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An alliteration from "The Raven"

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qawesome11 | Student, Grade 11 | eNotes Newbie

Posted May 21, 2012 at 3:44 PM via web

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An alliteration from "The Raven"

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William Delaney | (Level 1) Distinguished Educator

Posted May 21, 2012 at 5:02 PM (Answer #1)

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There are many examples of alliteration thoughout "The Raven." Below are a few selections.

Stanza 1:

weak and weary

nodded, nearly napping


Stanza 2:

surcease of sorror

lost Lenore

rare and radiant


Stanza 3:

silken sad uncertain


Stanza 5:

doubting, dreaming dreams no mortal ever dared to dream before


The most brilliant use of alliterations occurs in Stanza 14, where the "s" sound is repeated in "denser," "unseen," "censer," "Swung," and "Seraphim," and then the "f" sound is repeated in "foot-falls" and the "t" sound in "tinkled" and "tufted"--all in just two lines.

Stanza 14:

Then, methought, the air grew denser, perfumed from an unseen censer

Swung by Seraphim whose foot-falls tinkled on the tufted floor.


The whole poem depends on alliterations as well as rhyme to move it along and to make it seem like a lyrical dirge. There is hardly a stanza that does not contain some use of alliteration as well as internal rhymes such as in:

And the Raven, never flitting, still is sitting, still is sitting




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