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Eldorado Analysis



Author: Poetry of Edgar Allan Poe Type: Poetry Views: 5430

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Gaily bedight,

A gallant knight,

In sunshine and in shadow,

Had journeyed long,

Singing a song,

In search of Eldorado.



But he grew old-

This knight so bold-

And o'er his heart a shadow

Fell as he found

No spot of ground

That looked like Eldorado.



And, as his strength

Failed him at length,

He met a pilgrim shadow-

"Shadow," said he,

"Where can it be-

This land of Eldorado?"



"Over the Mountains

Of the Moon,

Down the Valley of the Shadow,

Ride, boldly ride,"

The shade replied-

"If you seek for Eldorado!"








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||| Analysis | Critique | Overview Below |||

.: :.

I think all of poes poems reflected on his life and most of them dealt with death. In the raven, the raven itself represents death, in the bells, at the end of the poems those happy wedding bells turn into the bells of death and in Eldorado the shadow was ultimately death. people need to stop with the spma posting and realize poe was a great person with alot of problems in his life he had lost everyone he cared about and died mysteriosly.

| Posted on 2013-04-14 | by a guest


.: :.

I honestly wish that people would take this more seriously.

| Posted on 2012-12-14 | by a guest


.: :.

I am the one who created el dorado because I am chuck norris.

| Posted on 2012-10-16 | by a guest


.: :.

i think holy grail is a good song that matches the story line. I like this poem for an English assignment linking it to a modern context. and help would be much appreciated.

| Posted on 2012-07-29 | by a guest


.: :.

\"Eldorado\" in a since can be seen as heaven. when the shade tells him \"over the mountain of the moon and through the vally of shadow\" i see it as the shade telling him he will haveto die and pass on to heaven to find eldorado. eldorado as you may knowis the city of gold or perfection. and in this since can only be achieved through death

| Posted on 2012-03-19 | by a guest


.: :.

i think the pilgrim shadow tells him to take a hike... and die while he takes it...

| Posted on 2012-02-24 | by a guest


.: :.

Buildings are expensive and not everyone can buy it. Nevertheless, home loans are invented to aid people in such kind of hard situations.

| Posted on 2011-12-26 | by a guest


.: :.

This poem is all about Poe telling a message through a poem. The knight is in search of El Dorado, when really El Dorado wasnt a place. El Dorado was the journey of the knight. He saw the world, and missed it beacuse he was so focused on finding El Dorado. Also, this can be proven by listening to the rythm of the poem, the rythm sounds like a horse galloping.

| Posted on 2011-10-20 | by a guest


.: :.

I don\'t think Poe is making any grand statement in this poem. I think he is merely \"telling a tale\" of the cycle of life.
In the 1st stanza, he describes an optimistic adolescent going through the typical highs and lows of growth with aspirations of a happy life "Eldorado\"\\.
"But he grew old\"\\, and began to doubt true happiness, as experienced by many as a mid-life crisis.
The last 2 stanzas speak of a very aged man who seeks religion "a pilgram shadow\"\\ to answer life\'s ever-lasting questions. And it\'s scripture that answers.
If he did write this poem in his later years, then I think he was only reflecting on the stages of his own life.

| Posted on 2011-09-02 | by a guest


.: :.

I believe this is his journey of find something that has never been found before. Maybe something special that Edgar couldnt achieve in his life. Eldorado is a person and place that is made out of gold, it is a lost city that was never to be found, but everything in it is made of gold. And the chief leader whould cover himself in gold to macth the city. The shadow that he is referring to in stanza 3 where it says, \"a pilgrim shadow..\" i believe that that is his our conscience leading him to the path of death, ending his own life since he spent his whole life trying to look for this unknown place. SO basically his own mind points him to death, which is heaven, where everything is bright and free like Eldorado.

| Posted on 2011-05-03 | by a guest


.: :.

I believe this is his journey of find something that has never been found before. Maybe something special that Edgar couldnt achieve in his life. Eldorado is a person and place that is made out of gold, it is a lost city that was never to be found, but everything in it is made of gold. And the chief leader whould cover himself in gold to macth the city. The shadow that he is referring to in stanza 3 where it says, \"a pilgrim shadow..\" i believe that that is his our conscience leading him to the path of death, ending his own life since he spent his whole life trying to look for this unknown place. SO basically his own mind points him to death, which is heaven, where everything is bright and free like Eldorado.

| Posted on 2011-05-03 | by a guest


.: :.

