Oh Captain My Captain Poem Analysis

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Poetry is not only a form of art, but it’s a special tool many could use to help them cope with death. There can be many unwanted feelings provoked when reading or writing poetry. There have been many occasions where I have read a poem and suddenly felt angry, and in some cases I cried. There isn’t just one right way to write poetry; it can be funny and it could be sad. Poetry is written in many different styles such as free verse, iambic, Haiku, and Limerick. The captivating elegy “O Captain! My Captain!” by Walt Whitman is about a fallen captain or leader who was seen as a hero to his people. This poem not only tells a story, but in many ways it captures the grief and mourning one deals with during the death of a loved one.
The word choice
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Although the poem doesn’t have a solid rhyme scheme it does have some rhyme to it. For instance the last two words of the first two couplets in stanza one “done” and “won”. These two words rhyme perfectly, but there isn’t much of a rhyme scheme in the second stanza. It isn’t until stanza three where another two couplets rhyme, and “done” and “won” is repeated again. “Done” and “won” are not only repeated but they are also emphasized. This is done to clue the reader in that this in fact is a ship that is done with their mission and have won their victory. However, “done” and “won” are not the only words emphasized. Throughout the poem there is an iambic meter used. An iambic meter is when one syllable gets more emphasis than the other syllable. For example “Our Fearful trip is done” (L1). The words “fear”, “trip”, and “done” have more emphasis on them than what the words “our”, “ful”, and “is” has. This is a type of rhythmic structure that is repeated through the poem. The author is emphasizing these words to dramatize what type of situation is being dealt…show more content…
In the first stanza the speaker is overjoyed with happiness and is celebrating their return home. “O Captain! My Captain! Our fearful trip is done / the ship has weather’d every rack, the prize we sought is won” (L1-2). They have won their victory and freedom over whoever they were in battle with, and they are rejoicing their victory. However, by the end of the first stanza the speaker lets the audience know the captain he speaks about is actually deceased. At this point the speaker is in denial that his captain is dead. Denial is said to be the first stage of mourning a loved one’s death. In the second stanza the speaker’s excitement seems to intensify into a more angry excitement. The speaker is trying to wake the captain up, and make the captain come to his feet. “Rise up and hear the bells/Rise up—for you the flag is flung—for you the bugle trills” (L10). The narrator is in the second stage of mourning. He is angered that his captain won’t wake up and celebrate with him, but how can the captain when he is indeed dead. It isn’t until the third stanza that the speaker finally comes to terms with the fact that the captain is dead and will not be celebrating their victory with him. “My Captain does not answer, his lips are pale and still / My father does not feel my arm, he has no pulse nor will” (L17-18). The tone in the third stanza changes
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