In Edgar Allan Poe’s “The Raven”, the author uses Repetition, Alliteration, Internal Rhyme, and Onomatopoeia to discuss a man mourning the death of his love and he is soon troubled by a raven, answering every one of the narrator’s questions by saying, evermore.” There are many examples of literary devices and elements in this poem.
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It’s late at night, and late in the year (after midnight on a December evening). A man is sitting in his room, half reading, half falling asleep, and trying to forget his lost love, Lenore. Suddenly, he hears someone knocking at the door. He calls out, apologizing to the “visitor” he imagines must be outside. Then he opens the door and finds nothing. This freaks him out a little, and he reassures himself that it is just the wind against the window. So he goes and opens the window, and in flies a raven. The Raven settles in on a statue above the door, and for some reason, the narrator’s first instinct is to talk to it. He asks for its name. Amazingly enough, though, the Raven answers back, with a single word: “Nevermore.” Understandably surprised, the man asks more questions. The bird’s vocabulary turns out to be pretty limited, though all it says is “Nevermore.” The narrator catches on to this and asks more and more questions, which get more painful and personal. The Raven, though, doesn’t change his story, and then he starts to lose his sanity. The main themes of Edgar Allan Poe’s narrative poem “The Raven” are devotion, loos and lingering grief that cannot be diminished. In Poe’s own words, he decided upon the raven as the poem’s primary symbol, because it represented “Mournful and Never-ending Remembrance.” The raven instigates the grieving young man’s distress and helps push him down the path towards what is expected that will eventually end in madness. By the end of the poem, the narrator realizes that the raven is actually his own grief-imprisoned and tortured soul.
In addition, the narrator starts to venture about what the bird means by “Nevermore”. The narrator is beginning to take the black bird seriously. The Raven isn’t a symbol of a lost maiden but a symbol of death and has always been a symbol of death. When we are young we are immortal because we don’t know we are mortal. When it occurs to us that someday we are going to die we don’t take it for granted and don’t take it seriously because that event is so far off that the day will never arrive. The poem is about the way we view death throughout our lives. At first it seems funny, then intriguing, then frightening, and then menacing, then like a big black cloud hanging over us and everyone else, including those we love, and making life seem meaningless and horrible.
“Quoth the raven, ‘Nevermore.” This is an example of repetition. Repetition is a literary device that repeats the same words or phrases a few times to make an idea clearer. Throughout the story, at the end of each stanza, Poe uses the words nevermore and nothing more, both words creating a sad tone to the poem. Both words have a negative inference, showing the reader the sadness of the narrator. The use of nevermore by the raven answering the narrator’s questions also tells the narrator that he will have no hope as well. “Eagerly I wished the morrow; – vainly I had sought to borrow.” This is an example of an internal rhyme, a rhyme involving a word in the middle of a line and another at the end of the line or in the middle of the next. While it seems odd, it gives the poem a musical tone as the audience reads it. The musical tone can help add to the overall tone of the poem, which is sad and depressing. “And the silken sad uncertain rustling of each purple curtain” This is an example of an assonance, which is, in poetry, the repetition of the sound of a vowel or diphthong in non-rhyming stressed syllables near enough to each other for the echo to be discernible. This can be considered to add to the rhythm of the poem, creating a certain tone for the reader, making them read slower or faster.
“Doubting, dreaming dreams no mortal ever dared to dream before” An alliteration, the occurrence of the same letter or sound at the beginning of adjacent or closely connected words, can add to the overall tone of the poem, giving it a rhythmic sound. It could possibly contribute to adding tension within the poem to get the reader more excited about what could happen next. “And his eyes have all the seeming of a demon’s that is dreaming” Similes can help get a better picture of an object or a person being described. A simile is a figure of speech involving the comparison of one thing with another thing of a different kind, used to make a description more intense using like or as.The simile above helps the reader see the evilness in the bird, or the way the narrator sees the evilness in the bird. This can help how the reader views the poem and how they view the narrator. “While I nodded, nearly napping, suddenly there came a tapping. “This is an example of an onomatopoeia. An onomatopoeia is the formation of a word from a sound associated with what is named. The description of the sound helps the readers know what the narrator heard and can help add to the feeling of paranoia or strangeness when the narrator answers the door and no one is to be there.
Throughout the poem, literary devices are used to express the sadness that Poe is trying to show us. Although the narrator goes mad, seeing as how he was conversing with a raven, at the end of the poem he still tells himself that he will go to heaven and see his dead lover once again, the last line trying to overcome the melancholy that Poe had so much shown into the poem. This is the speaker’s way of saying he will simply refuse to think about the subject of death. After all, what good is there in thinking about something so unpleasant? But the bird refuses to leave. This is how the shadow of death stays with us as we grow old. We have given hope and can only await our final hour.