Personification in The Raven

The raven symbolically represents the personification of death itself and serves as a reminder of what the narrator has lost. While the bird can speak, this ability seems to be its only human trait. Instead, it is the narrator’s perspective that personifies the bird. He places significance on its words and builds characteristics for the bird out of his imagination.

The Raven 1
"“other friends have flown before..."   (The Raven)

Poe's poem is primarily about death—of his beloved Lenore and of hope. Here, the narrator makes the implication that other friends have died, along with hope, and he hopes the bird will as well (which is a bit of a tongue-in-cheek joke that he would refer to the raven as a friend). However, the raven’s reply suggests that the bird, as death personified, has arrived and will remain.