“The Raven” is a poem about a man, who after losing several loved ones, finds himself having a conversation late at night with a raven. This poem was written in 1845 by Edgar Allan Poe to show his feelings towards the loss of someone he loved dearly and was influenced by his traumatizing childhood where he suffered many tragedies growing up. Poe uses pathos in this poem to show fear, paranoia, and hopelessness, while using ethos when he uses his feelings to connect to his audience, making the story relatable. Poe wrote this for the people who want to ignore their past but just can’t let go. He ends the poem with, “And my soul from out that shadow that lies floating on the floor/ Shall be lifted – nevermore.” Here he is saying that there is nothing you can gain if you let your past haunt you, and I believe that applies to logos in the way that he knows how his audience feels and that last line is him telling them the truth from his personal experience because he is trying to help them.
Pathos relates to emotional appeal and it is present throughout the whole poem to invoke sympathy from an audience to make the audience feel what what the author wants them to feel. In the line, “And the silken, sad, uncertain rustling of each purple curtain Thrilled me—filled me with fantastic terrors never felt before;” the speaker is beginning to show some fear in the poem, and with his heart beating fast from the terror, to himself he keeps repeating, “‘Tis some visitor entreating entrance at my chamber door— Some late visitor entreating entrance at my chamber door;— This it is and nothing more.” convincing himself there’s nothing out there and there’s no need to be afraid. He continues with paranoia as he converses with the raven, getting angered as the raven only knows one word; “Nevermore.” The speaker tells the bird how he feels, asks it questions, but all the raven says is “nevermore,” and it makes him feel resentment. Poe seemed to have put a lot of emotion into writing this poem, he seemed to really reflect on how he felt after all the tragedies he suffered in his younger days.
The author uses ethos to show to his audience that he is worth listening to by relating to them. In a way, he wrote this poem for the people who are in his situation that have suffered from the loss of loved ones. The raven repeats the word “nevermore” multiple times, which represents the feeling of not being able to get something out of your head. What he is doing there is trying to relate to the audience because when something that tragic happens, it affects you mentally to the point where it haunts you. Logos begins to apply here because it’s logical that it is not easy to get over the fact that you lost someone of great meaning to you. When you lose someone, in the author’s case, his mother and wife, your state of mind begins to change from the sorrow you feel, and as for him, he began going a little insane in that point of his life where he wrote this poem.
The purpose of this poem was simply for Edgar to release his emotions and describe how he feels. The raven represents his pain for what he is mourning, like when he tells the bird to leave, “Quoth the Raven “Nevermore.”” Although “The Raven” is one of his most famous pieces of work, Edgar Allan Poe tends to write with a darker tone that strikes you more on the emotional side. He reflects his life without directly speaking about himself and his poetry is how he releases the pain he’s gained from years of suffering. He attracts an audience that has had similar experiences and can relate to what he went through. Poe wanted to help people, he wanted to help them get over their dark past, and by writing this poem, he achieved his goal and the poem did what it was meant to do.
In conclusion, “The Raven” is a poem that explains that the sorrow from losing a loved one, will bring you pain and sorrow that will stay with you forever. He’s reflected that the death of a loved one will have an impact so strong it will be impossible to forget, as the raven says, “nevermore,” is when you’ll forget. Edgar, with his dark, psychotic tone, has managed to describe to the reader and blow the reader’s mind with his view on death. This is a very dark and meaningful poem that shows the amount of insanity that the great sorrow of the death of a loved one will bring upon you. It is sort of a twisted, yet fascinating poem to read and will remain a great poem in the American eyes for eternity.