Patriotism at its Best: The Star-Spangled Banner

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The United States of America is known around the world as a country that, over 200 years ago, fought diligently to afford freedom formal who so elect to reside within her bounds. The freedom of the United States of America is symbolized by the American flag. What once started out as a left over piece of cloth, is now a treasure for American citizens, and individuals that long for the freedom that the flag maintains. The poem the “Star- Spangled Banner” is a prime example of how the American flag portrays freedom and hope for Americans, both in the past and present. The passion that forged this nation remains today, due to the influence of the “Star- Spangled Banner.” Popularly known as the “National Anthem,” Francis Scott Key’s “Star- Spangled Banner” uses form, sound and symbolism to tell the story of high hopes in America.
In the “Star- Spangled Banner” sound plays a compelling role in every other line. The diction is the way a certain word or phrase is spoken. An example of diction in this poem is the emphasis on certain words. This emphasis creates a rhyme when read. Illustrating this in the first line of the poem, Francis Scott Key wrote: “Oh say can you see, by the dawn’s early light” (Matthews). The manner in which it is said, or diction, makes it sound as if it rhymes, when it clearly does not. Diction is the reason the poem is classified as a blank verse poem. Later, when the music was added to the poem, the emphasis creates a rhythm rather than rhyme. Alliteration is another example of speech shown in the “Star- Spangled Banner.” Alliteration is a literary device in which a letter appears at the beginning of more than word in a phrase. An example of alliteration in this poem is, “broad stripes and bright stars...” (Mat...

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... poem, which makes the poem a prime candidate for a song. Alliteration and diction are examples of sound used in this poem. The “Star- Spangled Banner” is passionate and uses the American flag as its main symbol. The “Star-Spangled Banner [the American flag]—today is one of the greatest treasures of the Smithsonian’s National Museum of American History” (Gelb).

Works Cited

Gelb, Norman. “Francis Scott Key, the Reluctant Patriot”. Smithsonian.com. Smithsonian Magazine. Sept. 2004. Web. 3 Apr. 2014.
Matthews, Brander. “Poems of American Patriotism”. Project Gutenberg. Aug. 2004. Web. 3 Apr. 2014.
“The Rockets’ Red Glare’, Francis Scott Key and the Bombardment of Fort McHenry.” National Park Service. U.S. Department of the Interior. n.d. Web. 3 Apr. 2014.
“Star Spangled Banner”. The Library of Congress. Performing Arts Encyclopedia. 3 July 2012. Web. 3 Apr. 2014.

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