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The speaker is sitting in his chair at home and hears knocking on his door. He assumes that it is just a visitor coming to ask him something, but he then realizes that it is the ghost of his dead wife, Lenore. The text states, "As of someone gently rapping, rapping at my chamber door. "'Tis some visitor," muttered, "tapping at my chamber door.'"
A raven comes into the speaker's room and the speaker asks it whether or not he will ever see Lenore again. The raven replies by saying, "Nevermore" meaning that he will never see her again. Because of this, the speaker gets angry and wants the raven to leave. The text states, "'Quaff, oh quaff this kind of nepenthe and forget this lost Lenore!' Quoth the Raven 'Nevermore.'"
The speaker becomes very sad and upset because the raven told him that he would never see Lenore again. The raven casts a dark shadow on the speaker, symbolizing the darkness and death the speaker is surrounded in. The text states, "And my soul from out that shadow that lies floating on the floor, Shall be lifted - nevermore!"
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