Poe Poetry Analysis: Symbolism in "The Raven"
Use this Poe poetry analysis to better understand the meaning and symbols used in "The Raven". You can read the full text of the poem here.
Lenore: The narrator gives no description of Lenore. We do not know what she looks like or what exactly the relationship between Lenore and the narrator is. All we know is that the narrator really misses her. The lack of details regarding Lenore makes her a likely symbol. She may represent idealized love, beauty, truth, or hope in a better world. She is "rare and radiant" we are told several times, an angelic description, perhaps symbolic of heaven. Lenore may symbolize truth: the narrator cannot help but think of her, and her ubiquitous, yet elusive, nature haunts the narrative.The Raven: The most obvious symbol is contained in the poem's title. The raven enters the room imperiously and holds dominion over the narrator. The bird's darkness symbolizes death; hence, death becomes a constant reminder, an imperious intruder. If taken in a broader context, the poem may be about the inability of man to escape his ultimate fate, a reoccurring theme in Poe's short works.
Night's Plutonian Shore: The phrase "Night's Plutonian Shore" incorporates all the negative aspects associated with death. Pluto is the Roman god of the underworld; hence, his shore would be the underworld. Combined with "night," a common symbol for death and nothingness, and shore, representative of the vast ocean and all its mysterious inhabitants, Plutonian takes on an enhanced meaning.
The Raven Essay
1692 Words7 Pages
“The Raven” is a magnificent piece by a very well known poet from the 19th century, Edgar Allan Poe. Poe was well known for his dark and haunting poetry. Along with writing poetry, Poe was also recognized for his Gothic-style short stories. “The Raven” is one of Poe’s greatest accomplishments and was even turned into recitals and numerous television appearances. “The Raven” tells a story about an unnamed narrator whose beloved Lenore has left him. A raven comes at different points throughout the poem and tells the narrator that he and his lover are “Nevermore.” Poe presents the downfall of the narrator’s mind through the raven and many chilling events. By thorough review and studying of Edgar Allan Poe’s work, one can fully understand the…show more content…
Lenore’s absence also furthers to another absence that mimics the human’s incapability to know and understand what is happening (Freedman). Along with darkness, Poe uses a vivid language to achieve his single effect. Poe arranges time, place, and other details rapidly and clearly. He chooses each word carefully and requires that its meaning relates to the poem as a whole. Stanza 2 enhances and distinguishes the vivid effect Poe has already made (“Edgar Allan Poe” 52). “The Raven” is narrated from a first person tone which has a tone in the language of sorrow, weariness, and self-destructive thinking (Edwards). The contradictions of the poem and also the reflections that haunt the speaker are mostly unavoidable circumstances of the language that Poe chooses. Poe uses phrases such as “dying embers,” “Midnight dreary,” and “in bleak December” to agonize and satiate the reader’s view of the setting. These carefully chosen words assume intriguing and fascinating shapes and forms in the poem. These opening pictures help draw the readers into the speaker’s deteriorating mind. The tone of the poem is appropriate and well chosen for the subject, and the rhythm is also exquisite. Poe, with this tone and rhythm, uses wild but also tender melancholy in his lines. Mr. Willis claims “It is the most effective single example of fugitive poetry ever published in this country, and unsurpassed in English poetry for subtle conception, masterly ingenuity of versification,