The Raven

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“Night’s Plutonian shore” Symbol Analysis

“Night’s Plutonian shore”  Symbol Icon

“Plutonian” is a reference to Pluto, the Roman god of the underworld. The narrator, upon first encountering the Raven, is amused by its stately comportment, and jokingly accuses it of having emerged from the “Night’s Plutonian shore” — the border between the worlds of the living and the dead. At the close of the poem, the narrator, no longer amused and convinced that the bird means him ill, repeats the phrase with conviction, suggesting that the Raven is a messenger of death, but not a death in which souls travel up to a heavenly paradise where they are reunited with the other departed, but instead a death of blackness and despair.

“Night’s Plutonian shore” Quotes in The Raven

The The Raven quotes below all refer to the symbol of “Night’s Plutonian shore” . For each quote, you can also see the other characters and themes related to it (each theme is indicated by its own dot and icon, like this one:
Death and the Afterlife  Theme Icon
). Note: all page and citation info for the quotes below refers to the Signet Classics edition of The Raven published in 2008.
The Raven Quotes

Tell me what thy lordly name is on the Night’s Plutonian shore!

Related Characters: The narrator (speaker), The Raven
Related Symbols: “Night’s Plutonian shore”
Page Number: 94
Explanation and Analysis:

The narrator is amused upon first encountering the Raven, and speaks to it candidly before he realizes it has the ability to respond. He treats it like a distinguished guest, and asks it for its name on the “Night’s Plutonian shore” — Plutonian refers to Pluto, the Roman god of the underworld —jokingly accusing the bird of having emerged from hell or the world of the dead. Amusement fuels this question, but the narrator’s subsequent interactions with the Raven stem from anxiety and desperation. By the close of the poem, the narrator shouts at the bird to return to the “Night’s Plutonian shore,” having realized that his nightmarish jest has actually come to pass.

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“Night’s Plutonian shore” Symbol Timeline in The Raven

The timeline below shows where the symbol “Night’s Plutonian shore” appears in The Raven. The colored dots and icons indicate which themes are associated with that appearance.
The Raven
Death and the Afterlife  Theme Icon
Memory and Loss  Theme Icon
The Supernatural and the Subconscious  Theme Icon
Rationality and Irrationality  Theme Icon
Ancient Influences  Theme Icon
...response. Now furious and heartbroken, the narrator screams at the bird to return to “the Night’s Plutonian shore !” and never return. But the bird does not depart. (full context)