Mythology in the Raven

Discussion
Apr 20, 2015
by: cle

1. In Greek mythology, the raven symbolized prophecy and was associated with the god, Apollo. They also can mean good luck because Ravens are the messengers of the gods to the mortal world. In Poe's poem, it could mean that the Raven is telling him something.
"What this grim, ungainly, ghastly, gaunt and ominous bird of yore
Meant in croaking “Nevermore.”
This I sat engaged in guessing, but no syllable expressing
To the fowl whose fiery eyes now burned into my bosom’s core;"

2. Angels are supernatural beings that are in many religions and beliefs and are often seen as benevolent beings who serve their god. In many religions, they are the guardians of humans and can move through Heaven and Earth. Angels have their own rankings and Seraphim are on the top of the Angelic hierarchy. The narrator believes that the angels are guiding him through his heartbreak and telling that he will see Lenore again.
"Swung by Seraphim whose foot-falls tinkled on the tufted floor.
“Wretch," I cried, “thy God hath lent thee—by these angels he hath sent thee
Respite—respite and nepenthe, from thy memories of Lenore;
Quaff, oh quaff this kind nepenthe and forget this lost Lenore!”"

3. Ghost are spirits of the dead and have a range of meaning. Most of the time, ghost as seen as dreadful and vengeful spirits. Ghosts in this poem could represent Lenore's death or the narrator "death" from all his heartbreak.
"Ah, distinctly I remember it was in the bleak December;
And each separate dying ember wrought its ghost upon the floor."
4. The Devil, or known as Lucifer, the first fallen angel condemned by God to stay in Hell for attempted usurpation. He is known as the source of all evil on Earth and human sin. The devil represents the evilness in his heart after Lenore's death or how evil he believes the raven is because he is telling him Lenore is gone.
“Prophet!” said I, “thing of evil!—prophet still, if bird or devil!—
Whether Tempter sent, or whether tempest tossed thee here ashore,"

5. Pallas is Athena's epithet name. Athena is the goddess of wisdom and Pallas is told in this is story to represent the raven's knowledge of something that narrator doesn't know and want to find out.
"Perched upon a bust of Pallas just above my chamber door—
Perched, and sat, and nothing more."

Comments

Nice!

Submitted by esaefong on Sun, 2015-04-26 22:26.

I liked reading the histories of these myths. I like your explanations and choice of quotes for each myth you chose. My favorite was #4-The devil. This was my favorite, because I agree that it could represent the evilness in Poe's heart and it could also represent the raven. The quote you chose fits this perfectly.

Interesting!

Submitted by ynguyen on Sun, 2015-04-26 23:51.

I learned many new information about some mythology in "The Raven" through this. It was really interesting about the raven represent good luck because most of the time, it is just viewed as a symbol of death or the underworld. Moreover, the Devil was also interesting because I hadn't know about that before. Your research helps me have a more understanding of "The Raven" and the meaning behind the mythology references that Poe uses in the poem. Nice research.

whatttt the dooodles

Submitted by elieu on Mon, 2015-04-27 00:10.

wow. i dint know that raven symbolizes prophecy in greek mythology. all the things that you have included in your research i have not really known about. i am into mythology a little and this made me more interested. i like how Poe and greek mythology had the same belief in a god for the raven. keep up the good work man.