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. Time and time again we have been tested as a people. We have had many “Archangel Captains” like the one depicted by Walt Whitman. (Library of Congress). Walt Whitman uses long metaphors and figurative language to tell the story of how America reacts to our fallen heros. We love the men and women who accomplished great things in our history. The crowd is cheering not for the prize but for the captain (schmoop). The poem opens with the crew exclaiming “O Captain My Captain!”, a phrase that gets repeated very frequently. There is a ship that is coming into port after what seems to be a very successful mission. According to schmoop, ““the ship in “O Captain! My Captain!” represents the voyage of the United States as a whole.”” After the American Civil War, the country was reunified, but in shambles. War is expensive, and the North was wrecked economically. But most of the fighting was done in the South, and during the war, Sherman’s March to the Sea burned the South to the ground. The count... ... middle of paper ... ...itical allegory for the times the United States was in at the end of the Civil War. But to remember a man like Abe Lincoln, does not require “Ribbon’d Wreaths” Walt Whitman wants us to honor the men and women of America, with our actions. Just like how he honors Abraham Lincoln with O Captain My Captain. Works Cited "O Captain! My Captain! (Memory): American Treasures of the Library of Congress." O Captain! My Captain! (Memory): American Treasures of the Library of Congress. Web. 8 Mar. 2015. Shmoop Editorial Team. "Masses in O Captain! My Captain!" Shmoop.com. Shmoop University, Inc., 11 Nov. 2008. Web. 13 Mar. 2015. "Lincoln and Whitman." Lincoln and Whitman. Web. 19 "Abraham Lincoln’s Assassination." History.com. A&E Television Networks. Web. 29 Mar. 2015. "Sherman 's March to the Sea, 1864." Sherman 's March to the Sea, 1864. Web. 30 Mar. 2015
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