Edgar Allan Poe was one of the most prolific writers in American history and his most famous poem, The Raven, has been the subject of much debate by many critics, both friend and foe alike. This poem would be what immortalized Poe in the literary world. Weather scholar or blue collar man, the poem has a strange allure that pulls in the reader.
Poe lived in a very eventful time for America, the country was growing and radically changing, reflecting some aspects of his life. The United States was expanding its borders through annexation of territories and adding states such as Texas on March 1st, 1845, which would lead to war with Mexico starting June 4th of the same year. On March 3rd Florida also joined the United States as the 27th. Manifest Destiny: On December 2nd 1845 US President James K. Polk announced to Congress that the United States should aggressively expand into the West.
Edgar Poe lived a roller coaster like life as a starving artist, he often made just enough to scrape by. In 1827 Poe dropped out of school at 18, apparently due to his rich step fathers refusal to give him any money, then joins the Army and does well. In 1835, Poe would win a contest for ‘The Manuscript Found in the Bottle’ which helped to get his name out amongst the writing community. In the year of 1845, Poe wrote his most successful a renowned poem ‘The Raven’.
Poe was an intelligent man and as true a wordsmith as any of the other great writers of history , if not more so, but also like many of the greats, his was not truly appreciated for his works until late in his life. As was Aforementioned, Poe was the quintessential starving artist, his parents had died at an early age leaving him to foster parents and separating him from his brothers and sisters and his poetry was greatly underrated in his early years. His adoptive father had attempted to give Poe every opportunity to get ahead in life, but chose the road less traveled as a poet anyway. After dropping out of high school and searching for a sense of purpose, he decided to join the military, which he excelled in and achieved the rank of Sergeant. His father managed to help poe attend West Point Military Academy, but after the death of his adoptive mother, was thrown out in 8 months. Poe had been living in New York for only a year when he published ‘The Raven’. He also owned the weekly journal ‘Broadway Journal’, but despit working 14 hours a day, he could never quite scrape together a good living. Poe’s death in 1849 remains as mysterious as his writings were to this day, as there was no clear reason for his passing. However some speculate that he had drank himself to the grave.
The raven is one of the most acclaimed and dissected poems in american literature, its had critics attention since publication. Huseyin Bas for examole had mainly good things to say about the poem, such as commenting on other critics reviews ‘Many of the critics have always found the work fascinating”. Critic Clifford Edwards also reviewed the Raven and had his published critique in The Masterplots series, ‘The Raven’ is Edgar Allan Poe’s most famous poem, not only because of its immediate and continued popularity but also because poe wrote ‘The Philosophy of Composition,’…’.
V. Poe’s ‘The Raven’ has one deepening theme and has imagery throughout. ‘The Ravens’ theme seemed to be a deepening feeling of mania and despair as we followed the protagonists from his start in a state of mild sadness over a lovers death until he sinks into frantic madness due to a ravens repetition of the word ‘Nevermore’. Imagery was also a key factor in ‘The Raven’ and is used to create a gripping suspense. The most obvious is the raven itself, black, looming, and ominous, it represents the protagonists descent into a self induced madness.
The Raven is one of the most masterful and timeless poems to ever be written, and will continue to be acclaimed as long as poetry is read.