The Symbolism Of Plutonian In Edgar Allan Poe's The Raven

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“The Raven” by Edgar Allan Poe relates the story of a man heartbroken over the loss of his love Lenore. While attempting to forget his nightly sorrows in the volumes of his books, he hears a tapping at his door and then again at his window. Believing it is a simple visitor, the man opens the window, allowing a raven to enter. The raven settles on a bust above the narrator’s door, and the man proceeds to speak to it. Much to his surprise, the raven responds, but only with one word: nevermore. Under the impression that the bird is a divinely sent prophet, the narrator asks if he will ever be reunited with his lost love. However, the raven only responds with nevermore. Unable to remove the raven from his home, the man resigns himself to live in…show more content…
This is exemplified when the narrator says, “‘Be that word our sign of parting, bird or fiend!’ I shrieked, upstarting— / ‘Get thee back into the tempest and the Night’s Plutonian shore!’” (98-99). The word Plutonian is a reference to Pluto, the Roman god of death and the underworld. By itself this is a fitting allusion, but when used to describe the shore, Poe adds another layer to the relationship between the man and the raven. Night’s Plutonian shore alludes to the border between the land of the living and the land of the dead. By using this to describe the raven’s origin, the narrator is suggesting that the raven is a harbinger of death. However, this is not the death that leads to heaven, but rather one that leads to loneliness and…show more content…
For example, Poe writes, “On the cushion’s velvet lining that the lamp-light gloated o’er, / But whose velvet-violet lining with the lamp-light gloated o’er, / She shall press, ah, nevermore” (76-78). By shortening the word “over” to the one syllable o’er, the poet accomplishes many things. The one syllable word conforms to his chosen meter, ensuring that the rhythm of the poem is not interrupted unnecessarily. The use of o’er also displays his rhyme scheme more accurately, guaranteeing that his ever-present –or line endings remain intact.
Although “The Raven” is written in a consistent meter, Poe makes use of enjambment several times throughout the poem to assist with the flow of the lines. For example, Poe writes “And the Raven, never flitting, still is sitting, still is sitting/ On the pallid bust of Pallas just above my chamber door” (103-104). The poet utilizes enjambment to avoid unnecessary pauses in the work and ensure that the poem flows without awkward breaks. Rather than attempt to alter the wording to fit a natural pause, Poe allows the meaning of the writing to remain the same, ensuring that the poem conforms to the theme he
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