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Are there any similes and/or metaphors in "The Raven" by Edgar Allan Poe?

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coneal2010 | Student, Undergraduate | eNotes Newbie

Posted January 21, 2010 at 11:19 AM via web

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Are there any similes and/or metaphors in "The Raven" by Edgar Allan Poe?

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lynnebh | High School Teacher | (Level 3) Senior Educator

Posted January 21, 2010 at 11:35 AM (Answer #2)

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There are many similes and metaphors in The Raven. Remember that both similes and metaphors are comparisons, but a simile uses the words "like" or "as" and a metaphor does not. Metaphors are harder to find, but if you find words that are describing one thing by creating a picture of something else, that is probably a metaphor. For example, in this poem:

Metaphor: And each separate dying ember wrought its ghost upon the floor........the author is talking about the fire dying out, but to him it looks like a ghost on the floor. He doesn't say "the fire looks like a ghost" because if he did, it would be a simile.

Simile: suddenly there came a tapping, As of some one gently rapping - the author is comparing the tapping sound that he hears to someone gently knocking (rapping) on his door, and yet it is not someone knocking, but it sounds like someone knocking.

There are more metaphors than similes in this poem. This should get you started on trying to pick them out!

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bullgatortail | High School Teacher | (Level 1) Distinguished Educator

Posted January 21, 2010 at 11:42 AM (Answer #1)

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  • "...suddenly there came a tapping,
    As of some one gently rapping...“ (Lines 3-4).
        It compares the tapping (of the raven) with that of a human tapping.
  • "But the Raven... spoke only
    That one word, as if his soul in that one word he did 
        outpour. (Lines 55-56)
        The Raven's one word ("forevermore") is compared with the total outpouring of the human soul.
  • "On the morrow he will leave me, as my hopes have
        flown before.”  (Lines 59-60)
        The Raven's imminent departure is compared to the narrator's previously disappearing hopes.
  • "Leave no black plume as a token of that lie thy soul
        hath spoken!  (Line 99)
        The Raven's black feather is compared to a token reminder of the lie it has told.

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user8384606 | eNotes Newbie

Posted November 5, 2013 at 9:05 PM (Reply #1)

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Hunny, those arn't similes. When you use the word "as" in a simile the word must be in there twice for example; Her hair was AS balck AS a Raven, or, The light was AS bright AS the sun. But we do appreciate your effort to help....i make the same mistake sometimes dont worry...Again thank you for your effort

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ladyvols1 | High School Teacher | (Level 3) Senior Educator

Posted January 21, 2010 at 11:49 AM (Answer #3)

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Late in Poe’s career "The Raven" made him popular.  It was reported that children would chase Poe around until he would turn toward them, raise his arms and yell "Nevermore." As far as your question is concerned, yes there are examples of similes and metaphors in “The Raven.”  There are also examples of personification and alliteration.   “Quoth the Raven ‘Nevermore’” (Raven: 48) is one example of personification.  Birds can’t really speak so the fact that Poe gave the raven a voice is personification.  The raven says “Nevermore.”  A very good example of a metaphor is “And his eyes have all the seeming of a demon’s that is dreaming.”  In this quote Poe is comparing the raven’s eyes to a demon.  An example of a simile is when he uses a comparison to express the narrator’s grief to the raven’s reply to him.   “That one word, as if his soul in that one word he did outpour.” (Raven: 56)   I hope this helps.

"Final associations of the bird with evil occur in the words “demon” and “shadow.” The connection between the Raven’s “shadow” and the speaker’s “soul” in the last line of the poem suggests that the speaker believes himself to be cursed by the bird’s presence."

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loverofcucumbers | Student, Grade 9 | eNotes Newbie

Posted April 14, 2011 at 12:39 AM (Answer #4)

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One example is "That one word/As if his soul he did outpour"

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crazyfantasyxoxo | Student, Grade 9 | (Level 1) eNoter

Posted February 2, 2012 at 9:26 AM (Answer #5)

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  1. Fiery eyes: The ravens eyes were like fire.
  2. eyes=demons: comparing raven's eyes to a demons.


  1. Black plume=reminder: Raven leaves a feather as a reminder of him.


Hope this helps... There is a couple more metaphors(3 more) and similies(2 more)...!

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