The Raven: Analysis Questions and Assignment

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What is so Special about Ravens?

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Make a list of 6 facts that you did not previously know about Ravens and how you think that influences your reading of the poem.

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The Raven: Analysis Questions and Assignment

1. List three verbs that show what the poem’s narrator is doing in the first stanza.

2. The narrator of the poem is sad because his lost love is dead. What is her name and how does he try to escape his sorrow?

3. What fills the narrator’s heart with terror in stanza 3?

4. What does the narrator see when he first opens the chamber door (stanza 4)?

5. In stanza 7, the raven flies into the narrator’s chamber. Where does the raven perch?

6. What is the first question the narrator asks the raven (stanza 8)?

7. What is the raven’s only answer to the narrator’s questions?

8. In stanza 12, the narrator sits down in front of the raven. What is the narrator thinking as he looks at the bird?

9. As the poem progresses, the narrator becomes more and more furious with the raven. Why does he become so angry?

10. Where is the raven at the end of the poem (stanza 18)? What does the raven’s presence tell the reader about the narrator’s grief?

11. What point of view is used in this poem?

11. Characterize the narrator’s state of mind…find 2 pieces of evidence to support this claim

12. Find 5 descriptive words about the Raven from the poem.

13. .Based on descriptions of the bird, what can the Raven symbolize?

15. Why does Poe choose to use a Raven in this poem and not a Sparrow or a Parrot?

16.How is the Raven sitting on the bust of Athena symbolic?

17. Find one line containing internal rhyme and write it here:

18. Find one line containing alliteration and write it here:

19. Name one allusion to Greek mythology in the poem:

a. Why does Poe use that specific allusion?

20. Name one Biblical allusion in the poem:

a. Why does Poe use that specific allusion?

21. What is the TONE of the poem?

a. How does Poe create the tone? (diction, imagery, figurative language) and give 2 examples.

22. MOOD is how YOU feel while reading the poem: What is the MOOD of this poem?

a. How does Poe create the mood?

23. Some people claim that the narrator of the poem has dreamed this entire episode. What evidence can you find of this?

24. Some people claim that the narrator of the poem has gone mentally insane. What evidence can you find of this?

25. What do you think? Is the narrator dreaming, mentally unstable or just filled with grief?

Writing Assignment:

You will write a 6-line stanza imitating the 2nd stanza of “The Raven”.

In this stanza, you will follow Poe’s rhyme scheme, rhythm, alliteration and pattern of repetition of words or phrases.

Ah, distinctly I remember, it was in the bleak December, A(internal rhyme)

And each separate dying ember wrought its ghost upon the floor. B

Eagerly I wished the morrow; vainly I had sought to borrow C (internal rhyme)

From my books surcease of sorrow, sorrow for the lost Lenore,. B (alliteration)

For the rare and radiant maiden whom the angels name Lenore, B (end w/ same word)

Nameless here forevermore. B

This stanza should be about sadness…what makes you sad? What do you to feel better when you are sad?

Be sure to create a MELANCHOLY, FORLORN, LUGUBRIOUS, HEARTBROKEN, MOURNFUL, PENSIVE, GLOOMY TONE!! You can do this through your word choice and the words that you choose to repeat.

Visit “Knowing Poe: It’ll Be the Death of Me” to complete the following worksheet.

1. In the basement of the library, you will find a filing cabinet. The tabs are labeled as follows:

Poisoning Heart of Poe Crooked Elections

Consumption In His Brain Alcoholism?

Gas Lighting New Theory – Cats

Read each file thoroughly, and record the evidence for and against each theory of what caused Poe’s death.

⇨ In His Brain:

⇨ Poisoning

⇨ Consumption

⇨ Heart of Poe

⇨ Gas Lighting

⇨ New Theory – Cats

⇨ Crooked Elections

⇨ Alcoholism?

What cause of death do you find the most convincing?

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