Talk:The Raven

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Featured articleThe Raven is a featured article; it (or a previous version of it) has been identified as one of the best articles produced by the Wikipedia community. Even so, if you can update or improve it, please do so.
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Slow Descent Into Madness[edit]

The phrase "traces his slow descent into madness", in the introduction to the article, seems to be more for the sake of the writer's sense of the dramatic, rather than any factual truth. The protagonist is already in a state of anguish and despair when the poem starts, for one thign, and even if there is a worsening of this state during the poem, it certainly couldn't be described as a "descent", as it's far less linear than that (the character first reacts to the raven with light-hearted amusement, for example, and for a while seems to be more occupied thinking about the bird than his loss). And "madness"? Even if his final state is utter depression and despair, it's hardly madness. And, above all else... "slow"? I think you'd have a hard time arguing that that's there for the sake of anything but drama. For these reasons, I've removed the sentence and replaced it with something a little truer (I'm not sure if reads quite as well, though, so if anybody wants to change it, feel free. Justdig 20:12, 12 April 2006 (UTC)

Forgive me if I offer a lengthy defence of "tracing his slow descent into madness", it's just that I'm somewhat obsessed with this poem. The gist of my argument is this: 'descent' as well as 'madness' are 'factual truths' of the poem (as far as this elusive poem allows of factual truth, that is) or, if nothing else, more relevant to the introductory paragraph than 'self-torture' and 'despair'.
  • "The protagonist is already in a state of anguish and despair when the poem starts"
Reply: At the beginning of the poem, the narrator is merely "weak and weary", and while I grant that he is sad because of his loss and a bit hysterical, his initial condition is far from "a state of anguish and despair".
  • "even if there is a worsening of this state during the poem, it certainly couldn't be described as a "descent", as it's far less linear than that"
Reply: As you have pointed out, the appearance of the raven is, in a way, a welcome distraction to the author. I agree with you that the narrator's development is not a straight fall; he starts off very sad, then is hysterical as he peers into the darkness, then he is slightly amused by the appearance of the raven, then he is slightly depressed by the reminiscence of his friends, then perturbed by the story of the raven, but still smiling, then taken by a rush of sorrow as he remembers Lenore, and then he starts to question the raven, becoming more and more aggressive towards the bird until, in the last stanza, the raven becomes a sort of nightmarish demon in the imagination of the narrator. Though this plot is not strictly linear, I'd still maintain that it is essentially a downward spiral. Also, the word 'descent' in a sense suggests that the narrator 'chooses' madness rather than just having madness thrust upon him; this is in tandem with the narrator's indulgence in self-torture which you want to include in the introduction. Now, to look at the narrator as some sort of masochist is an important interpretative move with which I completely agree; but I would say that it is much less relevant to the introduction than the madness aspect, and thus I suggest that we leave it to the interpretation section, where it is discussed at length by the original author of this article in terms of "perverseness".
  • "And "madness"? Even if his final state is utter depression and despair, it's hardly madness."
Reply: I would defend the use of the term 'madness' in reference to the last stanza: The narrator has not just had a bad night, or a bad dream, and now it's all over; he is still -- and will remain, for all we know -- seriously disturbed, haunted and oppressed by the associations triggered by the raven; and these associations are not just grief and sorrow (or despair and depression), but more akin to a hallucinatory presence of an evil power ("a demon"). The narrator's ultimate despair is so closely linked to the imagined raven in his head (and the raven of the last stanza clearly is a product of the narrator's imagination) that it becomes a mental delusion from which he can no longer escape: and that is madness.
  • "slow"? I think you'd have a hard time arguing that that's there for the sake of anything but drama.
Reply: Well, it's a long poem (108 lines, is it?) and it takes the narrator quite some time to snap (last stanza). Yes, the word is somewhat dramatic -- but then the "The Raven" is a narrative (and dramatic) poem; also, the sentence flows better with one syllable added, and the import of the adjective is not so wrong as to compromise the entire article now, is it?
I hope that helped to make the sentence "tracing his slow descent into madness" a bit more lucid. Quoth-the-Raven 19:29, 13 April 2006 (UTC)


Why is this article here: [[The Raven (Edgar Allan Poe)]] instead of here: [[The Raven (poem)]] (which redirects to this article)? Is there another poem called "The Raven"? If so, it doesn't have an article and, thus, this poem should be located where the redirect currently is. [[The Raven (poem)]] is more intuitive than the cumbersome [[The Raven (Edgar Allan Poe)]]. That would be the correct title if it needed disambiguation, but since it currently doesn't, I don't think we should use it. Anyone know the reason for this? — Frecklefoot | Talk 14:49, Oct 1, 2004 (UTC)

NO, don't know. But I agree. --Sid 13:20, 29 Jan 2005 (UTC)

Why is it so strongly suggested that the personna of the poem is a student? Many a scholar or curious intellect could be pouring over volumnes of lore.

Full text of poem[edit]

I removed the full text of the poem; this is already covered by Wikisource. Volland 19:40, 29 Apr 2005 (UTC)

I'm putting it back. I see no reason why the full text of the poem should not be included; after all, the article is about the poem, isn't it? It's just plain stupid not to have the full text of a poem in an encyclopedia article about that poem. –Gravinos (Politics is the stench that rises from human conflict.) 21:03, 8 December 2007 (UTC)
I agree - it is stupid NOT to have the text here. When I Google the poem and was brought here, that was what I was expecting. But since it wasn't here, I had to find a completely different website to find it. Don't be a jerk by removing stuff. What harm is it ehre anyways? It's not like Wikipedia is running out of space or something! — Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 06:48, 21 January 2012 (UTC)
I think this beats the record of responding to old comments (about seven years, folks). Nevertheless, to respond to your concern ("But since it wasn't here..."): them poem is, in fact, included right here in this article. Further, there are several links at the bottom that take you to other places to read the poem. Sorry we made it so difficult for you. As an encyclopedia, the bigger concern is not presenting the text of the poem, but encyclopedic information about the poem. Isn't it great we can do both without running out of space? --Midnightdreary (talk) 13:24, 21 January 2012 (UTC)
The issue with this approach is "when do you stop including?" how long, how many, which? On the philosophy of inclusion it means all works would be here. The basic premise has been that the works (of whatever length) belong at Wikisource, and then are fully cited with the version and source; whereas Wikipedia includes the encyclopaedic content. There may be a snippet that includes part of the work for examples or as part of the encyclopaedia. I would again push for the removal of the full work from the article, may be start with the lead-in stanza, and then link off to the work at enWS. — billinghurst sDrewth 00:10, 21 October 2012 (UTC)

Unwarranted claims[edit]

"Famous horror writer Edgar Allan Poe" is an odd appelation: can't we do better?. The phrase "and is in fact considered by many to be the best American poem ever written"— like most sentences containing the dismal signal considered by many— is uninformative: "The Raven" is a weak contender in a simplistic category. Can't the opening paragraph be snappier and more accurate than this? --Wetman 18:34, 29 January 2006 (UTC)

I think we do not really need any special appelation for Poe other than "writer and poet" (or even just "author"). I also agree with your comment on the "considered by many": first, it really is uninformative; second, while "The Raven" is rather popular, its merit as a poem is hotly debated (Poe is often ranked a second-rate poet). Also, I don't like the introduction as it stands (30/01/6:05); if noone protests within the next few days, I'll replace it by: START "The Raven" is a poem by the American writer and poet Edgar Allan Poe. It was published for the first time on January 29, 1845 in the New York Evening Mirror. Noted for its musicality, stylized language and supernatural atmosphere, it tells of the mysterious visit of a talking raven to a distraught lover. END I think the word "macabre", though applicable to the better part of Poe's work, is not that present in "The Raven". I'm not too fond of the term "Gothic", either; "supernatural" does the trick. Last, I added "musicality": it's a distinct feature of the poem that deserves mention. Quoth-the-Raven 17:14, 30 January 2006 (UTC)

Good job! ever more! --Wetman 02:23, 31 January 2006 (UTC)


'...the bird, who acts only as he has been trained to act "by some unhappy master".'

The article states that as if fact. However, from the poem:

"Doubtless," said I, "what it utters is its only stock and store, Caught from some unhappy master, whom unmerciful disaster Followed fast and followed faster, till his songs one burden bore,

It can be seen that this is only speculation by the narrator.

-- A problem in the Overview section of the article: "the narrator becomes angry, calling the raven a 'wretch'..."

The lines relevant in the poem:

"`Wretch,' I cried, `thy God hath lent thee - by these angels he has sent thee Respite - respite and nepenthe from thy memories of Lenore! Quaff, oh quaff this kind nepenthe, and forget this lost Lenore!'

The narrator is calling himself a wretch, and bidding himself to take the nepenthe. If he were calling the raven a wretch, he'd apparently be telling the raven to drink and forget Lenore. (Considering the raven's ill treatment of Lenore's memory, that may not be a bad idea...)

I think it should be changed.

Thank you, anonymous poster! I think you're right on this one. The current text no longer says that the narrator called the raven a "wretch." :) --Midnightdreary 17:29, 3 August 2007 (UTC)

An interesting thing is that this article claims the poem is about a talking raven that instigates the narrator. I don't think it's about the raven at all. I don't even think the raven is real. I think the raven is a hallucination of the narrator, which is why it instigates his misery. It personifies his misery so he can have an argument with himself. I mean, he is going mad. He is an unreliable narrator. I think the poem is a character piece about his descent into despair, alone and mad. An appeal to our fear of that in ourselves. Of course, I could just be giving Poe too much credit. But I can't imagine anyone acclaiming this poem while believing the raven is a real character. There must be some talk about this somewhere. I can't be the only one to have thought of this. (talk) 23:48, 17 November 2014 (UTC)

there are many problems with this article.[edit]

"and these negative answers are instigated by the narrator himself, by his repeatedly questioning the bird, who acts only as he has been trained to act "by some unhappy master"."

