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The Raven

The Raven

by Edgar Allan Poe

Love Theme

The speaker in "The Raven" loves a woman named Lenore. That's part of the nice balance of this poem. At times it's almost campy and over-the-top, with all the elaborate rhyming and fancy vocabulary. At its heart though, the poem is about a man who only wants one thing in the world: to be back with the woman he loves. Sadly, that's the one thing he absolutely can't have. This is a pretty depressing look at love; and, while Poe never even uses the word directly, love still pervades this poem.

Questions About Love

  1. Where does one draw the line between love and obsession? Can they exist at the same time? How would you describe the speaker's feelings for Lenore?
  2. Do you find his love for Lenore touching? Or maybe a little cheesy?
  3. Is there any way to know who exactly Lenore was, or what her relationship with the speaker was like? A wife, a girlfriend, a relative, just someone he knew?
  4. Do you see any point where in this poem where love is not tainted by grief?

Chew on This

Try on an opinion or two, start a debate, or play the devil’s advocate.

In this poem, the speaker talks about his lost love, but he is really consumed by his own sadness and his strange psychological obsession. The idea of love is buried under his self-involvement.

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