Symbolism In Edgar Allen Poe's The Raven

Good Essays
Symbolism is a literary device that uses symbols to give ideas and phrases a symbolic meaning rather than its literal meaning. Edgar Allen Poe, the author of "The Raven", uses symbolism throughout the story to help the audience understand the poem. Symbolism in "The Raven" includes Lenore, the raven, and the Night's Plutonian shore. The three examples of symbolism in "The Raven" explain the narrators' psychological state. As a consequence of the death of Lenore, the narrators' wife, she becomes a symbol in the poem. Whenever the narrator hears a sound, or feels a presence in a room he concludes it is Lenore. When the narrator hears a rapping on his door, he suspects it is Lenore outside. “And the only word there spoken was the whispered word,…show more content…
The first introduction of the raven is when it flies through the window and sits above the chamber door. “In there stepped a stately Raven of the saintly days of yore. / Not the least obeisance made he; not a minute stopped or stayed he; / But, with mien of lord or lady, perched above my chamber door—" (Poe 38-40). The narrator begins to speak to the bird, which is a symbol of his psychological state. The narrator is frustrated because the bird only responds "Quoth the Raven, 'Nevermore'" (Poe 48). The narrator gets frustrated with the Raven and starts to rant and yell at the bird for the lack of response. Poe ends the poem with a very upset narrator and the raven still sitting above the chamber…show more content…
Plutonian is a reference to the dark and frightening God of the underworld; Plutonian is a symbol for Poe's interest in the afterlife. The night and shore are symbols for the vast and dark world at night and the mysterious ocean. The narrator introduces the Night's Plutonian shore symbol by saying, “Tell me what thy lordly name is on the Night’s Plutonian shore!" (Poe 47). Since the Night's Plutonian shore is referring to the night, and the narrator asks the raven what thy lordly name is; it is assumed the Raven is a god or lord of the night. Another instance when the Night's Plutonian shore is mentioned is when the narrator becomes frustrated with the bird and demands it leaves. “Get thee back into the tempest and the Night’s Plutonian shore!” (Poe 98). The Night's Plutonian shore is dark, mysterious, and tempting place the author could let himself go into as a result of his grief. He decides to give up on the bird, but not to give in to the Night's Plutonian shore. “Leave no black plume as a token of that lie thy soul hath spoken! / Leave my loneliness unbroken!—quit the bust above my door! / Take thy beak from out my heart, and take thy form from off my door!” (Poe 99-101). He dismisses the Raven, but at the end of the story the Raven is still sitting above the chamber door; this symbolizes how he is still in mourning and still has his dark mind with him. In Conclusion, "The Raven" is a poem about
Get Access