The line "by some unhappy master" is said by the narrator who is trying to say to himself that the Raven could have picked up the word "nevermore" from some unhappy man. It is said to try to make this raven who is speaking the word "nevermore" seem logical and not scary.

Also, the raven isn't just about a talking bird. it is about a man slowly going insane.

another thing. who thought it was a good idea to use "the student"?? i've never heard anyone ever use that term...

i'm going to be going through this article and fixing alot of things that are wrong. Dposse 01:53, 16 February 2006 (UTC)

I agree. The problem of the problem is the strategy of the original article: "The Raven" is a (deliberately) vague and elusive poem when it comes to interpretation. The writer of the original article apparently decided to offer one coherent -- if at times flawed -- interpretation and shape it (rather eloquently, I think) into one section, rather than offering several of the interpretive approaches taken to the poem. This happens at the expense of a general overview and has the danger of offending anyone who has his/her own view on the poem, but on the plus side offers a certain clarity and coherence. I have never felt comfortable with the Wikipedia interpretation myself, either, but then again I was impressed by the way it was presented and, given the abundance of material on the net on "The Raven", I contended myself with the argument that an original and well-articulated interpretation is better than a patchwork of several half-hearted interpretations lacking substance. On second thought, this is an encyclopedia entry we are talking about here, so the approach taken is perhaps besides the point.
Since this is an encyclopedia, we should not have an original definite interpretation (currently it seems that we have a bad highschool student interpretation), but rather a discussion on the most important interpretations made by literary critics. bogdan 20:08, 16 February 2006 (UTC)
My thoughts exactly, except that I think the current interpretation is well beyond high school level: it incorporates a lot of information about Poe's poetry and is pretty perceptive at times; also, it centres the interpretation on the notion of "guilt", which is an interesting approach, although certainly not a prominent one amongst critics of "The Raven". I know a wee bit about the critical reception of the poem, so I'll try and come up with an alternative suggestion.

well, it's obvious that whoever wrote this article took alot of liberties with the truth. Bogdan, how are we going to do that?

What if i started a description of the poem, and we all pitch in to create one masterpiece? Dposse 01:16, 17 February 2006 (UTC)

Sounds good to me; I don't know what you mean exactly by "a lot of liberties with the truth", but I'll try to help as best as I can.

let me show you some example of "liberties with the truth":

the entire thing about "guilt" being the theme.

"His reaction to the loss has been colored by mysticism ("volume of forgotten lore"), and we know he is filled with fear at receiving a visitor (perhaps Lenore herself, "the whispered word 'Lenore'"), before he even sees the mysterious raven ("from the night's plutonian shore"--Pluto being the Roman god of the Underworld - known as Hades in the Greek mythology - implying that the Raven is from Hell), with its single word of judgment, "Nevermore.""

"The torture which the bird has brought to the narrator was already in the narrator's ruminating character--the bird only brought out what was inside. The raven itself is a mechanical process: deterministic, preordained, one word being the bird's "only stock and store." The Narrator throws himself against this process in a form of masochism, and lets it destroy him and consume him ("my soul from out that shadow shall be lifted--Nevermore!")"

"Why or how Lenore was lost, we do not know, but the narrator is torn between the desire to forget and the desire to remember."

those are a couple of the big example of the liberties the authors took with the truth of the poem and Edgar Allan Poe. it needs to be fixed. Dposse 02:55, 19 February 2006 (UTC)

The question we need to answer is: What do we want to include concerning the interpretation of the poem. Below, you suggested a paraphrase. I think the paraphrase should be part of the Overview section. Personally, I'd say your paraphrase is too lengthy for such a short poem: the reader of the article doesn't need to know every single detail of the poem. Maybe you could take a look at the very short paraphrase I offered above and add those details which you think MUST be mentioned in the overview.
Second, I don't think you can really accuse the original article of such a strong sin as "taking liberties to truth"; of course, the article is interpreting the poem, but it does so with reference to things that are really in there:
About the 1st quote: Apart from the speculation that the "volumes of forgotten lore" are about Mysticism, I think it's all in the poem: The narrator is filled with fear at receiving a visitor, visible in his doubtful self-reassurance that "It's just a visitor, nothing more!". The adjective "Plutonian" does indeed hint to Hell, only we don't know whether the raven is really from hell or whether this is just an idea that the narrator has.
About the 2nd quote: I think there is a hint of masochism in the narrator. Why else would he ask all those questions when he knows the answer? That the raven is "a mechanical process: deterministic, preordained" is a rather fancy and confusing way of saying that the raven just sits there and croaks "Nevermore" -- I guess the point is that the narrator cannot escape his destiny or something. I think we can definitely do without this.
About the 3rd quote: Again, much of this can be found in the poem. The narrator seeks "surcease of sorrow": That could either mean that he wants to be together with Lenore again -- that would end the sorrow supposedly -- or it could mean that he just wants to forget about her. That the narrator wants a "nepenthe" hints at the latter solution, whereas "balm of gilead" and the question about "Aidenn" seems to hint at the former. Whether the narrator has a "desire" to remember is doubtful, I'd say: rather, I think the narrator is haunted by his memory, demonstrated, for example, in his reaction to the cushioned wheelchair.
About the notion of guilt: One could easily mount an interpretation of the narrator having murdered Lenore. In this interpretation, you could argue that the chamber is in hell (there are various hints for this) and that the narrator experiences his inferal punishment for the murder. In this scenario, the raven as incarnation of "guilt" works very well. The writer of the original article decided to go for the "guilt" theme because of the links to other Poe stories; that's another strategy, and an interesting one in my opinion. I for one prefer to look at the poem in isolation for this article, which is my reason why I'm not happy about the current interpretation. But again: the fact is that the poem doesn't give any final indisputable clues: it is very vague.
All in all, the question is: Do we just want to offer a paraphrase of the poem in the article or do we want to interpret it as well; and if so, then which interpretation(s) should we include, and how do we present it/them. Quoth-the-Raven 14:33, 19 February 2006 (UTC)

Totally Lame: The mp3 reading of the poem is preceded by a lexus commercial, completely against the spirit of wikipedia. Besides, the reading isn't particularly good.

Alternative suggestion to the present article[edit]

So for a concrete suggestion as to how to re-write this article, I patched together the following (suggestions, especially when it comes to formulation, are very welcome):


At midnight, the narrator, pondering weird books to rid himself of the sorrow felt for a lost love, is disturbed by a raven tapping at the window of his study. The bird, whose only utterance is the single word "Nevermore," sits down on a bust of pallas. The narrator asks the raven a series of questions about his love, each answered by "Nevermore," slowly driving the narrator to despair and into madness.
The poem is famous for its mesmeric and musical qualities (typical of Poe’s poetry), achieved . through frequent alliteration, the repetition of words and sound patterns, and the rhyme scheme that makes use of internal rhymes as well as a consistent end rhyme remembered best in the refrain, "Quoth the Raven: 'Nevermore.'" The metrical construction, trochaic octameter, was adapted from Elizabeth Barret’s poem "Lady Geraldine’s courtship." The raven is thought to have been inspired by the raven Grip in Charles Dickens' Barnaby Rudge.
Critical Reception
The first publication of "The Raven" was an instant success; it was widely reprinted and admired and has since been regarded as one of the most famous American poems ever written.
"The Raven" has won critical acclaim but also spawned criticism: Dante Gabriel Rossetti thought that "Poe had done the utmost it was possible to do with the grief of the lover on earth," whereas William Butler Yeats' depreciative comment was that"The whole thing seems to me insincere and vulgar." The poem had a very enthusiastic reception in France, leading to translations by Charles Baudelaire and Stéphan Mallarmé.
Notwithstanding its simple narrative, the meaning of "The Raven" is rather vague: details of the narrator's past, his motivations, desires and mental condition, and the origin and nature of the raven remain obscure.
This vagueness is in tandem with Poe’s aesthetic theory, which he partly outlined in "The Philosophy of Composition," a famous essay in which he gives a partly tongue-in-cheek account of how he composed "The Raven." Poe argues that poetry should strive for a single effect, "the elevation of the soul," achieved through "some undercurrent, however indefinite of meaning."
Despite the intended opacity of meaning, critics have attempted definite interpretations: Poe himself suggested that the raven is "emblematical of Mournful and Neverending Rememberance." Freudian critics have read the poem as a pathological case study of perverseness, guilt or madness. The raven has sometimes been identified with the devil or the spirit of the narrator's lost love, Lenore. Edward H. Davidson saw the poem as an account of Poe’s despair at his own poetic endeavors.


I still have to compile the bibliographic record for the Rossetti/Yeats quotes, the "Philosophy of Composition" and the Davidson theory. I also don't know how to add the hyperlinks to other articles.

Here some arguments as to why I wrote what I wrote: (1) The overview should contain comments on both the versification and the plot. (2) The critical reception is something I'm personally very interested in, not the least because "The Raven" is very popular but has always struggled for appreciation in professional circles. (3) The interpretation part now presents several approaches briefly instead of one detailed interpretation. (4) I post this here rather than editing the article right away because I'd like to hear what you think first.

