The Gothic deals centrally with the hidden, frightening, often unconscious parts of life: the eery, the dark, the supernatural, the unheimlich (un-homelike), the uncanny, death. These elements, which we often try to repress in order to live, are abundant in this poem.
First, an eery Gothic setting is established from the start: it is "bleak December," and the shadows cast by the "dying" embers of the fire in the room look like ghosts. The speaker is mourning the death of his beloved, a woman named Lenore, and as he responds to a mysterious knock at his door, he opens it to "darkness." The mood is grim and unsettling.
The deep black raven, who does nothing but answer questions with the word "nevermore," has a supernatural quality. The speaker rises to such a pitch of anguished emotion at the depressing and hopeless "nevermore" responses of the raven that he calls it
this grim, ungainly, ghastly, gaunt, and ominous bird of yore
The speaker likens the raven's eyes to those of a "demon" and...
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