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The Raven Summary
"The Raven" is one of Edgar Allan Poe's most famous works. The poem takes place just after midnight on a December evening. A depressed man is sitting in his library, drifting in and out of sleep as he reminisces about Lenore, his dead lover.
Suddenly, he hears a knock, but sees nothing on opening his door. Startled, he convinces himself it was only the wind against the window. He goes to the window to let in fresh air, and a raven swoops in, who perches above the door.
The narrator talks to the bird, and inquires if it has a name. The raven says, "Nevermore". Surprised by this response, the narrator continues to question the bird. The bird's only reply to questions is, "Nevermore".
The narrator fears the bird was sent to torture him. He asks a final question: will he ever hold his love, Lenore, again? The raven, of course, answers, "Nevermore". It becomes clear throughout the poems that the man is delirious and distraught over the loss of his love.
Essential Questions for "The Raven"
- How do great writers create a mood that readers can feel?
- What are the parts of a poem, and how can identifying them aid analysis?
- How do literary elements affect readers understanding of a literary work?
Other Activity Ideas for "The Raven"
- Create an alternate ending to the poem with a storyboard that shows and tells the story from a different perspective.
- Complete a storyboard biography of Edgar Allan Poe. (This is a great pre-reading activity!)
- Ask students to create a graphic novel using multiple storyboards that depict the various works of Poe.
- Add a presentation to any storyboard project.
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