Quoth-the-Raven 12:23, 18 February 2006 (UTC)

I'm sorry to say, but that doesn't do the poem justice. where is your evidence for the "critical reception"? Also, his mental state is quite clear in the poem.

Here's something that we can start with and improve on. then we can come up with a final version to edit the article with:


The poem's setting is in the middle of december at midnight. The narrator is reading a book to try to forget his sorrow for his lost love. He nearly falls asleep, when someone gently knocks at his bedroom door. He opened up the door, but he saw no one. The narrator looked into the darkness outside his door, and everything was very still. He called out "Lenore!" to see if perhaps his love had returned, but there was nothing there. Then, the narrator heard a loud tapping coming from his window. The narrator opened the window, and a raven walked into his room. The raven flew up and perched on top of his bedroom door on his bust of Pallas. The narrator asked what the ravens name was, and the raven replied "nevermore". The narrator was very surprised that the bird could talk so clearly. He didn't understand what "nevermore" meant. It didn't hold any relevance to anything. The narrator says outloud that the raven will leave him, just as his friends have in the past. The raven says "nevermore". The narrator is startled again by hearing the the bird speak. He says that the raven probably picked up the word "nevermore" from some other unhappy man and the raven is only repeating it after hearing it from him. The narrator wheeled a cushioned chair in from on the raven and started to think about the raven and what it meant by saying "nevermore". The narrator then feels the air grow denser. He says to the raven to forget about his lost love, and the raven replies with "nevermore". The raven then calls the raven an evil Prophet, and askes the raven if there is balm in Gilead. The raven again says "nevermore". He then asks if his lose love is in paradise, and the raven says "nevermore". The narrator then upstarts and yells at the bird to leave his room, but the raven stays and says "nevermore". The raven is still sitting above his chamber door with a look of a "demon that is dreaming", and the narrators soul "shall be lifted - nevermore!".

Look, it isn't perfect. It's a basic summary. With some work, it could be good enough to replace the disapointing article that we currently have. Dposse 02:49, 19 February 2006 (UTC)

First, thanks for the effort, but are you suggestion that we kick all the interpretation stuff out and reduce the article to a paraphrase of what's happening in the poem? I'd prefer a more concise summary plus an overview of the reception and interpretation of the poem, like bogdan suggested.
Second, what exactly do you mean by "doing justice to the poem"? I'm a big fan of "The Raven", and I guess I could write an article about its charm and what a fantastic poem it is. But in an encyclopedic article, truth prevails and the truth is that "The Raven" is often thought a minor poem by experts > see (1).
(1) Concerning critical reception: Unlike other poems -- Shakespeare's sonnets, for example -- "The Raven" has not always been received favourably. My evidence for this -- apart from the quotes by Rossetti and Yeats -- is taken from I. M. Walker's compilation of early critical responses to "The Raven" in his "Edgar Allan Poe, The Critical Heritage": they range from 1845 to about 1850; some of them are positive, others negative. Then there are the responses of the Modernist writers, which are collected in Eric Carlson's "The Recognition of Poe": Aldous Huxley thought Poe's poetry was vulgar, T.S. Eliot and Henry James considered it somewhat immature, Yvor Winters wrote a famous essay tearing Poe's poetry apart, there's also W.H. Auden's famous introduction to Poe's collected works, where Auden writes that "The trouble with "the Raven," for example, is that the thematic interest and the prosodic interest, both of which are considerable, do not combine and are even often at odds." So "The Raven" had quite an interesting, varying reception history, something I think would make for an interesting piece of information in the article. If we ignore them, the article will be the poorer for it.
(2) All we know about his mental state is that it's somewhat deranged; and while the poem is fruitful soil for the discussion of someone gone mad, it never really yields any answers. We don't know, for example, whether the narrator wants Lenore back, whether he wants to resurrect her or whether he just wants to forget her. We don't know about the nature of his love to her: He seems to idealize her in a very strange fashion, but then he also seems to be afraid of her coming back. We don't know whether he's suicidal, we don't know what happened to those friends of his. We also don't know what exaclty it is that drives him mad: is it guilt, grief, a desire for self-destruction, over-imagination? The poem doesn't clarify these things, it leaves them open to speculation. That's what I mean when I say the mental condition of the narrator isn't clear. We also don't know whether we can believe the narrator -- whether the raven is real etc. -- or whether it is all imagination and dream and delirium. In short: the poem has many gaps of information, and as a result is rather vague. And its vagueness is a sort of Poe trademark that deserves mention in the article. Quoth-the-Raven 14:43, 19 February 2006 (UTC)

Why is the interpretation removed?[edit]

I found this much easier to understand the poem, and very little of it is commentry, it discusses main valid points about the text.

This article has certainly worse off from its removal.

As I explained on your talk page, your literary analysis constitutes original research which cannot be included on Wikipedia. (ESkog)(Talk) 05:45, 12 June 2006 (UTC)

However not all of it is original research, and a fair proportion of it could be incorporated into the article. Perhaps you should rewrite it, rather then removing it all then in one go hey?

  • I agree. Edit if necessary, but do not remove this wholesale. Outriggr 01:02, 14 June 2006 (UTC)

I belive there is no place in this article for interpretation the raven has been interprated by many different crictics in many different ways, Its just option --Mdavies 965 (talk) 10:31, 7 March 2008 (UTC) Matthew Davies

So you think that we can have a full encyclopedic (featured) article on "The Raven"... without having any analysis at all? If you read this article, you'll also note that there are several interpretations included. And I always make the argument: it's hard to have too many variations, when Poe himself already told us what the entire poem meant in "The Philosophy of Composition". --Midnightdreary (talk) 13:23, 7 March 2008 (UTC)

Italian version[edit]

I'd like to translate this page into Italian for the Italian Wikipedia. Can I? answer, please -- 12:56, 14 August 2006 (UTC)

  • Yes you can (if you know Italian). Outriggr 03:51, 15 August 2006 (UTC)
    • Thank! I'm Italian! :)


Excellent piece you've got here, the analysis is very informative. Thankyou. I must say, this poem is indeed a classic. That is all.

In popular culture[edit]

I removed this section, as not only does it only contain one (repeated) Simpsons reference, it is also made obsolete by the link to the main article of popular culture references. Desdinova 23:53, 17 October 2006 (UTC)

Thank you, I wanted to do this myself for some time now. I think from now on all references to popular culture or ad-like references (such as "this guy produced a video-version of the poem" etc.) should go there. In addition to your changes, I deleted the second publication history section. Quoth-the-Raven 12:02, 20 October 2006 (UTC)

July 2007[edit]

I removed the following today. If any of it is worth including in The Raven in popular culture, feel free to add it there. --Midnightdreary 01:05, 3 July 2007 (UTC)

  • A parodic translation into Russian concludes with the narrator asking the Raven to name the cities of Chile. When the Raven answers "Nevermore!" the narrator decides to stop listening.
  • Mad Magazine parodied the poem, in its usual style--printing the poem verbatim and illustrating it in its own bizarre way. The byline read "by EDGAR ALLAN POEtry" and the art credit was "by that Raven Maniac, Bill Elder." The raven flies in and perches on the bust of Pallas, chipping the "skin" off, leaving only a skull. "Lenore" is shown as an overweight cigar-smoking woman, ironing torn, flaming garments; the narrator's dog grows after the manner of Alice. In the last panel the narrator is ironing the giant dog's tail!


The clean-up tag was removed from this article, but I think it's still needed. There are no references to most of what's written here - and interpretation is either original research or someone else's previously published subjective opinion. Even things like "Certainly Poe's most famous poem" in the first line needs a reference, or not such a strong tone. I would recommend, to start, finding a source that talks about the theme of guilt and another that links the poem to Charles Dickens and "Barnaby Rudge." When I get a chance, I'll dig through what I have. -Midnightdreary 13:38, 26 April 2007 (UTC)

Poetic Forms[edit]

I know there's been a lot of talk about the meaning of the poem, but shouldn't we focus on what the poem actually is and what it has? As in, poetic style. Blahmaster 22:40, 5 June 2007 (UTC)

Good point. I recently came across a good source for it, so I'll be adding it now. Sorry it took so long. Feel free to add anything else you come across. --Midnightdreary 00:40, 14 July 2007 (UTC)


First, as a courteous FYI, I just wanted to give my reasoning for switching the images. The new one, by Edourd Manet is, I think, more illustrative of the "plot" of the poem. I do like the Gustave Dore one with the skeleton (who wouldn't?) but it's a little too interpretative. Feel free to disagree. Also, I think it's about time we started trying to get rid of that original research that's lowering the quality of this article. Let's try to get some sources for analysis, and get "The Raven" up to Good Article status! Who's with me? =) --Midnightdreary 15:32, 4 July 2007 (UTC)

I've removed the following, due to original research (it's been tagged for months): --Midnightdreary 22:53, 4 July 2007 (UTC)

"The Raven", like other works by Poe such as "The Black Cat," "The Imp of the Perverse," and "The Tell-Tale Heart," is a study of guilt or "perverseness" (in Poe's own words, "The human thirst for self-torture"). Although we are told in those stories that the narrators have killed someone, in "The Raven" we are only told that the narrator (appropriate term for poetic voice) has lost his love, Lenore. (Lenore is imported from an earlier poem, "Lenore" (1831) which was itself a massive reworking of "A Pæan"; both are also about the death of a young woman).

