Analysis Of O Captain My Captain By Walt Whitman

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Emilio Mackie Mr. Webb English 11, Period 1 3-17-2015 O Captain My Captain Walt Whitman wrote the poem O Captain My Captain to honor the death of Abraham Lincoln in 1865. When the poem was published in the New York Saturday Press, the American public loved it. It became a national sensation overnight. Walt Whitman was asked to recite the poem so often, that he once said, “I’m almost sorry I ever wrote [it]” (Library of Congress) But this poem is not to be taken lightly. It speaks of a story about a captain, who returns with his crew after a hard voyage, only to lie in his deathbed in the end. This poem is an allegory for the Post Civil War America, But it is also a commentary on how America responds to tragedy. We are a resilient country.…show more content…
heart! heart O the bleeding drops of red, Where on the deck my Captain lies, Fallen cold and dead." The nation was in tears the days after the assassination. The nation was out for blood, “The search for John Wilkes Booth was one of the largest manhunts in history, with 10,000 federal troops, detectives and police tracking down the assassin.” ( The entire nation was in shock, and it was in the wake of this that Walt Whitman wrote O Captain My Captain. In this stanza, Whitman uses figurative language to place the reader into the setting of the deck, where the captain lies, dead. But he also uses this line to show that the whole country mourned the…show more content…
my Captain! rise up and hear the bells Rise up—for you the flag is flung—for you the bugle trills For you bouquets and ribbon’d wreaths—for you the shores a-crowding, For you they call, the swaying mass, their eager faces turning"; The country as a whole was mourning the death of an amazing man. Walt Whitman and Abe Lincoln held an actually personal and friendly relationship. When Whitman heard that Lincoln took the office of the President, he was recorded saying “[The President] had “canny shrewdness” and “horse-sense.” He seemed the down-home, average American, with his drab looks and his humor, redolent of barnyards and barrooms. Whitman commented on the “somewhat rusty and dusty appearance” of Lincoln, who “looks about as ordinary in attire, etc. as the commonest man.”” (Gilder Lehrman). Abe Lincoln was more than a man to Walt Whitman, he was a friend. And that friend was being honored by the whole country. Here Captain! dear father! This arm beneath your head! It is some dream that on the deck, You’ve fallen cold and dead. Dreams are very powerful. The dream of the United States during the war was a nation of free men, no slavery. Abe Lincoln fought for the freedom of the slaves, and for the creation of a nation founded on the principles that all men are created equal. Just as the Founding Fathers did only one hundred years prior. What would Abe Lincoln or Walt Whitman think of what’s happened to that dream today? Are we an accepting and equal society, it
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