Mythology in "The Raven"

Apr 20, 2015

In “The Raven” there are many mythological references, the five i chose were Balm in Gilead, Pallas, Plutonian, Seraphim, and Nepenthe. I chose those because after doing research of all of them i found all these connections to the man or the raven in the poem. Most of the ones i chose involves death in a way or a dream.

Balm in Gilead is a healing medicine made from a resnouns gum of a bush. In the poem the Balm in gilead is to ease someones sorrow. Also there is a traditional song called “balm in gilead” the lyrics says that the balm is made so that the wound is completely healed and the people have gained their hopes once again. This is related to The Raven because all the man wants to do is free his soul from sorrow and be able to let go of his past love Lenore.

Pallas is Athena the goddess of wisdom and craft. In stories is told that she leaped out of her father(Zeus) head months after he ate his wife(her mom), Metis(the most knowing). I think this is related because the crow goes into the house after he taps on the doors and gets the man to open the door only to go through the window. The crow had convinced or scared the man to open the door like Zeus convinced Metis to get close to him so he can eat her. Also the crow stays calm at all times and knows how to start fear in the man like Athena when she is in fights.

Night's Plutonian Shore means hells shore because Pluto is the god of the underworld in the Roman mythology. The shore is a large body of water and if its in the underworld then it would also be surrounded with rocks because you wouldn’t be able to leave. This is related because the man is basically hiding away his emotions and not even living in his life, he stays home all day and just reads to keep himself occupied.

Seraphim is an angel with 6 wings. They are the highest ranking angels and are known as the fiery “flying serpents”. They have six wings because 2 is to cover the face, 2 is t cve to feet, and 2 to fly. This could relate to Lenore, because she had passed away and now she can be an angel that wants to help her husband in anyway or she would just want to see him again.

Nepenthe is used to forget pain and sorrow. Its a drink that the greek used when the couldn’t handle grief or suffering so the drink it and it makes them forget about it. Most people now call them anti-depressants. All the man wants to do is to forget everything about Lenore and start anew but, since he doesn’t really know how to grieve he boxed his emotion inside so he becomes sad and depressed and wants something to make him forget. It relates because he is trying to change but in the end he can't do it himself.



jforbes's picture
Submitted by jforbes on Sun, 2015-04-26 20:00.

I loved learning from you about the seraphim! I did not know the purpose of all their wings!

Love the Explinations

Submitted by sborjabustamante on Mon, 2015-04-27 01:17.

I enjoyed reading all the explanations of the mythologies. I learned a lot just from reading this.

I never knew there was a

cpollar's picture
Submitted by cpollar on Mon, 2015-04-27 18:12.

I never knew there was a deeper meaning behind mythological figures and why they were "made". I never knew about any of this. Glad I read this delightful piece.

I didn't know that Seraphim

Submitted by avenablesims on Mon, 2015-04-27 18:35.

I didn't know that Seraphim was an angel with 6 wings. I love the connection you made with all of these.