Symbols and Allegory in Edgar Allen Poe’s ‘The Raven’

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The word “gothic” evokes feelings of day of reckoning. depression. decease and decay. It suggests old excessive cathedrals and falling down edifices. “Gothic” besides suggests doomed relationships and lost loved 1s. Gothic literature is meant to frighten readers every bit good as to remind readers of their ain darkness. of the darkness that they are capable of being. In the Gothic verse form ‘The Raven. ’ Edgar Allen Poe uses symbols and allusions to other plants of literature to make a verse form that describes the lunacy adult male can develop at the loss of a loved one.

Great poems come from great writers. most of whom have interesting narratives. One of the greatest poets in American literature was Edgar Allen Poe. To best understand his plant. particularly his verse form “The Raven. ” it is of import to cognize about his life. Harmonizing to Terry Heller. Edgar Poe was born on January 19. 1809 in Boston. Massachusetts to David and Eliza Poe. both going histrions. Poe’s early life was full of tragic events. His male parent disappeared when he was three old ages old and his female parent dies less than a twelvemonth subsequently. A surrogate household. the Allen’s. from whom he claimed his in-between name. so raised Poe. After briefly go toing the University of Virginia. Poe joined the ground forces.

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After go forthing the ground forces. he wrote for assorted magazines. during which clip some of his most well-known narratives were written. In 1936 Poe married Virginia Clemm. who was merely 14 old ages old at the clip. Virginia passed off shortly after their matrimony due to complications of TB. After Virginia’s decease. Poe became down and turned to drugs and intoxicant for comfort. These. nevertheless. did non assist Poe trade with the hurting ; he attempted self-destruction in 1848 and finally died in October. 1849. Throughout all of his authorship. Poe drew from tragic events in his life to make some of the most good known verse forms of all clip ( Heller ) .

Gothic literature is characterized by an accent on the grotesque. cryptic. and desolate. Poe’s “The Raven” is considered one of the best illustrations of Gothic poesy in being due to eerie. supernatural elements and tone of day of reckoning and decay. “The Raven” is about unhappiness. loss of hope. and the decease of a loved 1. Poe uses symbols and fable to make an overall dark and weary scene where a immature adult male encounters a Corvus corax in his chamber. The raven enters the room really much like royalty would. but merely speaks one word – “nevermore. ” At first. the talker receives the bird as a freshness. as a amusing animal who merely so happens to be in his presence. Upon talking to the Corvus corax. nevertheless. the adult male becomes progressively disquieted and finally drives him to madness.

Poe uses symbolism to depict the utmost heartache that the talker feels due to the loss of Lenore. Lenore is non lone compulsion of the talker. she serves as a major symbol of loss in this verse form. Upon first debut to Lenore. the reader learns that she is lost. “Vainly I had sought to borrow…sorrow for the lost Lenore ( Behme ) . Soon after. her name is whispered by both the talker and the air current. typifying that. for the talker. Lenore is everyplace. The verse form reiterates this by saying “This I whispered. and an reverberation murmured back the word. ‘Lenore! – Merely this and nil more. ” By stating “merely this and nil more. ” the talker admits that his whole life is about Lenore and nil more. In fact. the speaker’s head keeps rolling back to Lenore. retrieving how she used to sit in the chair and expression at the drapes. When talking to the Corvus corax. it is the inquiries that deal with Lenore that drive the talker mad.

The most prevailing symbol in this verse form is the Corvus corax. The raven represents the speaker’s mental instability and lunacy. Although the Corvus corax does non really demo up until line 39 of the verse form. Poe decided to title the verse form ‘The Raven. ” Possibly this was to pull the reader’s attending to the importance of the Corvus corax to the verse form. When the Corvus corax foremost appears. the talker compares it to royalty walking into a room. “In there stepped a baronial Raven of the angelic yearss of yore…but with the bearing of Godhead or lady. perched above my chamber door” ( Behme ) . Then there is the line that the raven repetitions over and over once more. “nevermore. ” The Corvus corax could reiterate this word merely because it is the lone word that he knows. However. because the Corvus corax decided to roost on the flop of Pallas. otherwise known as Athena the Greek Goddess of wisdom. it could be talking from cognition.

Along with symbols. Poe used allusions to make an ambiance of somberness. Within the first few lines of the verse form. Poe foreshadows that the verse form is full of literary mentions by saying first “…while I pondered. weak and weary / over many a quaint and funny volume of disregarded traditional knowledge. ” and so a few lines subsequently. “vainly I had sought to borrow / from my books cessation of sorrow” ( Behme ) . The talker in the verse form finds consolation in books and would be comfy touching to many different plants. Poe alludes to several different myths. including the before mentioned flop of Pallas. which is an allusion to the Greek goddess Athena.

This mention could demo that the Corvus corax is more intelligent than the reader realizes. or it could mention to the intelligence of the talker. Poe besides refers to Pluto. the Roman God of the underworld. “Ghastly inexorable and ancient Raven rolling from the Nightly shore – / Tell me what they lordly name is on the Night’s Plutonian shore! ” ( Behme ) . This mention reiterates the speaker’s focal point on Lenore’s decease by adverting Pluto and his relationship to the underworld. Poe besides alludes to the scriptural balm of Gilead. “- tell me – state me. I implore! / Is there – is at that place balm in Gilead? – state me – state me. I implore! ” ( Behme ) Gilead is located between the Sea of Galilee and The Dead Sea. The evergreen trees that grow there produce medical rosins that aid in healing.

Edgar Allen Poe wrote the verse form “The Raven” in an effort to get by with the decease of his immature married woman. The symbols in the verse form. including the adult female Lenore and the Corvus corax are illustrations of how the ideas of dead loved 1s are of all time present and can stalk the life that were left buttocks. The speaker’s lost loved one. Lenore. seems to be of all time present in the verse form ; the air current evens carries the susurration of her name. The loss and recollection of Lenore has driven the talker to madness. evidenced by the speaking raven sitting in his room. The allusions in “The Raven” reenforce the day of reckoning in the verse form every bit good as remind the reader that narratives are ne’er lone. but alternatively are common. even among different times and civilizations.

“The Raven” Works Cited

Behme. H. “Edgar Allen Poe: The Raven. ” _Heise_ . Raven’s Webmaster. 4 Oct2007. Web. 2 Apr 2013. .

Heller. Terry. “Poe. Edgar Allan. ” _Critical Survey of Short Fiction_ : _American Writers_ . Ed. Charles E. May. 4th erectile dysfunction. Vol. 3. Ipswich. Ma: Salem Press. 2012. 1347-1355. _Gale Virtual Reference Library_ . Web. 7 Apr. 2013. .

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