I believe this is his journey of find something that has never been found before. Maybe something special that Edgar couldnt achieve in his life. Eldorado is a person and place that is made out of gold, it is a lost city that was never to be found, but everything in it is made of gold. And the chief leader whould cover himself in gold to macth the city. The shadow that he is referring to in stanza 3 where it says, \"a pilgrim shadow..\" i believe that that is his our conscience leading him to the path of death, ending his own life since he spent his whole life trying to look for this unknown place. SO basically his own mind points him to death, which is heaven, where everything is bright and free like Eldorado.

| Posted on 2011-05-03 | by a guest


.: :.

Poe leaves us up in the air about his meaning, and still gives us an elegant poem. Personally, I think that the knight died and became a soul, therefore meeting another soul. Poe used the word \"Shadow\" for this and not the word \"Soul.\"
Perhaps soul did not sell in Poe\'s day. Shadow does.

| Posted on 2010-12-27 | by a guest


.: :.

This interesting piece of work regards the lonely virgin male...destroyed by masturbation...attempting to achieve the love and sexual pleasures of a MILF!

| Posted on 2010-12-09 | by a guest


.: :.

The True deeper meaning of this poem is that you will find the perfect paradise until you reach death. The knight spent all his life searching for Eldorado. Eldorado is know as the City of Gold.Eldorado is a paradise. The Shadow that is mentioned in the poem is the Angel of Death. This Angel of Death is guiding the knight to Eldorado which is located \"Down the Valley of the Shadow\". One day at church the preachers were mentioning the \"Valley of the Shadow\" and they were saying that the Valley of the Shadow is Death. The Shadow was guiding the knight to the ultimate paradise which is Death.
You will reach your Paradise once you die.
I thank my girlfriend K.D. for helping me understand this poem :)

| Posted on 2010-12-08 | by a guest


.: :.

The True deeper meaning of this poem is that you will find the perfect paradise until you reach death. The knight spent all his life searching for Eldorado. Eldorado is know as the City of Gold.Eldorado is a paradise. The Shadow that is mentioned in the poem is the Angel of Death. This Angel of Death is guiding the knight to Eldorado which is located \"Down the Valley of the Shadow\". One day at church the preachers were mentioning the \"Valley of the Shadow\" and they were saying that the Valley of the Shadow is Death. The Shadow was guiding the knight to the ultimate paradise which is Death.
You will reach your Paradise once you die.
I thank my girlfriend K.D. for helping me understand this poem :)

| Posted on 2010-12-08 | by a guest


.: :.

The True deeper meaning of this poem is that you will find the perfect paradise until you reach death. The knight spent all his life searching for Eldorado. Eldorado is know as the City of Gold.Eldorado is a paradise. The Shadow that is mentioned in the poem is the Angel of Death. This Angel of Death is guiding the knight to Eldorado which is located \"Down the Valley of the Shadow\". One day at church the preachers were mentioning the \"Valley of the Shadow\" and they were saying that the Valley of the Shadow is Death. The Shadow was guiding the knight to the ultimate paradise which is Death.
You will reach your Paradise once you die.
I thank my girlfriend K.D. for helping me understand this poem :)

| Posted on 2010-12-08 | by a guest


.: :.

The True deeper meaning of this poem is that you will find the perfect paradise until you reach death. The knight spent all his life searching for Eldorado. Eldorado is know as the City of Gold.Eldorado is a paradise. The Shadow that is mentioned in the poem is the Angel of Death. This Angel of Death is guiding the knight to Eldorado which is located \"Down the Valley of the Shadow\". One day at church the preachers were mentioning the \"Valley of the Shadow\" and they were saying that the Valley of the Shadow is Death. The Shadow was guiding the knight to the ultimate paradise which is Death.
You will reach your Paradise once you die.
I thank my girlfriend K.D. for helping me understand this poem :)

| Posted on 2010-12-08 | by a guest


.: :.