"Guilt" should not be taken here in either the standard legal or moral senses. Poe's characters usually do not feel "guilt" because they did a "bad" thing—that is, the story is not didactic (in his essay "The Poetic Principle" Poe called didacticism the worst of "heresies"); there is no "moral to the story." Guilt, for Poe, is "perverse," and perverseness is the desire for self-destruction. It is completely indifferent to societal distinctions between right and wrong. "Guilt" is the inexplicable and inexorable desire to destroy oneself eo ipso.

"The Raven" is also an excellent example of arabesque, mental suffering, writing as well as grotesque, or physical suffering. In addition to the narrator's physical terror throughout the poem, there are a great many psychologically disturbing sequences and images described as well.

The narrator quickly learns what the bird will say in response to his questions, and he knows the answer will be a negative ("Nevermore"). However, he asks questions, repeatedly, which would optimistically have a "positive" answer, "Is there balm in Gilead? Will I meet Lenore in Aidenn?" To each question the Raven's predestined reply is "Nevermore", which only increases the narrator's anguish.

The themes of self-perpetuating anguish and self-destructive obsession over the death of a beautiful woman are in themselves the most poetic of topics, according to Poe (see his essay "The Philosophy of Composition"). The torture which the bird has brought to the narrator was already in the narrator's ruminating character—the bird only brought out what was inside. The raven itself is a mechanical process: deterministic, preordained, one word being the bird's "only stock and store." The narrator throws himself against this process in a form of masochism, and lets it destroy him and consume him ("my soul from out that shadow... shall be lifted—Nevermore!")

Why or how Lenore was lost is unknown, but the narrator is torn between the desire to forget and the desire to remember. Death without cause is standard for Poe (See "Ligeia," "Eleonora," "Morella," "Berenice," "The Fall of the House of Usher," "The Oval Portrait," "Annabel Lee," "Lenore," "A Pæan," "The Bells," and others). The female beauty dies without cause or explanation—or she dies because she was beautiful. In the end, the narrator clings to the memory, for that is all he has left. What the raven has taken from him so cruelly is his loneliness—but this cruelty he brought upon himself, for he cannot resist the urge to interrogate the raven. He is fascinated by the bird's repeated, desolate reply. The speaker repeatedly asks it questions in the hope that it will say "yes" (forevermore)—or perhaps out of a morbid desire to be again told "no" (nevermore).

Although the bird seems a hallucination, it is in fact real (this is not to say that the narrator does not hallucinate at all, however), with real black feathers and a real croaking of the single word, "Nevermore." Ravens can be taught to speak.


I'm sorry I'm not discussing most of the specific changes I'm making to this article before making them; I rarely get responses, so I'm doing this now as an afterthought. Please, please, understand that I am very interested in collaborating on this project and I'd love to hear some feedback - my way isn't necessarily the best way. Anyway, with that said, I've done quite a bit today. Here's an abbreviated version:

  • Expanded "Composition" section, with references, including subsection "Inspiration"
  • Reordered to (what I think is) a more logical pattern
  • Expanded and clarified "Publication History"; removed redlinks for articles that are (presumed) unlikely to be created and do not have requests for articles or removed names of illustrators that are not as notable (feel free to prove otherwise)
  • Created "Critical reception and impact" section - this will definitely need much more, with more coverage of negative criticism, including more modern ones, for proper neutrality (I'd love some help here)
  • Changed format on "References," now that there are more than a couple

I'm thinking a section for "Analysis" or "Interpretation" is unnecessary at this point; possibly some expansion on the "Allusions" section. Also on the "to do" list is a re-write of the introduction to properly introduce what the entire article contains.

Thoughts? :) --Midnightdreary 04:30, 13 July 2007 (UTC)

Even more... I swapped some images today. I think it's cute because all three basically depict the moment where the raven first enters the narrator's chamber. So, they're similar in scene but represent three very different artists (Manet, Dore, Tenniel). I think they are some of the best examples, but I'd love to hear some different opinions. For example, if people think we should diversify the scene depicted, I can understand that. --Midnightdreary 19:53, 19 July 2007 (UTC)
Well, I went ahead and started a general Analysis section after all, and expanded the Allusions. I think some sources might be needed there though, if anyone has any, especially the part about the "forgotten lore" suggesting the occult. Also, how would people feel about a quick section talking about where "The Raven" was written? I know of four places that claim he wrote it there (no significant evidence exists and it's mostly just local lore so it wouldn't be easy to find a source). Is that encyclopedic or just trivia? --Midnightdreary 15:01, 25 July 2007 (UTC)

GA Passed[edit]

I have passed this article's GA because I believe it meets the GA criteria for being well written, broad in its coverage, factually accurate, neutral and stable. I question why the "Athena" wikilink in the intro links to a disambiguation page - perhaps it should be moved to link to Athena rather than Pallas. Good work on a well-known work, consider taking to WP:POETRY for further help in taking this to FA status if you so desire. Cheers, Corvus coronoides talk 18:45, 29 August 2007 (UTC)

Many thanks! I was most worried about the neutrality part but I think it worked out well. I've fixed the suggested wikilink problem. Thanks again! --Midnightdreary 20:07, 29 August 2007 (UTC)

The Poem[edit]

Since the poem is in public domain it should be listed in full text here or failing that a link to the poem should be provided —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 22:57, 18 September 2007 (UTC)

(Moved this most recent comment to the bottom) Thanks for your input - there are several links to the full poem already. See the External Links section. --Midnightdreary 01:48, 19 September 2007 (UTC)

Featured Article Review[edit]

Well, this article was put up for Featured Article Review but was not promoted. I did everything that was recommended - except for adding more information about "The Parrot Who Knew Papa" and "Lolita." There was also some suggestions to add more critical analysis. After exhausting some dozen and a half sources, I'm at a loss to find more - and this is using the library of the Edgar Allan Poe National Historic Site. If anyone has further information, please add it in. I think more people just need to vote next time, rather than just making comments (and never returning once the recommended changes were made). I'm inclined to put it up for FA review again tomorrow. Thoughts? --Midnightdreary 02:22, 29 September 2007 (UTC)

Yes, more time at FAC will likely garner more support. I would not cast my "mild oppose" re: analysis again. –Outriggr § 05:54, 29 September 2007 (UTC)
I'm confused on the process for re-nominating a failed FA candidate. I don't want to mess up the archived version. Outriggr, can you (or someone else) help me out?? --Midnightdreary 03:29, 2 October 2007 (UTC)

It's officially been renominated. Here we go again! --Midnightdreary 18:56, 9 October 2007 (UTC)

YES! IT PASSED!!!! I'm very happy now. What's next?? ;) --Midnightdreary 02:43, 14 October 2007 (UTC)

"Nevermore" or "nevermore" ?[edit]

I was just about to change "Nevermore" to "nevermore" (small "n") in the introduction, considering it to be a mistake, and then noticed that the word is consistently capitalized through the entire article. Hmmm. Well, I still think it's a mistake. Any other opinions? --RenniePet 19:05, 2 December 2007 (UTC)

It's an exact quote. All versions I've seen have capitalized it as "Nevermore." I'm okay with it as is. --Midnightdreary 01:55, 3 December 2007 (UTC)
OK, no problem. Although it's still my opinion that it's grammatically incorrect. If that raven was smart enough to speak one would expect it to either make a statement in the form of a complete sentence, "Nevermore." (capitalization and period), or else it was just quoting a single word, "nevermore" (no capitalization, no period). --RenniePet 13:01, 3 December 2007 (UTC)
Hey, I just looked at the poem (should have done that right from the start), and the first three copies I've found with Google all indicate that the raven said, "Nevermore.", with a period. Unless someone objects I'll change it tomorrow, OK? --RenniePet 13:37, 3 December 2007 (UTC) --RenniePet 13:43, 3 December 2007 (UTC)
Well, most of the quotes here do use the period so it's not too bad. But there are a couple of spots that it comes in the middle of a sentence. In those cases, I'm not sure it's necessary to quote the period (it's still an exact quote without it, isn't it?). I think it will just confuse a reader. As a side note, the raven in the poem is not smart enough to speak, just dumb enough to repeat, as Poe tells us in "The Philosophy of Composition." Remember too that there is some poetic license here, so grammar rules need not be so strict. :) --Midnightdreary 14:29, 3 December 2007 (UTC)

Featured article?![edit]

This is a whitewash. I am a huge Poe and Raven fan, but this article is schlock. In particular it only provides one side of the critical reception. Poe was a literary critic and was also often on the receiving end of literary criticism. The Raven was a focal point for those critical of Poe, who viewed it as a lazy, sing-songy bit of schlock. This view is utterly unrepresented in the article as it exists. I wish this article were featured as a truly featured-article status, b ut as it is it only exists with a brief synopsis and pro-Poeist apology. We can do better. But I speak as an engineer, surely there are English majors out there editing the-pedia who can opine and improve? NTK (talk) 09:33, 6 December 2007 (UTC)

There ia a little bit of negative criticism in the "Critical reception and impact" section. Only a couple lines, though. Zagalejo^^^ 09:39, 6 December 2007 (UTC)
Sorry you feel the article on the whole is "schlock" based on one minor point... I worked my butt off to get this to FA status!! :) I thought it was fairly neutral: there is criticism not only on the poem but on Poe's supposed discussion of how and why he wrote it. If it was a focal point of those critical of Poe, I haven't read as much (certainly, "The Bells" was a more targeted poem). If anyone knows of additional negative criticism with a reliable source, it's welcome to be added in. --Midnightdreary (talk) 13:11, 6 December 2007 (UTC)

Deprecate & Depreciate[edit]

Hi. I've been enjoying reading (and tweaking!) the article. I was a bit curious about the use of the words deprecate and depreciate in the article, but not sure enough of what was meant to change the usage.

