The Raven

The Raven Character Analysis

The Raven is a bird that enters the narrator’s house, while the narrator is grieving over his lost love in the middle of the night, and lands upon the narrator’s bust of Pallas. To everything the narrator says, the Raven responds with just one word: “Nevermore.” The bird acts in no other way, neither attacking the narrator nor seeming to wish him harm, but the narrator views it as at best supernatural and at worst demonic. Further, the narrator interprets the Raven's repeated “Nevermore” as a refusal of all his desires to be reunited with Lenore. At the end of the poem, the narrator observes that the Raven is still perched atop the bust of Pallas and will likely remain there forever, and that he will spend the rest of his life living under its evil influence. Whether the Raven is a supernatural being or a product of the narrator’s imagination is unclear, and in this way the poem creates a connection, typical of Gothic literature, between the subconscious and the supernatural.

The Raven Quotes in The Raven

The The Raven quotes below are all either spoken by The Raven or refer to The Raven. For each quote, you can also see the other characters and themes related to it (each theme is indicated by its own dot and icon, like this one:
Death and the Afterlife Theme Icon
). Note: all page numbers and citation info for the quotes below refer to the Signet Classics edition of The Raven published in 2008.
The Raven Quotes

Tell me what thy lordly name is on the Night’s Plutonian shore!

Related Characters: The narrator (speaker), The Raven
Related Symbols: “Night’s Plutonian shore”
Page Number: 94
Explanation and Analysis:

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“Doubtless,” said I, “what it utters is its only stock and store”…

Related Characters: The narrator (speaker), The Raven
Related Symbols: The Raven
Page Number: 95
Explanation and Analysis:

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Then, upon the velvet sinking, I betook myself to linking
Fancy unto fancy…

Related Characters: The narrator (speaker), The Raven
Related Symbols: The Raven
Page Number: 96
Explanation and Analysis:

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And the Raven, never flitting, still is sitting, still is sitting
On the pallid bust of Pallas just above my chamber door…

Related Characters: The narrator (speaker), The Raven (speaker)
Related Symbols: Pallas, The Raven
Page Number: 98
Explanation and Analysis:

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And my soul from out that shadow that lies floating on the floor
Shall be lifted—nevermore!

Related Characters: The narrator (speaker), The Raven
Related Symbols: The Raven
Page Number: 98
Explanation and Analysis:

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The Raven Character Timeline in The Raven

The timeline below shows where the character The Raven appears in The Raven. The colored dots and icons indicate which themes are associated with that appearance.
The Raven
Memory and Loss Theme Icon
The Supernatural and the Subconscious Theme Icon
Rationality and Irrationality Theme Icon
Ancient Influences Theme Icon
Suddenly, the narrator hears a knocking at his window, and he opens it. The Raven flies in, perching atop a bust of Pallas above the door. At first, the narrator... (full context)
Death and the Afterlife Theme Icon
Memory and Loss Theme Icon
The Supernatural and the Subconscious Theme Icon
Rationality and Irrationality Theme Icon
Ancient Influences Theme Icon
...might be able to “quaff this kind nepenthe” — to forget about her entirely. The Raven, however, answers “Nevermore.” (full context)
Death and the Afterlife Theme Icon
Memory and Loss Theme Icon
The Supernatural and the Subconscious Theme Icon
Rationality and Irrationality Theme Icon
Ancient Influences Theme Icon
Growing more anxious, the narrator asks the Raven if there is “balm in Gilead” —if heaven will give him some hope of seeing... (full context)