Literature is a mirror of life. The different aspects of issues encountered in everyday lives are reflected and commented upon in literature. Literature therefore employs a range of versatile stylistic and literary devices to achieve this purpose. One such example of literary devices includes the use of symbols. Symbols represent objects, situation or people that give a greater meaning or idea, other than their literal meaning. Symbols also create a direct link between the specific objects and the ways of life, abstract ideas, values or people. Famous poets have used symbols to engage the reader in their own imaginations while seeking the hidden meaning, beyond the basic literal meaning. In this work, the use of raven as a symbol in Edgar Allan Poe’s poem, The Raven, is reviewed.
In the poem, Edgar Allan Poe uses the raven as a symbol of a mournful and never-ending remembrance. Ideally, a raven is a black bird that resembles a crow. However, in the poem The Raven, Poe uses it as a symbol in different instances such as “In there stepped a stately Raven of the saintly days of yore” (Poe 38). Here, the raven is used as a symbol to indicate that it is stately just like how lords and ladies behave. Also, the quote “”Though thy crest be shorn and shaven, thou,” I said, “art sure no craven,” (Poe 38). In this line, the raven is compared to the “old world of kings and queens and knights” (Shmoop). The phrase also indicates an allusion of a shorn crest which symbolizes a medieval tradition.
Symbols are literary devices that derive greater meaning that derive greater meaning than their ordinary literary meaning. In the Poem The Raven, a raven is used to symbolize a mourningful and never ending remembrance. Whereas a raven is just a bird, Poe uses it as a symbol of a sorrowful realm.
- Poe, Edgar Allan. The Raven. New York, Scholastic Inc, 2000
- Shmoop. “The Raven Symbol Analysis.” Www.Shmoop.Com, https://www.shmoop.com/the-raven/raven-symbol.html. Accessed 21 Dec. 2017.