Analysis: 'His questions, then, are purposely self-deprecating'. My understanding of 'self deprecating' is 'belittling or undervaluing oneself' (taken from, but is what I understand from general usage). Are the narrator's questions really doing this? He seems to me rather to be punishing himself. Does this use of self deprecating come from the source cited?

Allusions: 'The narrator depreciates the angels' presence'. The closest meaning I can find at to what seems to be meant here is 'To think or speak of as being of little worth'. That doesn't seem quite to make sense here in reference to the angel's presence. Is what is meant here something more like 'resents'?

(As an aside, that is not at all how I read the narrator's comment: "Wretch," I cried, "thy God hath lent thee -- by these angels he hath sent thee Respite -- respite and nepenthe, from thy memories of Lenore; Quaff, oh quaff this kind nepenthe and forget this lost Lenore!" Doesn't this say that the angels have sent the narrator 'respite and nepenthe'? This is the first time I've read this poem in a long while though, and I've never studied it in depth.)

Cheers. 4u1e (talk) 12:20, 6 December 2007 (UTC)

I see the latter section was an alteration from today, so I've taken the liberty of reverting to the wording from the start of the day, which seems to me a closer fit with what the poem says. Cheers. 4u1e (talk) 12:33, 6 December 2007 (UTC)
Regarding the self-deprecating questions (the term is from the cited source)... he's asking multiple questions, not just the one regarding nepenthe. I think the most obvious one for this particular assessment is when he asks, "Within the distant Aidenn it shall clasp a sainted maiden...?" knowing that the raven will say no/nevermore. Even "Is there balm in Gilead?" is asking for trouble. The argument here, which is one of the strongest and most common interpretations I've read, is that he is asking questions to which he knows the raven will answer in the negative and yet asks them anyway. Oh, and I'm not sure which is the other line you were referring to. --Midnightdreary (talk) 13:20, 6 December 2007 (UTC)
I reverted the other one (as noted above ;-)), to the wording from the beginning of today, which made much more sense. I realise there are multiple questions, but are they self-deprecating? Not by my understanding, but if that's the usual term used, then that's fine and I'll stop pestering you. Cheers. 4u1e (talk) 13:49, 6 December 2007 (UTC)

Copy editing[edit]

Truthfully, I have never seen such aggressive, dedicated copy editing on a single article before. I'm overwhelmed and, as one of the main "watchers" of this article, I can't keep up!! I'm wondering if any of the copy editors are interested in taking a brief look at Edgar Allan Poe for the same clean-up... preferably with fewer separate edits so that I can follow what's happening! --Midnightdreary (talk) 13:15, 6 December 2007 (UTC)

I must say[edit]

This is the most wonderful and empowering video you have here.... Very glad you put it here..... I'm looking this over and found some mistakes........ not big, just some miss spellings(2) and also I think I might add to it if that is ok,,, thank you and have a wonderufl day...... Again wonderfullllllllllll.....

Rianon Burnet 13:38, 6 December 2007 (UTC)

Video? GeeJo (t)(c) • 00:44, 8 December 2007 (UTC)
Heh heh. I was thinking the same thing. Instead, I'll just say "Thanks!" --Midnightdreary (talk) 01:30, 8 December 2007 (UTC)

Minor Grammatical Changes[edit]

I made some minor changes to the structure and grammar of the first part of the article. Hopefully it is not considered vandalism :) I enjoy editing things, please let me know if you feel something is off and we can fix it. OSFTactical (talk) 21:14, 6 December 2007 (UTC)

Sorry for All the Extra Edits...[edit]

Sorry for all the extra edits, but I've been trying to fit the full text of the poem in without making the article too long. I think I've succeeded in doing this; however, it may need some tweaking. –Gravinos ("Politics" is the stench that rises from human conflict.) 00:33, 9 December 2007 (UTC)

Generally, we've come to a consensus that we shouldn't include the full text of the poem. With that said, though, I like what you did here! I think it's worth keeping, unless others think this is overkill. Either way, thanks for the effort, Gravinos! --Midnightdreary (talk) 00:43, 9 December 2007 (UTC)
My position is essentially identical to Midnightdreary's: on more than one occasion I have removed the entire text of the poem from this article, placed here by well-intended visitors. However, this is an ingenious way of going about it. Let's see if it has any sticking power. — BillC talk 01:13, 9 December 2007 (UTC)

"If Lenore is in heaven"[edit]

Currently, the article says the narrator asks the raven if he shall see Lenore is in heaven.

Emphasis mine. The narrator doesn't ask the raven if Lenore is in Aidenn/Eden (heaven), he askes if he shall see her in heaven. I amended it accordingly. However, I was reverted and advised to come to the talk page. And so here I am. I (talk) 01:04, 11 December 2007 (UTC)

I'm still not seeing anything that implies he will "see" Lenore. What he's actually saying (literally) is: "Will my soul be able to hold onto Lenore in heaven". So, we're both wrong. But the verb "see" seems to be a more distant stretch than "is". Inspired by your interpretation, I've scoured through Silverman, Meyers, Hobson Quinn, and Sova... none use any verb relating to sight or vision. What do you think? --Midnightdreary (talk) 01:29, 11 December 2007 (UTC)
I agree that "see" isn't a good word. Perhaps meet? I (talk) 01:35, 11 December 2007 (UTC)
I think that's closer... hmmm... how about "be reunited"? --Midnightdreary (talk) 01:38, 11 December 2007 (UTC)
I like that one. I support rephrasing it with that. I (talk) 01:48, 11 December 2007 (UTC)
Excellent! I'll let you have the honors because you instigated this whole discussion. Thanks for the collaboration!!! --Midnightdreary (talk) 01:51, 11 December 2007 (UTC)

Thank You, Wikipedians[edit]

You guys are much better than the guys at Sparknotes, who refused to include this poem. What makes it more amazing that it's a community of common people and scholars that do not profit from writing this article. You guys fully deserve this Featured Article status, I look forward to working with you guys in literary analysis and we can undermine Sparknotes and Cliffsnotes. --Chinese3126 (talk) 02:17, 11 January 2008 (UTC)

Glad to see you found the article worthwhile! Not sure I was aiming to compete with Sparknotes or CliffsNotes, but whatever it takes to help people appreciate this work is fine with me. --Midnightdreary (talk) 02:57, 11 January 2008 (UTC)


Why isn't the adaption made by the Simpsons not mentioned? It's the most famous adaption of The Raven.

-G —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 04:14, 3 April 2008 (UTC)

See The Raven in popular culture, and Treehouse of Horror, where this is discussed. — BillC talk 07:48, 3 April 2008 (UTC)
Well said, BillC. Let's not forget, of course, that "the most famous adaptation" is pretty subjective. Either way, this article is specifically about the poem. --Midnightdreary (talk) 13:56, 3 April 2008 (UTC)


I have no expertise in meter, so don't wish to call into question the analysis given here and in many sources, but rather to satisfy my own curiosity I wonder if someone could explain to me on what basis this poem is analysed as being in trochaic octameter. It strikes me as an artificial and arbitrary choice to say that each line is an octameter with a great deal of internal rhyming, rather than analyse these as two lines, each a tetrameter, with a more conventional rhyme. Certainly the sense does little to suggest that these should be interpreted as longer lines. Is it simply that Poe wrote lines of eight feet? Or is there a more concrete explanation that can be given? Thank you. Che Gannarelli (talk) 13:34, 24 July 2008 (UTC)

Each line is, um, only one line, and each line happens to be in eight feet. Poe himself refers to it as octameter in his essay and even had to ask for the typical two-column page arranged as a single column for the lines to fit in print. I've never seen any scholar dispute this. Not sure where this is confusing... why would you arbitrarily break a line in half? --Midnightdreary (talk) 16:03, 24 July 2008 (UTC)
I'll be interested to read the essay you mention. I'm not interested in disputing anything, and fully acknowledge that there appears to be no controversy whatsoever on this matter. I suppose I don't fully understand what makes a line an objectively identifiable unit beyond the author's choice. If it is simply a matter of the author's choice, then I'm fully satisfied with that explanation. If not, then the question stands, as one could declare any poem with a thoroughly convetional meter and rhyme scheme to have an unconventional meter with internal rhyme, simply by changing what one chooses to analyse as a line. I don't pretend to have knowledge of the conventions of verse analysis, or to raise controversy where none exists. I'm just curious. Again, I suppose the question simply reduces to, 'What makes a line a line?' --Che Gannarelli (talk) 17:58, 5 August 2008 (UTC)
Not sure what's so confusing about the definition of "line" - it's the spot where you hit the "return" button on the typewriter. No one is breaking anything off arbitrarily and the reader should never have to analyze or, really, do any work at all to determine where a line begins or ends; the poem was designed with these breaks (i.e. the first "line" of "The Raven" is "Once upon a midnight dreary, while I pondered weak and weary"). Poe's essay, by the way, is "The Philosophy of Composition". --Midnightdreary (talk) 18:33, 5 August 2008 (UTC)
I'm just trying to understand this, and do not quite feel that I deserve to be patronized. I will gladly accept the definition that a line is a line because it's written on a line, and that it is entirely a matter of where the author elects to begin a new line, but that simply struck me as having little to do with rhythm and structure, and everything to do with textual formatting. Put another way, it seemed very much that a line of octameter with internal rhyme was homeomorphic to a rhyming couplet of tetrameter. I was trying to discover, perhaps, what was being achieved by presenting the lines as being twice as long as they might otherwise be. Anyway. Many thanks for the essay. --Che Gannarelli (talk) 10:14, 6 August 2008 (UTC)
My apologies for coming across as patronizing; it wasn't my intention, as I really am trying to help. My point ultimately was that a line is written as a line and no analysis should ever be made to determine where a line is; it's not like the poem was written like prose as one line of text and it's up to us, the reader, to add in line breaks. The rhythm and structure is built into that line the way the author built it, and it's no more complicated than that. Choosing to break a poet's line because you have a better way to format it goes against the poet's method. If Poe had meant to use a tetrameter, he'd have written a four-foot line. --Midnightdreary (talk) 11:30, 6 August 2008 (UTC)
Thanks for that. That's all I wanted to know, really. I was being unfair describing you as patronizing, there, and I apologize. Thanks for the help. --Che Gannarelli (talk) 12:36, 14 August 2008 (UTC)
Only on Wikipedia can someone ask the question, "What makes a line a line?" And not be immediately banned for complete idiocy. Hope you feel lucky that midnightdreary is a nicer person than the both of us, because I would have just referred you to the essay and told you to sod off. 16:48, 18 October 2011 (UTC)

