Edgar Allan Poe Questions and Answers

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What are five literary devices in "The Masque of the Red Death" and "The Raven" by Edgar Allen Poe?

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Edgar Allan Poe is famous for his Gothic works containing tales of horror, the macabre, and death. One of his most famous poems is "The Raven" which was published in 1845. "The Masque of the Red Death" was one one Poe's seventeen short stories- it was published in 1842.

Both the poem and the short story contain multiple literary devices. Poe is renowned for his imagery and voice in his writings.

In the poem "The Raven", one can find the following literary devices:

Assonance- the repetition of vowels sounds within a line of poetry

Alliteration- the repetition of consonant sounds within a line of poetry

Once upon a midnight dreary, while I pondered weak and weary,

This line's use of the "ea" sound in dreary and weary create assonance. The line also repeat es the "w" sound in the words weak and weary. This is alliteration.

Repetition- the use of a word, or phrase, over and over again

Onomatopoeia- the use of a word which represents a sound (like bang, splash, zoom)

suddenly there came a tapping,
As of some one gently rapping, rapping at my chamber door.
`'Tis some visitor,' I muttered, `tapping at my chamber door -

The repetition of the words "rapping" and "tapping" create a sort of onomatopoeic sound. By using the words over and over, the sound can be "heard" by the reader. This is the sound, "tap" or "rap", which one makes on a door when knocking.

Personification- the giving of human traits or abilities to non-human, non-living things.

Quoth the raven, `Nevermore.'

A raven cannot actually speak-words which man can understand- therefore, this shows personification given the raven is speaking actual words to the speaker of the poem.

As for "The Masque of the Red Death", there are multiple literary devices embedded as well.

Imagery- the use of words which appeal to one or all of the five senses (sight, touch, taste, sound, smell)

Blood was its Avatar and its seal -- the redness and the horror of blood.

Here, the imagery associated with blood covering the country appeals to sight. An active reader can visualize blood and the covering of blood as being seen everywhere.

Hyperbole- the use of exaggeration to evoke feelings

In an assembly of phantasms such as I have painted, it may well be supposed that no ordinary appearance could have excited such sensation.

Here, the narrator admits that his descriptions of the scene are detailed (or exaggerated) to the point to excite the senses, mainly fear.



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