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O Captain! My Captain!

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Tyler Reedy

on 1 October 2013

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Transcript of O Captain! My Captain!

O Captain! My Captain!
Poem Analysis
Written as an extended metaphor for mourning the death of Abraham Lincoln
Rhyme Scheme
The theme of the poem is mourning
Stanza 1: War is over, but the Captain is dead
Stanza 2: We can all celebrate, but I don't want to believe that the Captain is dead
Stanza 3: Finally accepts the death of the Captain
Captain= Abraham Lincoln
The Ship= United States
"Our fearful trip is done"= Civil War
"Prize we sought"= End of Slavery
"It is some dream"= Not wanting to believe that Lincoln is dead
"My father"= Lincoln is the father of the United States
"Anchored safe and sound"= War is over and the United States is at peace again
Works Cited
Lorcher, Trent. ""O Captain! My Captain!" Analysis: The Meaning Behind Walt Whitman's Famous Poem." Bright Hub Education. N.p., 25 Jan. 2013. Web. 29 Sept. 2013.
"O Captain! My Captain! Analysis." Shmoop. N.p., n.d. Web. 29 Sept. 2013.
"Walt Whitman." SparkNotes. SparkNotes, n.d. Web. 29 Sept. 2013.
Walt Whitman
Wrote in between the Transcendentalism and Realism time periods
Father of Free Verse Poetry
Rhyme Scheme
Unusual for Whitman
Line 10: "flag is flung"
Line 19: "safe and sound"

Stanza 1
O Captain! My Captain! Our fearful trip is done.
The ship has wethered every rack, the prize we sought is won.
The port is near, the bells I hear, the people all exulting,
While follow eyes the steady keel, the vessel grim and daring
But O heart, heart, heart!
O bleeding drops of red!
Where on the deck my Captain lies,
Fallen cold and dead.
Stanza 2
O Captain! My Captain! Rise up and hear the bells!
Rise up- for you the flag is flung- for you the bugel trills!
For bouquets and ribbon'd wreaths-for you the shores a crowding,
For you they call, the swaying mass, their eager faces turning.
Here Captain! Here Father!
The arm beneath your head!
It is a dream that on the deck,
You've fallen cold and dead.

Stanza 3
My Captain does not answer me, his lips are pale and still.
My father does not touch my arm, he has no pulse nor will.
The ship is anchorned safe and sound, its voyage closed and done.
From fearful trip, the victor ship, with object it has won.
Exult O Shores, and ring O bells!
But I with mornful tread,
Walk the deck, my Captain lies,
Fallen cold and dead.
Full transcript