Symbolism In Edgar Allan Poe's The Raven

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In “The Raven,” by Edgar Allan Poe, one of the most important symbols is the bust. Typically unnoticed by the reader, the bust is specifically detailed and characterized to give it a deeper meaning. The narrator states that the raven “[perches] upon a bust of Pallas just above his chamber door” (Baym 638). Pallas is known as a Greek goddess. She is the goddess of wisdom and the arts. It is in fact commonly understood that birds perch on statues of heroes or important individuals and it mean nothing. However, in this particular scenario a more in-depth idea is present. Authors do not waist words and time describing busts or inanimate objects if they are unimportant. The symbolism lying within this bust is the fact that the raven settles on…show more content…
In Edgar Allan Poe’s poem there are two interpretations attached to this word, time. The two types of time that the poem mentions are the month and the actual hour of the current event. This poem takes place “upon a midnight dreary” in December (Baym 637). The time fits well into the type of poetry being written – Dark Romanticism. It adds an eerie, uncertain, ghostly fear to the story, once again grasping the attention of the audience. The time, midnight, has been called the witching hour and the darkest hour of the night. There is clearly a correlation between not only the times, but also the mood and setting. Specifically, the month of December is “winter, nothing lives in the winter” (“Edgar Allan Poe’s ‘The Raven’”). December blatantly represents death. In addition, both midnight and December represent the end of something. Midnight signifies the end of a day, while December signifies the end of a year. While there is this depressing end, they both hold the “anticipation of something new, a change, to happen” (Hallquivist). Poe is symbolizing the end of happiness the narrator has had with Lenore, as well as the inescapable fate that will follow the narrator as well –…show more content…
The narrator announces that “ghastly grim and ancient raven wandering from the Nightly shore” has entered his room as an intruder (Baym 639). Nightly shore is found to be Pluto’s underworld in Greek mythology. In essence, the narrator is stating that the bird seems as if it is from hell. Raven enters as a comfortable intruder, not wavering or hesitating on its mission to the bust of Pallas. Holding the narrator captive by his constant by his single word “nevermore,” the bird brings turmoil and self-torture to the man. Just as hell brings inescapable torment, so does this bird. Most clearly, the author states
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