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The Raven

            "The Raven" is Poe's best-known poem and one of the most famous works in American literature. In Edgar Allan Poe's "The Raven," Poe employs repetition, symbol, and romantic elements to create a sense of hopelessness and uncertainty. It treats his favorite theme, the death of a beautiful woman and how to mourn for his lost love.
             The repetition in this poem appeals to the sense of hopelessness the speaker feels from loosing the women he loved. A raven comes into his chamber in the middle of a dark stormy night and the speaker sees the creature as a prophet. The speaker asks the raven questions and the raven responds only with nevermore. This is where the repetition comes from. For example, "Quaff, oh quaff this kind nepenthe and forget this lost Lenore!" The speaker asks if he will ever forget about Lenore, and the raven replies, "Nevermore." (14.83) Finally the speaker comes to a realization. "And my soul from out that shadow that lies floating on the floor shall be lifted - nevermore!" (18.107) The speaker comes to the conclusion that he will forever be in the shadow the raven has cast over him and his soul will never rise from the lost of his beloved Lenore. There is also repetition of "nothing more." "This I whispered, and an echo murmured back the word, "Lenore?" - Merely this and nothing more." (5.29) "Let my heart be still a moment and this mystery explore; - "Tis the wind and nothing more." (6.35) This repetition is showing us a longing for the speaker's lost love Lenore and the repeating of nothing more tells us that he gets his hopes up and then they are crushed when he finds it's only an echo, it's only the wind. It becomes apparent there is no hope for the return of Lenore.
             Symbolism is also used to create hopelessness and uncertainty. There is uncertainty in the dark of night, anything can happen. "Once upon a midnight dreary, while I pondered, weak and weary." (1.

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