Though the mood is festive among the sailors, the poet has a heavy heart, and is in a dilemma whether to celebrate the achievement of their dream or mourn over the loss of their beloved captain. He was shot while at the theater and died a few hours later. Like William Wordsworth, Whitman believed that everyday life and everyday people were fit subjects for poetry. The poet shares his form by using a physical way of laying out and her attitude through the use of sound devices such as the iambic meter and…. The speaker starts with joyful shouts calling out his captain as he sees the port.
The prize is the preservation of the union. The crowd is jubilant as they celebrate using a number of devices such as raising flag in victory, holding flowers and cheering for the captain. Written by Walt Whitman Analysis of the Poem! He calls to the captain to get up and witness their victory. The poem consists of many metaphors, imagery, figurative and literal language, symbolism… O Captain! He states that the trip is complete after an exhausting journey and they have emerged victorious. The speaker cannot believe that his captain is dead. Walt Whitman, has a patriotic attitude towards this poem as he describes Abraham Lincoln and all that he did for America by using imagery to develop a scene similar to the reality.
This death of the beloved president left the entire country devastated. This arm beneath your head; It is some dream that on the deck, You've fallen cold and dead. The poem is classified as an elegy or mourning poem, and was written to honour Abraham Lincoln , the 16th president of the United States. Extended Metaphor In his elegy, Whitman uses the extended metaphor, or the consistent use of a figurative idea to portray a literary reality throughout a work of art, of Lincoln as a ship's captain to portray Lincoln as the nation's leader. The conclusion of the Civil War has brought with itself national mourning and period of reflection. He describes the tolling of bells, flung flags on his honor, bugles playing, cheering of crowds with bouquets and wreaths in their hands.
My Captain does not answer, his lips are pale and still; My father does not feel my arm, he has no pulse nor will; The ship is anchor'd safe and sound, its voyage closed and done; From fearful trip, the victor ship, comes in with object won; Exult, O shores, and ring, O bells! As he mourns the death, the ship slowly reaches the port completing its voyage. In his poetry, Whitman widened the possibilities of poetic diction by including slang, colloquialisms, and regional dialects, rather than employing the stiff, erudite language so often found in nineteenth-century verse. Yet what is still unknown is why this was done and why it made sense at the time of his passing. However, lack of traditional form does not prevent the poet from communicating his point, nor does it indicate a lack of shape. The speaker of the poem is the sailor on the ship.
He may use inanimate objects for that end. He then intertwines both themes throughout the final stanza, going back and forth from death to victory and back to death. He was an unconventional poet indeed, and his self-published book 'Leaves of Grass' was one of his works that garnered much attention. He is overcome with sorrow and shock. He was extremely fond of the president and his profound thoughts and leadership qualities. The ships eerie entrance foreshadows the untimely death of the captain and sets the tone for the sailors mourning.
During this tumultuous period, two great American writers captured their ideas in poetry. To properly analyze such a poem, one must look at the historical context as well as the authors personal beliefs associated with the poem. The concluding lines of the poem explicate the fact that sailor has some bad news to share with the awaiting crowd. In a democracy, all individuals possess equal weight, and no individual is more important than another. It was just six short days after the end of the war. As the war was coming to an end and the possibility of peace and prosperity grew closer and more realistic, Lincoln was abruptly assassinated by John Wilkes Booth.
As the speaker mourns the loss of Lincoln, he drops a lilac spray onto the coffin; the act of laying a flower on the coffin not only honors the person who has died but lends death a measure of dignity and respect. Commenting on his own poetry, he said that audience of his time appreciated poetry with form, rhyme and meter, still unfamiliar to free-verse concept. Directly under the surface, however, is actually a different poem entirely. Two hundred words in depth, the poem parallels the United States Sixteenth President as a captain and commander to a great vessel and ship. Jaded and exhausted after a tiresome journey, the mission has been a roaring success. A nation grieved, and Walt Whitman grieved with them. In the next stanza, he seems to be in a state of denial, urging the President to get up and enjoy the victory and hoping that this tragic circumstance is only a dream.
But sectionalism and the violence of the Civil War threatened to break apart and destroy the boundless possibilities of the United States. The mood of grief is then carried out through the rest of the poem. As the war progressed Whitman started to like the ideals of Lincoln and he became very affectionate towards the man. The long journey's end is the end of the civil war. Considered highly progressive as compared to those times, it was but obvious that he faced criticism. Themes, Motifs and Symbols Themes Democracy As a Way of Life Whitman envisioned democracy not just as a political system but as a way of experiencing the world. In these lines one may see the profound admiration and reverence that the people hold for this captain.
The speaker, torn between relief and despair, captures America's confusion at the end of the Civil War. To understand an extended metaphor, readers must understand the intended meaning behind each smaller comparison within the main metaphor. This arm beneath your head; It is some dream that on the deck, You've fallen cold and dead. There is a great deal of potential in examining the work of such a profound poet. Aboard a ship, the poem is about a fellow sailor grieving from the loss of his captain. The fearful trip is a metaphor for The Civil War. O Captain… many characteristics and feelings that Walt Whitman had and felt for America.