The True deeper meaning of this poem is that you will find the perfect paradise until you reach death. The knight spent all his life searching for Eldorado. Eldorado is know as the City of Gold.Eldorado is a paradise. The Shadow that is mentioned in the poem is the Angel of Death. This Angel of Death is guiding the knight to Eldorado which is located \"Down the Valley of the Shadow\". One day at church the preachers were mentioning the \"Valley of the Shadow\" and they were saying that the Valley of the Shadow is Death. The Shadow was guiding the knight to the ultimate paradise which is Death.
You will reach your Paradise once you die.
I thank my girlfriend K.D. for helping me understand this poem :)

| Posted on 2010-12-08 | by a guest


.: :.

I read the poem 5 times, and I think I understand it now. It means what he said!

| Posted on 2010-12-07 | by a guest


.: :.

Note to the Individual who made the most recent comment. That is very immature. I\'m 17 years old and much more mature than that. Thats sad.
This poem has meaning that none of us will really ever understand unless we are in the mind of Poe himself. But, in my opinion, it is about finding a place of complete happiness. The word \"El Dorado\" means \"The Golden One\" or \"City Of Gold\". In my opinion he is saying That you will find El Dorado when you die. Heaven being El Dorado.
- Caitlin Henderson.

| Posted on 2010-12-01 | by a guest


.: :.

Note to the Individual who made the most recent comment. That is very immature.
This poem has meaning that none of us will really ever understand unless we are in the mind of Poe himself. But, in my opinion, it is about finding a place of complete happiness. The word \"El Dorado\" means \"The Golden One\". In my opinion he is saying That you will find El Dorado when you die. Heaven being El Dorado.

| Posted on 2010-12-01 | by a guest


.: :.

I think this poem is about how Edgar Allan Poe wasted his life by drinking alcohol. LOL

| Posted on 2010-11-27 | by a guest


.: :.

It is about a wasted life spent looking for something that doesn\'t exist. The shadow near the end is giving him directions to a place that is not real, in essence telling the knight that El Dorado was a fool\'s quest. I think it is about constructing and pursuing unrealistic ideals, and the wasting of our lives in doing so.

| Posted on 2010-11-16 | by a guest


.: :.

In my opinion, it\'s about one\'s struggle to find one\'s lot in life.

| Posted on 2010-08-29 | by a guest


.: :.

In my opinion, it\'s about one\'s struggle to find one\'s lot in life.

| Posted on 2010-08-29 | by a guest


.: :.

It is an analogy or metaphor for our soul which is here to find God. The knight is our searcher-pilgrim that goes after it like an adventure. The knight eventually finds his shadow who says, or the knight realizes, the gold is in the valley of shadows, or is nothing, and by finding nothing and becoming a shadow and nothing, we find Everything, or El Dorado, God.

| Posted on 2010-08-10 | by a guest


.: :.

This is a poem about a lifetime of obsession, & not knowing when to stop.
NOTICE HOW A SHADOW FALLS OVER HIS HEART & HE THEN SEEKS ADVICE FROM A "PILGRIM" SHADOW?
Methinks the pilgrim shade is his own heart, telling him to keep the obsession alive, even if it's clear that he's obsessed.

| Posted on 2010-06-22 | by a guest


.: :.

A young knight is very happy and is searching for Eldorado. He grows old and starts to lose confidence, and dies. In death, he meets a shadow who gives him directions to Eldorado. Eldorado can't be found in life, only in death, then it's too late.

| Posted on 2010-05-07 | by a guest


.: :.

Note that the word "shadow" is used in the same place in all four stanzas and that the definition of the word is different is each usage. This is a clue to something...
Poe is trying to get us to a dictionary as something is hidden behind the quoted words in the last stanza.
Literary steganography is employed in "Eldorado". Poe secretly hides reference to the Cibola which he could not access in his lifetime - this Cibola is suspected hidden in Philadelphia. What is literary steganography?
If someone wants to hide the notion of a fixed, rigid statue of a woman phrased as: recognize woman made from molten material...
recognize / woman / made from molten material.
Valid definitions of the above words or phrases is:
See / Jane / run.
What has happened here? The notion, now hidden behind "See Jane run" has been transposed from a statue to a running lively person. This is how you hide a message behind words.
My project is 15 years old. Much has been discovered about Edgar Allan Poe involving Ralph Waldo Emerson. For more on the Cibola contact me at and check out x was hidden communicaton from Edgar Allan Poe. There is much more....

| Posted on 2010-04-30 | by a guest


.: :.

