Themes

The main themes in “The Raven” by Edgar Allan Poe are lost love and madness, enhanced by the motif of the extraordinary raven.

Lost love and madness

The speaker in the poem “The Raven” is depressed because Lenore, the woman whom he loved, is dead. Although no clues regarding their relationship are offered, we can assume that Lenore was either the speaker’s wife or his fiancée. Furthermore, note that there are no clues when it comes to Lenore’s death either. We do not know whether she died because of an accident, of a disease or if she was killed. The only thing we know is that she represents the speaker’s lost love, who is now among angels, in Heaven:

From my books surcease of sorrow—sorrow for the lost Lenore—
For the rare and radiant maiden whom the angels name Lenore—
Nameless her...

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