Genesis Raven[edit]

Um, I'm no Bble scholar, but I do own a Bible and I have read the account as found in Genesis. In all the versions of the Hebrew Bible, there is never any mention made of a white raven being released and turned black for not returning. It's true, two ravens were released before the famouse dove was, however, the entire episode mentions nothing of any transformation of any kind. (talk) 05:56, 31 July 2008 (UTC)RalisII

It's not from the Bible. It's Hebraic folklore, just like the article states. --Midnightdreary (talk) 11:46, 31 July 2008 (UTC)
I thought the same thing, until I read this. I thought the Hebraic folklore was in explanation of the sentence immediately prior, "The raven also gets a reputation as a bird of ill omen in the book of Genesis." Since they are actually two separate ideas, then the first sentence is missing an explanation-- I don't see the raven as an ill omen in Genesis. A source is cited, but without an explanation in the article, it would be better without that sentence. Slim (talk) 23:49, 22 October 2008 (UTC)
I swapped out "book of Genesis" with "story of Genesis". I'm not sure if this is more or less misleading. Let me know what you think. --Midnightdreary (talk) 00:00, 23 October 2008 (UTC)

The "dread" theme is not new to poetry. Consider the Rime of the Ancient Mariner, written many years earlier by Samuel Taylor Coleridge. Still, Poe did write what was clearly a classic. -- (talk) 04:08, 5 December 2010 (UTC)

Lenore is a pseudonym[edit]

This kind of dispute should be more public and I think we need to look for further opinions on this. Has anyone seen a reliable, verifiable, published source that suggests that the name "Lenore" is not the real name of the narrator's lost love but is, in fact, a pseudonym? Does anyone have a specific interpretation of the line "whom the angels name Lenore; nameless here forevermore"? See User talk:Valerius Tygart#Lenore / Raven. --Midnightdreary (talk) 19:08, 11 November 2008 (UTC)

Genesis in Lenore (1831)[edit]

There seems to be nothing more than a footnote connecting The Raven to Poe's 1831 poem, Lenore. The similarities between the two (the death of a young woman named Lenore, whom the author laments) is more than simply coincidental. And what of the line in Lenore, "And, Guy De Vere,/Hast thou no tear?/Weep now or nevermore! The Photoplayer 00:41, 5 October 2009 (UTC)

Certainly more than coincidental. I have my own personal opinion, as I'm sure you do too. As you probably know, those opinions are irrelevant because of our no original research policy. Have you found anything mentioned in reliable published sources? --Midnightdreary (talk) 01:24, 5 October 2009 (UTC)

The Édouard Manet illustrations[edit]

The Library of Congress has scanned the entire Stéphane Mallarmé translation at high resolution, which means the full Manet illustrations are now available at much better quality than any of the previous illustrations for this article. I've restored the set and am nominating them for featured picture consideration. The new illustrations are 10-20MB, which is orders of magnitude better than what the article had previously. It's a treat to locate these in a cohesive set. Have replaced within the article; feel welcome to tweak as needed. Best regards, Durova327 03:48, 17 October 2009 (UTC)

So now the article is so Manet heavy that no other artists are represented at all? I'm not sure I agree with this. It looks like it should be an article on Manet's illustrations for "The Raven" rather than an article on the poem itself. --Midnightdreary (talk) 11:42, 17 October 2009 (UTC)
I'm disagreeing with this more and more. Gustave Dore's illustrations are, arguably, the most famous illustratrions for "The Raven" ever created - and his work is not represented here. Further, Tenniel's work (famous in its own right) is much, much closer to the original 1845 publication of "The Raven" (and depicts the original English version, rather than a French translation). No, I don't like this change at all. --Midnightdreary (talk) 12:42, 17 October 2009 (UTC)
If someone would obtains better digitized versions of Doré's illustrations I would be glad to restore them. As things currently stand, though, half of the featured pictures have been removed from this article. It's rare to be able to obtain a top quality set of illustrations by a major artist, and the continuity of this set has been obscured from the readership. Inexplicably, priority has been given to the non-featured media. I will not edit war in the attempt to remedy that problem, but the current display is suboptimal even if one grants full credence to the reasons that were given for it. Durova366 18:32, 17 November 2009 (UTC)

Wouldn't it be more appropriate to use the complete featured picture set within the article, particularly at lead position, and perhaps use the lower quality illustrations in a gallery within the publications section? The Tenniel illustration currently at lead is only 172 KB and suffers from chromatic aberration. Would gladly restore Doré and others if adequate scans become available. Please supply uncompressed TIFF files 10MB or larger. Durova366 18:56, 17 November 2009 (UTC)

I'm not sure why their featured status automatically gives them priority over the benefit of having variety, not to mention using other well-known illustrations (including what I think is the best known) that are actually based on the poem "The Raven," and not a derivative of it. These images didn't seem to be a problem when the article was brought up as an FAC. Again, focusing solely on a set of illustrations for a translation of this poem seems unfair and, ultimately, less appropriate. If there were an article solely on that set of illustrations for the poem on which they are based, that might be more sensible. I had nothing to do with the set becoming featured images so I can't speak to that. I don't think a gallery is a good compromise because I don't find galleries useful or helpful (other than those linked via Commons). Are there other thoughts out there so this isn't just a two-person discussion? --Midnightdreary (talk) 00:46, 18 November 2009 (UTC)
Is there a reason the variety can't be incorporated into the publications section? It's pretty rare that we have the opportunity to feature a complete set of illustrations by a major artist on any subject. Would be good to use them all, and with respect for the argument about variety it doesn't seem to necessitate a non-featured version at lead. Regardless of the historicity and quality of the original artworks, the Manet illustrations are digitized at exceptionally high quality from an original first edition. Durova366 01:12, 18 November 2009 (UTC)
My apologies - I didn't pick up on that you were especially suggesting a lead image be one of these. I can easily acquiesce to that. Which do you think is most appropriate? --Midnightdreary (talk) 02:40, 18 November 2009 (UTC)
How about the one of the raven flying in through the window? Durova366 06:16, 18 November 2009 (UTC)
It's easy to find "raven coming in through a window" pictures but, for a little spice, how about this one? --Midnightdreary (talk) 15:18, 18 November 2009 (UTC)
That's fine. By the way, overnight was able to locate a very high resolution digitization of the Doré illustrations for this poem. Would be willing to restore from that, take your choice (start here and browse). The only catch is if Doré goes up for featured picture consideration, the FPC regulars might want to delist any Manets that don't appear in the article. Let's work something out. Durova366 17:56, 18 November 2009 (UTC)
Sounds good. My favorite is this one, where the narrator is lying in the shadow. The one of the raven on the Pallas bust is much more iconic, though. --Midnightdreary (talk) 20:29, 18 November 2009 (UTC)
Will have a go at it. That image suffers from perspective distortion because it didn't lie flat on the scanner. Could be difficult to fully correct. Other images earlier in the volume don't have the same problem. Will tool around and see how this works out. Durova366 23:47, 18 November 2009 (UTC)
I'm flexible. I don't really have any eye for quality images. --Midnightdreary (talk) 00:25, 19 November 2009 (UTC)
Here you go. Turned out better than expected. Durova366 02:09, 19 November 2009 (UTC)

Nudge? Durova380 18:15, 14 December 2009 (UTC)

Nudge? Durova391 06:10, 3 January 2010 (UTC)
I don't know what that means. If you need anything from me, it's better to email from my user page as I'm not active right now. --Midnightdreary (talk) 19:24, 5 January 2010 (UTC)

Wording fixes[edit]

I made no major changes. I simply fixed some awkward language. Being an FA doesn't mean it's perfect, and the wording I changed improved the article, by varying the sentence structure, and combining a couple of short, choppy sentences. Please explain why simple wording changes (as well as some kind of bot fixes) were simply reverted wholesale without any kind of explanation. That doesn't seem acceptable in any way. Lithistman (talk) 01:29, 28 February 2010 (UTC)

