Explain the effect of repetition in Poe’s poems
American short-story writer, poet, editor, and critic Edgar Allan Poe is famous for his tales of mystery and horror. In addition, he initiated the modern detective story.
In order to make an emphasis on certain items Poe used various stylistic devices. Great attention is drawn to repetition. According to Maclin (1996) “repetition is using of the same word, structure or idea more than once for emphasis or for a special effect” (p.293). In addition, Vandres (1937) states: “Repetition is one of the figures that has its origin in the emotive language” (p. 147).
In the analysis of Poe’s famous narrative poem “Annabel Lee”, we may find repetition of words “love”, “loved”, “child”, “darling” as though he wants to describe his love from his childhood. Some of them repeat within a single line as in “we loved with a love that was more than love” (Poe, 1992). Moreover, Poe couples repetition of consonant sounds with repetition of vowel sounds that develops aesthetic effect in his poetry, as in “many and many”, “love and be loved” (Poe, 1992).
In addition, sounds “w” and “l” are combined: “but we loved with a love that was more than love” (Poe, 1992). As well Poe repeats key phrases, for instance, “in a kingdom by the sea” and “my Annabel Lee” or “my beautiful Annabel Lee” to create combination of ideas (Poe, 1992).
In “The Raven” Poe used repetition of sound “g” and “h” to underline sorrow, darkness, sadness, horror and doom as in “On this home by horror haunted” or in “What this grim, ungainly, ghastly, gaunt and ominous bird of yore”.
In conclusion, we may observe Poe was the master of repetitions. With the help of this device he produced dark tones in the poetry and created complex atmosphere.
- MACLINE A. 1996. Reference Guide to English. Washington D.C., 1996.
- POE E. A. 1992. The Collected Tales and Poems. New York, 1992.
- Vandres, J. 1937. Language. Moskow.
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