In the poem the knight starts off happy and in search of Eldorado, he then grows old and death confronts him, saying that the only way to reach Eldorado is to die and go to Heaven. When he asks for direction from the shadow, this is a sign of true weakness. A man never asks for direction, because it shows weakness. The main symbol in the poem is the mountains, a mountain goes up, has a summit, then goes down. This symbolizes the circle of life, being young, as the knight starts off, reaching "over the hill", as the knight does while continuing on his search, and becoming old and dying, as the knight does in the end.

| Posted on 2010-04-27 | by a guest


.: :.

no one does an acutual analysis, this site always gets me, ugh why is this site even in existed, stupid lets ask people who dont even know how to truely understand such a wonderful intriguing writer!

| Posted on 2010-04-08 | by a guest


.: :.

Edgar allan poe is actually a horror book writer...and he of all the people has written such a poem....i hate it when ppl keep saying that eldorado dosen't exist, but it is the truth ....the poet is ultimately telling us that the so called "Shadow" is giving directions to the knight to a place that does not exist...Arjun.

| Posted on 2010-03-28 | by a guest


.: :.

The posts seem to be missing the point. Elderodo is the city of gold. If you live your life searching for gold, you will find no hapiness, only strife.The shadow is a tempter, or society urgeing us towards a better paycheck.

| Posted on 2010-03-02 | by a guest


.: :.

I think this knight has all that he need's already. Happiness is subjective. If you know what you are then you will never have to look very far. If you grow weak a shadow will cover your heart. And tell you to keep searching.
He met a pilgrim shadow

| Posted on 2009-12-18 | by a guest


.: :.

i think its aboutsomebody seeking for so much happines that he searched all his life then asked some stranger ''the shadow'' and he says over the moon or something like that so he is bassicly saying your not going to find happiness you make do with what you have to be happy with what you got

| Posted on 2009-12-04 | by a guest


.: :.

The knight is gaily bedight, with a song in his heart through sunshine, but also the rough patches--when he is young.
But this confidence, over-confidence of youth starts to fade as he rides and rides with no semblence of those fabled dreams in sight.
At last, strength failing him, he asks as kindred soul--where? Where O' shadow, can it be? The realization of these dreams??
To which the shade replies in one of teh most devastating verses in literature, and what makes this poem poignant--"Over the Mountains
Of the Moon,
Down the Valley of the Shadow,
Ride, boldly ride,"
The shade replied-
"If you seek for Eldorado!"
Ride! Ride On! Never stop! You haven't begun to look yet! Rally yourself man!!
It creates in an instant, the seemingly unbridgeable chasm between an idealist--his dreams and his reality; summons oceans of effort, when you're too tired to spit; the crushing fatal dilemma of life...but it does leave, the only thing left in Padora's box.
Very reminiscent of Don Quixote.

| Posted on 2009-11-15 | by a guest


.: :.

Itís about a man who has been seeking a purpose throughout his life until he became old. And at such an age, he still hasnít found his purpose so he asks the shadow where is his happiness and passion is. The shadow is his subconscious mind that said, ďOver the Mountains of the Moon, down the Valley of the Shadow, ride, boldly ride.Ē
In a way, the shadow is saying that you must go through a long trial of obstacles to find your purpose. But also in a darkly way, the shadow is saying no matter where you go and how far youíve come, there really isnít a way to find your purpose and happiness because you must find it yourself.
There is no certain direction to follow your desires and unfortunately, some people pass on before they find what they want. Thus, seeking El Dorado is your contentment. El Dorado is heaven. People look for this place, but seem to take the wrong turn and pass it unknowingly.

| Posted on 2009-10-21 | by a guest


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el dorado is the quest for seeking purpose. nuff said.

| Posted on 2009-09-29 | by Amberjparker


.: :.

There are a lot of good comments here; very insightful for me. After looking around a bit; it seems Poe wrote this very near the end of his life (less than a year later).
The song by U2 called "I still haven't found what I'm looking for" reminds me of this poem quite a bit.
My take echoes several previous ones. Poe felt his own mortality, he still hadn't found what he was looking for, and chose to think that either:
1. the 'holy grail' could only be found in a spiritual way - after he had died
or,
2. that the looking for Eldorado was in itself what he was looking for. i.e. the quest w-a-s what he was looking for.
klabarnik @ yahoo . com

| Posted on 2009-05-15 | by a guest




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