Symbolism Depicted in Poe's The Raven Essay
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In the popular television show, “One Tree Hill”, Lucas Scott once stated, “Some people believe that ravens guide travelers to their destinations. Others believe that the sight of a solitary raven is considered good luck or more than one raven together predicts trouble ahead.” People have many different opinions about what ravens signify. In Poe’s “The Raven” it becomes clear that the raven symbolizes emotional suffering and also portrays a vivid understanding of reality.
As the raven enters the room, its presence reveals emotional suffering and loneliness. For example, the intrusion of the raven suddenly makes, “the air [grow] denser” (129). By making the air grow denser, the raven has an emotional affect on the mind, body, and spirit of…show more content…
He wants it to leave because it is making him remember the memorable moments he shared with his loved one, Lenore. With the company of the raven, he is reminded of his current loneliness along with his lonely future. Thus, when the raven enters the chamber, it brings a sense of loneliness and suffering.
The raven also forces the narrator to accept reality and move on. For example, the narrator questions the raven whether “within the distant Aidenn” will he ever “clasp a rare and radiant maiden whom the angels name Lenore” (129). He ponders the thought of ever seeing Lenore in his after life. He is beginning to realize that the raven came to him to bring him a sense of reality. With this knowledge, he is full of sorrow. He longs to see her in heaven, but realizes that in reality this will never really happen. Also, the narrator wonders if his “soul from out that shadow…shall be lifted” while the raven replies, ‘nevermore’” (130). The shadow of the raven signifies the death of his beloved, and he knows that he will never be able to escape this shadow. He will never again find happiness in his life. The reality that the raven brings helps him comprehend the fact that hiding from his troubles will not make them better. Therefore, it forces him to accept reality and move on.
Ravens can be seen in many different ways. Some people see them as good luck while
Comparitve Analysis of ‘the Raven’ & ‘Tell Tale Heart’ by Edgar Allan PoeGet Your
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Comparative Analysis of the Tell Tale Heart and the Raven Edgar Allen Poe was the author of several daunting works of literature. Two examples of Edgar Allen Poe’s literature are “The Tell Tale Heart” and “The Raven. ” If we compare these two works, one a short story and the other a poem, we will see that Poe shows great mastery of symbolism, as well as other forms of literary technique. In these two stories, many people would say that Poe uses the tales to reflect the way he perceives life in general. Poe makes obvious use of symbolism, metaphors and imagery within these two works of literature.
Within the poem “The Raven” Edgar Allen Poe uses imagery, in many different forms. Imagery is words that are used to create a picture in the mind of the reader. One example of Imagery within “The Raven” is “Ghostly By the author “The Tell Tale Heart,” “The Raven” is similarly a long piece of writing, but not as long, and gloomy. Edgar Allen Poe’s “The Tell Tale Heart” is about how he becomes so insane and paranoid that he kills an old man just because his one creepy blue eye reminded him of a vulture. Thus, here, Poe’s paranoia for birds and their negative symbolism is also evident.
In the end, Poe cuts the man into pieces and hides him cunningly. When the police come, he seems perfectly innocent, but then Poe hallucinates and believes to hear the heart thudding. He ends up admitting his guilt to the police. This theme of realization of either reality or the truth is evident in The Raven also. [pic]”The Raven,” on the other hand, exalts a bird as a symbolization of death in order to forebode Poe’s wife and cousin’s, Virginia Clemm’s, death since she was suffering from tuberculosis. Poe characterizes this bird through a speaker as especially annoying for its tapping and sets up the poem in a “bleak December. At first, the speaker is tired in his lonely house and seems to be almost happy to open the door for the visitor, but then he finds out that there seems to be nothing outside except that when he cries out Lenore, he hears an echo. Lenore is a reference to a poem originally called “A Paean” but changed to “Lenore” in 1843. It is about how a man should be happy that a beautiful young woman is dying. He should exalt the fact that the woman is going to a better place, also known as Paradise or “Aidenn” in this poem.
