The Raven

Pallas Symbol Icon

“Pallas” refers to Pallas Athena, the Greek goddess of wisdom. The bust of Pallas in the narrator’s chamber represents his interest in learning and scholarship, and also can be taken as representing rationality in general and his own rational, sane mind in particular. The Raven, by landing on the bust when it flies into the room, signifies a threat to the narrator’s reason and the ability of rationality to analyze and understand the reasons (if any) behind the Raven’s coming and its message. That the Raven stays on top of the bust of Pallas at the end of the poem, never flitting, suggests the dominance of irrationality and fear over reason in general, and, more particularly, that irrationality has taken up a permanent home in the narrator’s formerly rational mind.

Pallas Quotes in The Raven

The The Raven quotes below all refer to the symbol of Pallas. 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 numbers and citation info for the quotes below refer to the Signet Classics edition of The Raven published in 2008.
The Raven Quotes

And the Raven, never flitting, still is sitting, still is sitting
On the pallid bust of Pallas just above my chamber door…

Related Characters: The narrator (speaker), The Raven (speaker)
Related Symbols: Pallas, The Raven
Page Number: 98
Explanation and Analysis:

Lorem ipsum dolor sit amet, consectetur adipiscing elit, sed do eiusmod tempor incididunt ut labore et dolore magna aliqua. Ut enim ad minim veniam, quis nostrud exercitation ullamco laboris nisi ut aliquip ex ea commodo consequat. Duis aute irure dolor in reprehenderit in voluptate velit esse cillum dolore eu fugiat nulla pariatur. Excepteur sint occaecat cupidatat non proident, sunt in culpa qui officia deserunt mollit anim id est laborum.

Unlock explanations and citation info for this and every other The Raven quote.

Plus so much more...

Get LitCharts A+
Already a LitCharts A+ member? Sign in!
Get the entire The Raven LitChart as a printable PDF.
The raven.pdf.medium

Pallas Symbol Timeline in The Raven

The timeline below shows where the symbol Pallas appears in The Raven. The colored dots and icons indicate which themes are associated with that appearance.
The Raven
Memory and Loss Theme Icon
The Supernatural and the Subconscious Theme Icon
Rationality and Irrationality Theme Icon
Ancient Influences Theme Icon
...his window, and he opens it. The Raven flies in, perching atop a bust of Pallas above the door. At first, the narrator finds the bird’s “grave and stern decorum” amusing,... (full context)
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
...overcome by despair, while the Raven “never flitting, still is sitting” on the bust of Pallas. The narrator concludes by saying he continues to live in the bird’s inescapable shadow. (full context)