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In the poem "The Raven", what does the speaker order the raven to do?

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a6537683a | Student, Grade 9 | eNotes Newbie

Posted April 25, 2009 at 3:20 AM via web

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In the poem "The Raven", what does the speaker order the raven to do?

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mrs-campbell | High School Teacher | (Level 1) Educator Emeritus

Posted April 25, 2009 at 4:07 AM (Answer #1)

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The speaker orders several things of the raven throughout the course of the poem.  If you read the poem very closely, you will be able to determine what those things are.  The very first thing he asks of the bird is its name:  "Tell me what thy Lordly name is."  To this, the bird just gives its famous replay, "Nevermore."  Later on, the speaker asks the birds several other questions.  He asks, "is there balm in Gilead," meaning, is there ever healing or comfort?  The speaker is longing for his lost love Lenore so powerfully that he just wants to forget her and be healed.  The next question he demands an answer to is if someday he might possibly see Lenore again, and be clasped in her arms.  The raven's response to both of these questions:  "Nevermore."  At this point, the speaker gets really upset and demands that the bird

"get thee back into the tempest...quit the bust above my door...take thy form from off my door."

He orders the raven to leave, demands that he get himself up and out of the house, leaving him to his loneliness.  Once again, the raven quotes, "Nevermore," and the speakers says that to this day, he sits there, reminding him of all of his misery.

So, the speaker orders answers to questions, but at the end, orders the bird to leave.  I hope that helps; good luck!

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