Thus, the echoing of “Lenore” first hints to the reader that this “Lenore” represents Poe’s suffering wife, but in this poem, she is characterized as the speaker’s already dead wife. The reader knows that the speaker’s wife is already dead since later in the poem the speaker says he wants the raven to leave him in “unbroken loneliness. ” That is, Poe is trying to imagine getting news of the death of his wife through the speaker in his poem so that when his wife does die, he will not be terribly traumatized. Later, the speaker hears more rapping at his door.
This time when he opens it, he finds a raven so noble and majestic that it would even dare to perch on Pallas Athena’s, the Goddess of Wisdom and War’s, bust, or breast. The first question he asks the raven is what its name is since he believes it to be from the “Night’s Plutonian shore,” which means a messenger of Ares, the God of the Underworld and dead. God Ares. The raven simply replies “Nevermore” and answers every question with this word. The raven’s name as “Nevermore” also furthers the statement that it is a symbolization of death.
At first the speaker makes himself believe that when the raven says “nevermore,” he is muttering the fact that some other person has died and not the fact that someone his wife is dead. That is, he does not want to believe that it is his wife who the raven is representing as a messenger, but he does come to a reconciliation with himself as he muses over the meaning of “nevermore” and mentions a “she” that will never sit on the velvet couch anymore. This “she” most definitely resonates as Poe’s wife. [pic]The speaker then laments his wife’s death and starts using exclamation points to stress his sadness at the recollection.
When he says “quaff, oh quaff this kind nepenthe, and forget this lost Lenore,” the speaker is beseeching the bird to spare him the memory of “Lenore. ” Another interpretation of the phrase is that Poe is using the speaker to try and beg some supernatural being, the raven, not to take his wife’s life. The speaker also mentions Seraphim, a very high ranked angel who was fiery with ardor for divinity in the Genesis, hence the mention of incense. Here, the speaker seems to be trying to scare the raven away so that he would not remember the sad fate of his wife.
He even goes so far as to ask the raven “is there balm in Gilead,” a hill of testimony east from the Jordan River, meaning can he do anything to bring his wife back to life. Of course, here, since the speaker’s wife is already dead, it is more precise to say that Poe is asking the question through the speaker so that he may know a way to cure his own wife’s suffering. The bird consistently and unfortunately replies with “nevermore” and refuses to leave, always haunting the speaker’s and Poe’s soul and reminding him of his moribund wife.
Clearly, Poe uses repetition and exclamation points to emphasize the most important points such as “rapping at my chamber door” and “tapping at my chamber door in adjacent lines. ” Also, evident in those two lines is Poe’s eccentric rhyming pattern. He not only uses rhyming words at the end of some lines but also places rhyming words within a line as in “rapping” and “tapping” or as in “morrow” and “borrow” in the third line of the second stanza. This rhyming style seems to provide an impetus to the dreary poem and provide the impetus for the reader.
In addition, Poe likes to use alliteration to stress certain ideas and the tone. For example, in the first line, he describes himself as “weak and weary,” and in the second stanza he calls Lenore the “lost Lenore. ” Thus, Poe, known for his Gothic poems, expresses his profound belief in the supernatural and afterlife when he mixes Pagan and Christian allusions. Here, he is trying to deal with his wife’s illness and seems to know that she will die soon enough through the insight of how another man, the speaker, deals with his wife’s death.
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Through this pessimistic poem with “nevermore,” “nothing more” or some synonym at the last line of each stanza, Poe shows the reader the fleetingness of life and the soothsayer abilities of birds. This is a unified essay discussing how Edgar Allan Poe tries to scare the reader in both “The Raven” and “The Tell Tale Heart. ” In this essay ideas were used from both passages to establish a controlling idea about how Poe scares the reader. Evidence from both passages were used to develop the controlling idea, and to show how he used specific literary elements or techniques to convey ideas. (Symbolism, irony, similes,
Author: Alfred Gobeil
Comparitve Analysis of ‘the Raven’ & ‘Tell Tale Heart’ by Edgar Allan Poe
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