"Improvements" are subjective. Nevertheless, welcome to the Wiki-cycle; don't take it personally. One particular edit that makes a major change is removing the wording that Poe claimed to have written the poem methodically. As the article states, Poe's claims are likely not entirely true. Any reason why we should suddenly say otherwise in the lede? --Midnightdreary (talk) 01:42, 28 February 2010 (UTC)
It doesn't seem to simply have been a "claim" to me, but actually what he DID. However, I would have much less problem with THAT being reverted pending discussion, than with the wholesale reversion that removed ALL of my changes, as well as the bot fixes. Lithistman (talk) 01:45, 28 February 2010 (UTC)
Again, the Wiki-cycle - reverting to start discussion. Stay with me here! Again, read the article: it says that it is likely an exaggeration. The full article on The Philosophy of Composition goes further. I don't know why you're so defensive about the bot edits... bots aren't really sacred as far as I know... --Midnightdreary (talk) 01:53, 28 February 2010 (UTC)
Like I said before, I can see the potential problem with the removal of the qualifier. As for the bot edits, they seemed an objective improvement of the formatting of the references. Not so much "defensive" of them, as it seemed that a full reversion to the previous version didn't take into account that there were useful edits (including the bots) that were being reverted. Lithistman (talk) 01:57, 28 February 2010 (UTC)

I've restored the qualifier in the paragraph about his intentions. Hope that helps. Lithistman (talk) 02:17, 28 February 2010 (UTC)

Which way is up?[edit]

Does anyone have a third party source which comments upon the orientation of the final image for Manet's illustration? An editor has removed the featured version, citing this as a source. The existing featured picture retains the orientation from the version that appears in the Library of Congress rare book collection, which is a full book scan from the 1875 first edition.[1][2] Durova412 21:28, 16 March 2010 (UTC)

I'm assuming this is good fun, not good faith. Apologies if that is not the case, but the onus is on you to prove it and that that printing error is notable. cygnis insignis 22:04, 16 March 2010 (UTC)
As explained in this edit summary,[3] Midnightdreary and I have been reverting to the consensus per the image's featured picture candidacy. Durova412 22:26, 16 March 2010 (UTC)
Cygnis, I think a good faith assumption would have made it understood that help was sought, regardless of burden of proof (isn't that the point of collaboration?). Durova, at this point, I think it's best to just use whatever featured image makes the most sense to you (I'm not keen enough on them). If the one illustration is upset down, be it by Manet's wishes or otherwise, it would be sensible to make sure the text of the article (not the caption) explains this with reliable sources, if that's the one used. Otherwise, maybe it's best to use a different Manet? --Midnightdreary (talk) 22:35, 16 March 2010 (UTC)
Well, that bundles this discussion with the unresolved thread above. Since this is a featured picture set the featured picture participants would prefer that all images be used. Durova412 22:50, 16 March 2010 (UTC)

Headed over to Google Books to see what the sources over there have to say. The 1875 printing was a limited run of 240 copies[4][5] that is “universally praised as brilliant examples of lithography”.[6]

The preparation and publication of the volume was a complex storey. For Mallarmé and Manet, it was a labor of love whose public impact fell far short of the collaborators’ expectations. The large format and the startlingly bold illustrations in an ‘unrealistic’ oriental brush technique ran counter to all the norms of the day, and only a few very enlightened observers were able to appreciate its qualities. As in many other of Mallarmé’s publishing ventures, this work, which now commands universal respect and admiration, was a resounding commercial failure.”[7]

The image we're discussing is counted as either the fourth or the fifth illustration in these sources, depending upon whether the reviewer counts the bookplate as the first of the series. Although this search was unable to locate a specific discussion of the intended orientation of this image, they do discuss the unconventionality of these illustrations and universal respect and praise for the publishing.

It is possible to double check the orientation of Wikipedia's featured picture against the orientation of surrounding pages on the Library of Congress copy:[8] click "prev image" and "next image" to confirm that the spine orientation on this page corresponds properly. Durova412 23:58, 16 March 2010 (UTC)

Sorry, I guess I never realized that the FP precedent leans towards the use of all pictures from a set like this. Perhaps a gallery is in order? But, definitely, add more article text to support their inclusion. The "upside-down or not" question is beyond me, I think. --Midnightdreary (talk) 00:35, 17 March 2010 (UTC)
Well, this is is analogous to writing [sic] within quoted text: when in doubt, reproduce the source faithfully and make a notation. Durova412 01:28, 17 March 2010 (UTC)

Here is another scan of the same edition with the image oriented "right way up". Hesperian 12:32, 18 March 2010 (UTC)

Oh, I see you guys have already seen it. So we have one scan of a book with an upside-down plate, one scan of a book with a right-way-up plate, and no reliable sources making any comment whatsoever on the unusual orientation of a plate in at least one, but apparently not all, copies. I must say this doesn't look like a very difficult problem: the existence of at least one book in which the plate is not upside-down tips the scales in favour of the "the binder screwed up" rationale. And the absence of any reliable sources noting unusual plate orientations prevents us from noting it. Where is the difficulty? Hesperian 13:43, 18 March 2010 (UTC)
The unusual orientation comes from a direct scan of the rare first edition, which is very highly regarded by art historians. No source that Wikipedians have been able to locate states that the original printer made any error; if this were an error it would be a major one. There is an inherent ambiguity to the orientation of this illustration since the subject is a shadow on a floor, and a plausible possibility that a reversed position signature could have been intentional. I have contacted a professor of art history who is intrigued by the dilemma and has agreed to research it. It may take a few days. Durova412 16:37, 18 March 2010 (UTC)
  • I'm copying some of my comments here, from common's talk pages. This is an excerpt from Le Corbeau [emphasis added]:

And the Raven, never flitting, still is sitting—still is sitting
On the pallid bust of Pallas just above my chamber door;
And his eyes have all the seeming of a Demon's that is dreaming,
And the lamp-light o'er him streaming throws his shadow on the floor;
And my soul from out that shadow that lies floating on the floor
Shall be lifted—nevermore!

alt text=this is

"[...] There is no reason to read anything more into this, it was an insignificant and not uncommon error unless sources state otherwise. ... [to which I then added, shortly after] Here is a source produced by searching on the title Le Corbeau and Manet Manet's silence and the poetics of bouquets. There is an example of a description of significant elements, at page 145, and the author identifies the same line I emphasized in the poem; so you [could] add this to caption if you edit the article again. The possibility remains that a book hunter has noted any printing errors, that might be notable in an article about the book itself - in fact that is a good idea for an article! "

  • Point 2. The question remains unanswered, why was the other Manet image in his article rotated by the user and this one not! cygnis insignis 19:37, 18 March 2010 (UTC)
This discussion has fragmented across three different pages on two WMF projects. For clarity, the other locations are here and here. The source cygnis insignis cites does not address the relevant discrepancy and the other images's orientation is easily documented via third party sources and not disputed. Let's consolidate discussion here. We have a professor of art history researching the matter. Durova412 20:10, 18 March 2010 (UTC)
  • "In the fourth plate, shadow has itself taken on life, becoming the most prominent form. At its bottom it resembles that cast by the bird perched upon the bust, but then in much freer strokes it becomes a dense vapour rising and trailing into oblivion." [emphasis added!]
  • I didn't cherry-pick this ref above, it was the first link I clicked in a search. If there is a citation that contradicts this direct quote from the link above, show it, no ref supports this original position and all others, primary, secondary, third party and facsimile sources, contradict it. What citation accounts for the discrepancy in plate 2? This reflects my general dismay with the community, main-space becomes locked with these farcical debates, evasion of direct questions, and pseudo-scholarship, just keep it simple and everyone can enjoy sharing knowledge. Being accused of edit-warring really sucks as a first step to discussion. Enough was enough in this case, and the refs were more than enough to justify the removal of disputed content in a FA. The Professor, no matter his prestige, will have to publish his view to be cited here, so nothing is changing soon. cygnis insignis 21:21, 18 March 2010 (UTC)
This has yet to address the problem that led to the initial discussion: What is our obligation to these FA images and how do we fulfill that? --Midnightdreary (talk) 21:35, 18 March 2010 (UTC)
The overwhelming consensus at featured picture candidacy was to retain the orientation as it appears in the Library of Congress copy, with annotation. The art historian has promised to check both the LoC hosting and his copy of the Manet catalogue raisonné. The likely result of his research would confirm cygnis's interpretation and we'll reorient the image. There's also an outside chance that this discrepancy has gone undocumented, in which case it would be a notable find because it comes from a very rare first edition. It isn't unheard-of for Wikipedia's historic featured pictures to turn up information that had been overlooked by experts (one such instance made minor news last year). We handle that on a case by case basis if it arises. The professor said to expect an answer by the middle of next week. So let's wait a few days and see what happens. Durova412 22:07, 18 March 2010 (UTC)
Clarify something for me. Is not the gallica scan also of the "very rare first edition"? Hesperian 23:23, 18 March 2010 (UTC)
I see no evidence that it is. Durova412 23:50, 18 March 2010 (UTC)
I now see that there is a difference in the links. You have linked to a set of illustrations on gallica. I have linked to a the complete book scan on gallica. The title page of the book scan is here. It is dated 1875. Is this evidence? Hesperian 00:00, 19 March 2010 (UTC)

(outdent) It is and it isn't. Yes, the Gallica copy is from the 1875 edition. Gallica has edited its scan for Web display, though. Only LoC posts every page including blank pages and the spine is clearly visible on each page so it is possible with LoC (but not Gallica) to cross-compare neighboring pages and confirm that each has its original printed orientation. Note the difference on one of the other illustrations: LoC, Gallica. If you want I could dig up a third party reference which confirms that the printer did do a 90 degree rotation on that other image: it appears in its original orientation on LoC but not on Gallica. Durova412 00:15, 19 March 2010 (UTC)

