The Raven

This study guide will help you analyze the poem “The Raven” by Edgar Allan Poe. We will show you examples of elements in the text that will be relevant for your analysis. In these notes, we will focus on the summary, composition, characters and speaker, language and style, rhythm and rhyme, imagery and metaphors, and themes.

Presentation of the poem

Title: “The Raven”
Author: Edgar Allan Poe
Date of Publication: 1845
Genre: Poetry

Edgar Allan Poe (1809-1849) was an American writer. He is famous for his stories that deal with mystery and suspense (belonging to the Gothic genre), as well as for his poetry. The poem “The Raven” was published in 1845, during Poe’s lifetime, and brought him fame and popularity. 


Below, you can read an excerpt from our study guide:

The speaker

The speaker is also the central character of the poem as he take spart in it himself. From the very beginning, it is clear that the man is suffering, as he is “weak and weary” (l. 1). He is depicted reading and “nearly napping” (l. 3), trying to forget his “lost Lenore” (l. 11). The identity of Lenore is never stated, but it can probably be assumed that she is the speaker’s former lover. The only thing that we know about her is that she is dead, as she is “lost” and only the angels know her name.

The speaker is very impressionable because even the rustling of the curtains fills him “with fantastic terrors” (l. 16). His already-feeble state of mind worsens when he opens the door and is only greeted by darkness:

Deep into that darkness peering, long I stood there wondering, fearing,
Doubting, dreaming dreams no mortal ever dared to dream before; (ll. 29-31)


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The Raven

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