allusions in "Lenore" : LUSENET : The Work of Edgar Allan Poe : One Thread

who is Guy de Vere? what is the Stygian river? Peccavimus - the root in Latin is sin...what is Peccavimus? thank you

-- Anonymous, February 15, 2001



Let me preface this by saying this is simply an opinion. I cannot assure you it is correct, but I can assure you it is an honest one.

Generally, it is accepted that the name, Guy de Vere, does not represent a real person nor does the poem "Lenore" parallel any relationship Poe may have had prior to its first printing in 1831 with the title "A Paean". Frankly, I think Poe used this name, de Vere, for its long history of nobility. De Vere is a well known English name that dates from as early as 750 AD and perhaps the most well known of these was Edward de Vere, the 17th Earl of Oxford and the man some feel used the "pen name" Shakespeare. The use of the name Guy de Vere merely suggests that Lenore's death was the result of her lover's betrayal, a lover of noble birth.

The mention of the Stygian river is simply an allusion to the journey of Lenore's soul, perhaps, across the River Styx. In Greek mythology, the River Styx was one of five rivers that encircled the underworld and separated it from the world of the living. These were the river of woe, the Acheron; the river of lamentation, the Cocytus; the river of fire, the Phlegethon; the river of forgetfulness, the Lethe and the river of hate, the Styx. If I recall, the soul was doomed to walk the banks of the Styx for 100 years if they were not buried properly with a Greek coin placed in their mouth. The coin was for Charon, the boatman of the River Styx, as tribute for the journey across the Styx.

As for "Peccavimus", I can only speculate that it is an outcry in Latin for "Sinners" but I cannot substantiate this at all.


-- Anonymous, February 17, 2001

Peccavimus is, i believe, a corruption of the latin word for "i have sinned" or "a confession of guilt", i cant remember the actual latin word but it is in the OED (full/ moderately full version) and that is the meaning of it

-- Anonymous, February 04, 2002

peccavi - 1553, from L., lit. "I have sinned;" past tense of peccare "to sin." So, peccavimus "we have sinned;" peccavit "he has sinned."

Just a friendly addition, in romance languages, things that end in "imus" (or an approximation thereof) make the verb "we" did it.

-- Anonymous, December 03, 2002


-- Anonymous, April 01, 2003

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