Pluto : LUSENET : The Work of Edgar Allan Poe : One Thread

I would like to know who Pluto is in the Raven and if he is used in any other works by Edgar Allen Poe. I know he is a mythological character but why did Poe chose him? Please respond as soon as possible. Thanks.

-- Anonymous, October 25, 2000


Dear John,

In answer to your question, I should first like to commence by providing a quotation of the relevent section in Poe's poem "The Raven":

"'Tell me what thy lordly name is on the night's Plutonian shore!' / Quoth the Raven, 'Nevermore'."


"'Get thee back into the tempest and the night's Plutonian shore!"

"Pluto" is the name of one of the gods of the Underworld, in charge of witches. This name also features in the tale "The Black Cat", as the name of the first cat.

The name bears particular relevance because the Raven is believed (by the male bereaved lover) to hail from the world beyond. Therefore, the name is merely a reference, a term of description, affirming this belief (ie: Plutonian = from Pluto; sent by Pluto who is in the Underworld; therefore, from the Underworld).

Furthermore, if one relates the idea of witches to the notion of a witch's familiar (that is to say, an animal controlled by the witch, or alternatively a witch under the guise of an animal), one can surmise that the Raven is in fact a supernatural figure bearing knowledge from beyond the grave.

I think that should contribute to some extent towards your understanding of the poem. Please feel free to contact me if you wish me to elucidate upon any points which still remain unclear:

Yours sincerely,

Pragmatic Poe

-- Anonymous, October 25, 2000

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