"The Raven" is a narrative poem of the Gothic horror
genre published in 1845. Oft parodied and referenced, it is the most famous work by author Edgar Allan Poe
, and to this day is one of the most well-known pieces of English poetry ever written.
It tells the tale of an unidentified narrator who is mourning the loss of his love, Lenore, when he is interrupted by the tapping of a raven whose constant (yet strangely fitting) repetition of the word "Nevermore" increasingly aggravates him to the point of madness.Here
you can listen to it in the voice of Christopher Lee
. And here's
one by John de Lancie
's 1963 film version
is a very
loose adaptation, mostly Played for Laughs
, starring Vincent Price
, Peter Lorre
and Boris Karloff
, with an early appearance from Jack Nicholson
.The Alan Parsons Project
based a song on the poem.Omnia
beautifully set the words to harp music. See it here
Amusingly parodied in the poem: ''The End of the Raven'' by Poe's Cat
showcased a story based on it — more or less
This poem provides examples of:
- Added Alliterative Appeal: Frequently.
- Adult Fear: How about never being able to see someone you love - not even in Heaven?
- Animated Adaptation:
- Arc Words: "Quoth the Raven: 'Nevermore.'"
- Dark Is Not Evil: The Raven itself is not evil per se, contrary to most media portrayals, just a reminder of the narrator's lost love.
- Despair Event Horizon: There really is nothing necessarily supernatural about the raven. The entire poem is about the narrator projecting his own frustrated grief onto a random bird, and losing his mind in the process.
- It Was a Dark and Stormy Night: Once upon a midnight dreary, while I pondered weak and weary...
- It's Probably Nothing: The narrator repeatedly tries to dismiss the noises he hears as only the wind.
- The Lost Lenore: Trope Namer.
- Maybe Magic, Maybe Mundane: Both possibilities are briefly touched on - whether the bird is/was sent by some unnatural force, or if it was just someone's pet taught to utter a single word (there is a rumor that early drafts of the poem featured a parrot, though this is dubious).
- No Name Given: The narrator.
- Nothing Is Scarier: "Darkness there, and nothing more."
- Once Upon a Time: "Once upon a midnight dreary..."
- Polly Wants a Microphone: The Ur Example, in horror terms. The narrator begs of the bird to answer increasingly desperate questions about the afterlife and the hope of reuniting with his Lost Lenore, but the raven constantly answers, "Nevermore," rather pessimistically.
- Posthumous Character: Lenore, of course, who is dead before the narrative begins but whose name is uttered quite often throughout.
- Ravens and Crows: Raven the ominous-looking black bird. Shout Outs to Poe's version abound.
- Sanity Slippage
- Say My Name: Lenore. Lenore!
Quoth the raven