21 November 2013
The Haunted Palace: The Haunted Mind
When a poet writes a poem, different figures of speech are used to provide a deeper, almost hidden meaning. Through the first reading of “The Haunted Palace”, it is hard to uncover the meaning of the poem. Through further readings however, the reader can pick up on different elements showing how Edgar Allen Poe’s “The Haunted Palace” is a metaphor for the human mind declining into insanity. The reader is given a clue early on in the poem that the rest of the poem will describe the king’s thoughts and mind in line 5 “In the monarch Thought’s Dominion” which could be directly translated to the king’s mind.
One of the main elements that Poe uses throughout the poem is allegory. When Poe describes the palace he is actually describing the physical traits of a king. In lines 9 and 10, Poe writes “Banners yellow, glorious, golden, / On its roof did float and flow;” to describe the hair on the kings head. Word choice in lines 9 and 10 further support the idea that the speaker is describing a king. “Through two luminous windows saw” (18), is used to describe the eyes. “”And with all pearl and ruby glowing / Was the fair palace door” (25-26), is used to describe the teeth and mouth. Again, word choice in lines 25 and 26 could symbolize wealth and decadence. Through further analysis, the choice of ruby and pearl not only relates to wealth, but the gemstones in fact are symbols, where pearl symbolizes purity or a pure state of mind, and ruby symbolizing wisdom. “A troop of Echoes whose sweet duty / Was but to sing” (29-30), is personifying the voice of the king. However, Poe does not use allegory to just describe the physical traits of the king. He also uses this element to further support the idea that this poem is a metaphor for the king’s mind. While line 18 describes the eyes of the king, it is the lines before and after that describe thoughts....
Cited: Poe, Edgar Allen. “The Haunted Palace”. Literature to Go. Ed. Michael Meyer. Boston/New York: Bedford/St. Martin’s, 2011. 431-433. Print.
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