Consonance In The Raven
What are some examples of consonance in "The Raven" by Poe?
The Raven is a very tightly organized poem. Consonance—the repetition of consonant sounds—is just one of the ways Poe's language is meant to evoke a feeling of hypnotic melancholy. Take, for instance, the third stanza:
And the silken, sad, uncertain rustling of each purple curtainThrilled me—filled me with fantastic terrors never felt before;So that now, to still the beating of my heart, I stood repeating“’Tis some visitor entreating entrance at my chamber door—Some late visitor entreating entrance at my chamber door;—This it is and nothing more.”
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Consonance is defined as the repetition of the same or similar final consonant sounds on accented syllables or in important words. Thus "ticktock" for example is an example because of the repeated "ck" sound. Do not confuse consonance with alliterations, which is the repetition of the same or similar consonant sounds in words that are close together. Poe uses both of these literary techniques extensively in his work.
Consider the following example of consonance from the poem:
And each separate dying ember wrought its ghost upon the floor.
Eager I wished the morrow;--vainly I had sought to borrow...
Note the consonance in the repetition of the "t" sound in "wrought," "ghost" and "wished." Remember, consonance is about the sound, not the actual letter, so the fact that "wished" ends in a "t" sound and not a "d" sound means that we can classify it as consonance.
Hopefully this will help you identify other examples of consonance in this great poem. Good luck!