Allusions In The Raven

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Many people would not be afraid of a simple bird such as a raven, however, there is a man who is terrified of one. Edgar Allen Poe’s “The Raven” is about a man who is mourning for his lost love, Lenore. One night in December, he is visited by an ebony, demonic Raven. The Raven constantly annoys the narrator and he is slowly driven to madness. Poe uses symbolism to illustrate the narrator’s loneliness and his grief for Lenore, as well as allusions to depict the dark, despairing mood of this poem. Undoubtedly, Poe utilizes symbolism of the Raven to represent loneliness and loss. While the Raven is sitting on top of the bust, the narrator mutters about the Raven, “Other friends have flown before / On the morrow he will leave me, as my Hopes have flown before” (Poe 58-59). The narrator is aware that the Raven will eventually leave. The Raven is therefore…show more content…
The narrator tells the bird, “Whether Tempter sent, or whether tempest tossed thee here ashore” (Poe 86). The author is referring to the devil. In biblical stories, the devil is usually tempting people to be on evil’s side. This explains why he is referred as the “Tempter” in the poem. Furthermore, the devil is rarely ever a representation of "good," instead it represents something that is grim and malicious. This use of allusion causes the audience to question if the Raven was really sent by the devil himself, leaving them in a mood of despair. Additionally, the narrator shrieks at the bird, “Get thee back into the tempest and the Night’s Plutonian shore!” (Poe 98). “Night’s Plutonian shore” is an allusion to the underworld of Pluto, the Roman god of death. The underworld is home to the souls of the deceased for eternity, generally not a cheerful place. The underworld is somber and gloomy, causing the audience to remain in a dark mood. The ghastly mood of the poem is demonstrated through Poe’s distinctive uses of
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