I see. Hesperian 00:27, 19 March 2010 (UTC)
What is the point of restoration when one does not turn a work right side up? /Pieter Kuiper (talk) 22:01, 29 March 2010 (UTC)


How about a mention of Ingram's (1885) comparison to Albert Pike's Isadore. cygnis insignis 20:07, 8 June 2010 (UTC)

I'm not familiar with it. --Midnightdreary (talk) 00:08, 12 March 2011 (UTC)

Raven actually said "Lenore" the first time it spoke?[edit]

Suppose the narrator doubts his own insistence that the raven can only say "Nevermore" because he knows that the first thing the Raven said was "Lenore" (when he thought it was a humanish visitor even perhaps the lost Lenore). He subsequently convinces himself that this was not said by the raven yet rightfully doubts this event that came before answering the door. —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 00:20, 11 July 2010 (UTC)

Per some discussion on WT:FPC...[edit]

I've tweaked the images here. Why use the weakest of the Manet images, particularly when we have a Doré illustration of the same exact lines which is far stronger? Adam Cuerden (talk) 01:22, 24 August 2010 (UTC)

I suppose "far stronger" is subjective. I actually liked the bust of Pallas as it shows the allusion more literally. The images are less diverse now because they are all illustrations. --Midnightdreary (talk) 13:28, 24 August 2010 (UTC)
Hmm, maybe, but it's a little original research-y for my tastes. The various artists' illustrations all directly connect to the poem (of course), but the bust of Pallas is one connection distant.
As for far stronger: I was referring to the following.
We may as well use the Manet images that illustrate parts of the poem we haven't illustrated with other artists; I don't see any good reason to use the E2 (see filename) Manet in preference to any of the others. Adam Cuerden (talk) 14:50, 24 August 2010 (UTC)

The Raven Opera[edit]

A new opera based on The Raven was composed by Matt Rogers for the Grimeborn Festival in August 2010. The opera is for baritone, clarinet, and dancer. It is half an hour long. There are thirteen movements, each based on a fragment of text from the poem. There are two clarinet solos, each accompanying a dance. The dancer plays the part of The Raven; the singer plays The Man. The clarinet represents the passage of time, and moves around the circular playing area during the performance, imitating the hands of a clock.

Details of performances can be found here:

November 2010 performances are on 21st, 22nd, 23rd at 10pm.

Thanks for the advertisement. This page, however, is not meant to be all-inclusive; or, better said, it's meant to be exclusive. Unless you have a reliable source that suggests this particular interpretation is notable among the myriad other interpretations of "The Raven", it should not be on this page. Perhaps you could try The Raven in popular culture but, again, just because it exists, does not meant it must be included. Is the composer notable, for example, or the festival itself? The best test for this might be to see if either has a Wikipedia page. --Midnightdreary (talk) 14:06, 12 November 2010 (UTC)

Poem version[edit]

Can someone tell me which version of the poem is used? It doesn't correspond to any of the ones in the link's. I would opt for the Full text of the final authorized printing, from the Richmond Semi-Weekly Examiner, 1849, linked at the bottom of the page.-- (talk) 17:22, 15 January 2011 (UTC)

The full text of the poem is given in the article as a courtesy, not specifically required by Wiki policy or the guidelines of Wikiproject Poetry. That said, we might as well get it right. A recent attempt to that end was recently reverted. Can we discuss this here? I recommend citing sources for whatever version we suggest (and ultimately decide on). --Midnightdreary (talk) 00:26, 19 January 2011 (UTC)

Well, after 4 months no comments, I'm putting back the Full text of the final authorized printing. The current version is a mix between the first and final version, which makes no sense... Turgonml 15:11, 22 July 2011 (UTC) — Preceding unsigned comment added by Turgonml (talkcontribs)

Hmm... not a single comment, eh? Not even the one I left above? Like I said, whatever you decide, let's have a source for it, and not just take anyone's word for it. --Midnightdreary (talk) 18:32, 22 July 2011 (UTC)
Ok, so I should cite the link at the bottom of the poem right? What's the best way to do this? I'm still new here. BTW: wikisource only had the first version, i just added the Full text of the final authorized printing. (talk) 12:25, 27 July 2011 (UTC)
Sorry, didn't mean to leave you hanging. Yeah, I think either a cite tag at the very end of the poem (after the last "nevermore") is good. I'm wondering if it would be even better right after the title "The Raven". A good source is probably the Poe Society (; they keep an accurate list of publications and full transcriptions. --Midnightdreary (talk) 22:43, 28 July 2011 (UTC)

Vincent Price[edit]

Vincent's video is now here: Enjoliveur (talk) 14:23, 31 August 2011 (UTC)

poetic structure[edit]

"rhyme with the word 'nevermore'". Certainly true, but would one not consider the rhyming with "Leonor", too, to be more significant, as the entire poem thereby is "soaked" with the narrator's beloved one? No source for this interpretation though. Thyl Engelhardt213.70.217.172 (talk) 09:38, 12 December 2011 (UTC)


I am a simple Wikipedian, and I see that the version on 26 May was the one matching the mentioned source. Now it has been reverted under the comment: it was already in the form as mentioned in the source. But the source looks different, is like the one that has been reverted,.... So who is in the right? Sort it out please...Super48paul (talk) 12:09, 27 May 2014 (UTC)

Sorry, I might have been unclear in my edit description. The poem as it is displayed in this article already has a source, to which the poem text should match. The new edit altered the poem to make it match a different version of the poem, without changing the source. If there is already a source (or footnote, or citation), it should match that source. If a new version is introduced, the new source has to come with it into the article. Does that make sense? --Midnightdreary (talk) 12:27, 27 May 2014 (UTC)
Yeah, it should make sense I suppose... But I leave it to you guys/girls to optimize this entry. As long you are aware of the discrepancies noted by a Wikipedian strolling by... Good luck!Super48paul (talk) 12:32, 27 May 2014 (UTC)
Thanks for strolling by. But you do realize the current version is without a discrepancy, whereas the edit that was reverted added a discrepancy? --Midnightdreary (talk) 13:11, 27 May 2014 (UTC)


Assume there's a reason visitor is spelled "visiter" in the first stanza. Sca (talk) 14:42, 30 October 2014 (UTC)

You'd have to ask Poe. My guess is that it was written that way because it was a fairly standard spelling convention for the word at the time. --Midnightdreary (talk) 18:40, 30 October 2014 (UTC)
Actually, it's written that way three times (or should I say "thrice"?): once in the first stanza and twice in the third. The text is credited here to the website of the Edgar Allan Poe Society of Baltimore, and they should know: at that site they have a massive comparative listing of versions and publications of the poem, and of Poe's corrections and modifications. The "visiter" spelling is used in all three occurrences of the word in the text they give. I think we can trust their expertise and let the matter rest.
And so do other Wikipedians! I just went to look at the text of the article, with the idea of inserting an invisible comment, and this is what I saw:
{{not a typo|visiter|reason=original spelling}}
Solved and settled. --Thnidu (talk) 00:47, 14 February 2015 (UTC)

Satan, and nepenthe[edit]

In the section that mentions the underworld, I mentioned the allusion to Satan, called "Tempter." I also removed "At another point, the narrator imagines that Seraphim (a type of angel) have entered the room. The narrator thinks they are trying to take his memories of Lenore away from him using nepenthe, a drug mentioned in Homer's Odyssey to induce forgetfulness." I replaced this with a discussion of nepenthe before the discussion of the balm of Gilead, since that is the order in the poem. I don't think the poem supports specifically the notion that the angels are seraphim, or even that the narrator actually imagines or sees angels. I also think the narrator is referring to some metaphorical relief from the memories, rather than an actual sample of Homer's amnesia-inducing drink.

The synopsis suggests clearly that Lenore is dead. I didn't change this, but I'm not sure if Poe intended that, and perhaps it should just say "lost." Roches (talk) 02:01, 3 September 2015 (UTC)

The angels are seraphim, or at least the narrator imagines them as much: "Then, methought, the air grew denser, perfumed from an unseen censer / Swung by Seraphim whose foot-falls tinkled on the tufted floor." I think the previous version before your edits were much better in emphasizing these are allusions rather than synopses, as the subsection is headed. Further, there was strong opposition to quoting lines of the poem without a footnote (as you did here) during the featured article review process. I caution, too, and as you already know, that it is not up to us to interpret the poem or determine which parts should be literal or metaphorical. Frankly, I think we could do better in sourcing the interpretation and allusions already here. --Midnightdreary (talk) 11:46, 3 September 2015 (UTC)

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File:Dore raven shadow2.jpg to appear as POTD soon[edit]

Hello! This is a note to let the editors of this article know that File:Dore raven shadow2.jpg will be appearing as picture of the day on October 31, 2017. You can view and edit the POTD blurb at Template:POTD/2017-10-31. If this article needs any attention or maintenance, it would be preferable if that could be done before its appearance on the Main Page. — Chris Woodrich (talk) 01:51, 19 October 2017 (UTC)

The Raven
An illustration by Gustave Doré for Edgar Allan Poe's narrative poem "The Raven", accompanying the poem's final lines "And my soul from out that shadow that lies floating on the floor/Shall be lifted—nevermore!"

First published in January 1845, "The Raven" tells of a man who, pining for his lost love Lenore, falls into madness as he is barraged by a talking raven's repeated calls of "Nevermore!". This poem, which has often been noted for its musicality, stylized language, and supernatural atmosphere, makes numerous references to folklore, mythology, religion, and classical antiquity. It has been widely reprinted, parodied, and illustrated.Engraving: Gustave Doré; Restoration: Lise Broer