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The Raven

  • Date Submitted: 07/31/2011 01:25 AM
  • Flesch-Kincaid Score: 61.9 
  • Words: 569
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How does Edgar Allan Poe use sound to parallel the nature of his poem’s subject matter?

‘The Raven’ written by Edgar Allan Poe, is filled with rhymes and literacy techniques making it an excellent example showing how Poe uses sound to parallel the nature of this poem’s subject matter. It was also one of the best known poems of the nineteenth century considering the quality of each verse. Poe creates his poems in such a way, that they are as musical, hypnotising and captivating as possible.

  The meter of the poem is most probably trochaic octameter with a stressed syllable followed by an unstressed. The poem begins with this type of feet ‘Once upon a midnight dreary,’ and this starts the poem off with a rhythm. Combine this and the predominating ABCBB end rhyme scheme, the frequent use of internal rhyme and the refrain of ‘nevermore’ gives the poem a musical lit when read out loud.

  The poet has also used feminine rhyme in his poem and in some verses, the stressed syllables are similar to the ones in this line, ‘But the fact is I was napping, and so gently you came rapping,’. The effect of using the feminine rhyme is to make the poem get the musical rhythm that would push the readers forward and into a beat.

  Throughout the poem, Poe emphasises on the ‘O’ sound in words such as ‘Lenore’ and ‘nevermore.’ The effect of this is that it shows readers the melancholy and lonely tone of the poem which also helps establishing an atmosphere thus relates to subject of the poem.

  ‘And my soul from out that shadow that lies floating on the floor,’ contains a sibilance which is similar to alliteration except that it focuses more on the repetition of the ‘s’ sound thus creating a hissing effect. This literacy technique contributes to a dispiriting and depressing tone one of which Poe maintains throughout the poem.

  A metaphor has also included as Poe refers the’ Night’s Plutonian shore’ as a vast ocean washing up against the edge of the protagonist’s...

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