Poe's "The Raven" is not only an American classic, it's a favorite of high school students around the world, as well as their teachers. That being said, it's still poetry and therefore can be difficult to understand. Read this summary to review the contents and get a better understanding. * Stanzas: 1-2
Make everyone in class think you're really smart when you bust out everything you've learned in this summary: Stanza 1: It's late. The poem's speaker is tired and weak, reading an old collection of folklore (note that Ravens are prevalent in folklore). As he's about to fall asleep, he hears something tapping at his door. The speaker, somewhat startled, consoles himself by muttering "tis some visitor" and "nothing more." Analysis: The ambiguity of the narrator's mental state is introduced in the first stanza and becomes a topic of debate throughout the entire poem. Keep in mind that it's late and the narrator is extremely tired. It's quite possible he dreams the entire episode. Stanza 2: We are told this incident takes place in December and that the narrator had been reading in order to forget about his lost love, Lenore. Analysis: Stanza 2 provides background information. The incident takes place in December and the narrator suffers from depression. He is searching desperately to end his sorrow. The mood, somewhat established in Stanza 1 with "midnight dreary" and "forgotten lore," becomes entrenched as Poe includes details such as "bleak December," dying ember," "ghost upon the floor," sorrow," and a bevvy of alliterative phrases and words with Anglo-Saxon roots. Activities for Classrooms
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* Stanzas: 3-5
Stanza 3: To combat the fear caused by the wind blown curtains, the narrator repeats that the commotion is merely a visitor at the door. Analysis: The opening line of the stanza contains the greatest example of consonance,...