic stare that the narrator had to live with for the rest of his days.
The mood of the eighteenth and final stanza of The Raven is hopelessness.
An important change happens in this stanza. It changes to present tense, which is crucial for proving the raven's point. It never did leave from its perch up on the bust of Pallas. It remained, haunting the man for the rest of his days.
The hyperbole was imperative as well for explaining the man's despair. He no longer had a purpose in life, so he gave up.