Caetlin Benson-Allott was featured on the CBS Sunday Morning show yesterday, October 30th, talking about the literary reputation of ravens: just in time for Halloween. The segment explains that, in reality, ravens are highly intelligent and not to be feared; however, they can be visually unsettling which has led to their vilification. Benson-Allott tells viewers that our perception of ravens is influenced by hundreds of years of mythology surrounding the birds. She cites multiple works of Shakespeare that paint ravens as menacing and foreboding creatures:
"That deep black of the[ir] feathers, the eyes that seem like they’re always watching, like they never blink, and then they’re always around dead things, because they’re scavengers. They like to pick at corpses. [...] Ravens are ominous birds in literature [...] They come up in ‘Macbeth.’ They come up in ‘Othello.’ Lysander in ‘Midsummer Night’s Dream’ asks, ‘Would anyone not trade a raven for a dove?’ He’s referencing the book of Genesis there."
Watch the segment HERE. Great job, Caetlin!