The Use Of Symbols And Allegory In Edgar Allen Poe’s ‘The Raven’

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The use of Symbols and Allegory in Edgar Allen Poe's 'The Raven'The word "gothic" evokes feelings of doom, depression, death and decay. It suggests old extravagant cathedrals and falling down buildings. "Gothic" also suggests doomed relationships and lost loved ones. Gothic literature is meant to scare readers as well as to remind readers of their own darkness, of the darkness that they are capable of being. In the gothic poem 'The Raven,' Edgar Allen Poe uses symbols and allusions to other works of literature to create a poem that describes the madness man can develop at the loss of a loved one.Great poems come from great authors, most of whom have interesting stories. One of the greatest poets in American literature was Edgar Allen Poe. To best understand his works, especially his poem "The Raven," it is important to know about his life. According to Terry Heller, Edgar Poe was born on January 19, 1809 in Boston, Massachusetts to David and Eliza Poe, both traveling actors. Poe's early life was full of tragic events. His father disappeared when he was three years old and his mother dies less than a year later. A foster family, the Allen's, from whom he claimed his middle name, then raised Poe. After briefly attending the University of Virginia, Poe joined the army. After leaving the army, he wrote for various magazines, during which time some of his most well-known stories were written. In 1936 Poe married Virginia Clemm, who was only fourteen years old at the time. Virginia passed away shortly after their marriage due to complications of tuberculosis. After Virginia's death, Poe became depressed and turned to drugs and alcohol for comfort. These, however, did not help Poe deal with the pain; he attempted suicide in 1848 and eventually died in October, 1849. Throughout all of his writing, Poe drew from tragic events in his life to create some of the most well known poems of all time (Heller).Gothic literature is characterized by an emphasis on the grotesque, mysterious, and desolate. Poe's "The Raven" is considered one of the best examples of gothic poetry in existence due to eerie, supernatural elements and tone of doom and decay. "The Raven" is about sadness, loss of hope, and the death of a loved one. Poe uses symbols and allegory to create an overall dark and weary scene where a young man encounters a raven in his chamber. The raven enters the room very much like royalty would, but only speaks one word - "nevermore." At first, the speaker receives the bird as a novelty, as a funny creature who just so happens to be in his presence. Upon speaking to the raven, however, the man becomes increasingly upset and eventually drives him to madness.Poe uses symbolism to describe the extreme grief that the speaker feels due to the loss of Lenore. Lenore is not only obsession of the speaker, she serves as a major symbol of loss in this poem. Upon first introduction to Lenore, the reader learns that she is lost, "Vainly I had...

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