Edgar Allan Poe Writing Styles in The Raven

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The poem is comprised of eighteen stanzas of six lines each, and most frequently employs a meter known as trochaic octameter, which refers to a line containing eight trochees-pairs of stressed and unstressed syllables. The first five lines of each stanza are all in trochaic octameter, with the final unstressed syllable missing in lines two, four, and five of each stanza. The sixth line of each stanza consists of three trochees and an extra final stressed syllable. An example of the fifth and sixth lines from the last stanza shows this pattern:

And my / soul from / out that / shadow / that lies /
floating / on the / floor
Shall be / lifted- / never / more!

Poe achieves variety in this rhythm by adding pauses, and he keeps the sound from becoming monotonous by making much use of consonance and assonance, or repetition of consonant and vowel sounds, respectively. In addition, Poe's use of a...

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This section contains 260 words
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Buy The Raven Study Guide
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Poetry for Students
The Raven from Poetry for Students. ©2005-2006 Thomson Gale, a part of the Thomson Corporation. All rights reserved.