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O Captain My Captain!

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Beatriz Barrera

on 23 October 2012

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Transcript of O Captain My Captain!

Timeline :) O Captain, My Captain! By Walt Whitman Rhyme Scheme Imagery Metaphor Alliteration O Captain, My Captain! is altogether a metaphoric poem because of the reference to the Captain being Abraham Lincoln. Everything concerning the captain or what actions the captain does all are meant towards being about Lincoln. Symbolism "O Captain! my Captain! our fearful trip is done,
The ship has weathered 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 the bleeding drops of red,
Where on the deck my Captain lies,
Fallen cold and dead." Repetition Whitman repeatedly says "O Captain, My Captain!" because he cannot yet understand the fact that his "captain" (Lincoln) has fallen.... or in Lincoln's case, DIED. The first half of the third and fourth stanza have a AABB rhyme scheme. The first half of the second paragraph somewhat have a AABB rhyme scheme. The second part of each stanza have a ABCB rhyme scheme. "O Captain! my Captain! our fearful trip is done,
The ship has weathered 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 the bleeding drops of red,
Where on the deck my Captain lies,
Fallen cold and dead." First example of Alliteration in Stanza 2, Line 2

"O Captain! 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 ribboned wreaths--for you the shores a-crowding...." 1819 31 May, Walter Whitman born at West Hills, Huntington Township, New York, the second child of Walter Whitman 1823 27 May, Whitman family moves to Brooklyn 1825-1830 Attends public school in Brooklyn. 1830-1831 Quits school; works as an office boy for lawyer, doctor. 1831-1832 Learns printing trade as apprentice for Long Island Patriot. 1835-1836 Works as a printer in New York but is unemployed after a great fire in printing district, 12 August 1836. 1836-1838 Teaches school on Long Island at East Norwich, Hempstead, Babylon, Long Swamp, and Smithtown. 1865 He writes O Captain! My Captain! following President Lincoln’s death 1891 Publishes Good-bye My Fancy and Deathbed edition of Leaves of Grass. Last birthday dinner at Mickle Street. December, catches pneumonia. 1892 26 March, dies at Mickle Street; 30 March, buried in Harleigh Cemetery, Camden, New Jersey. 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 the bleeding drops of red,
Where on the deck my Captain lies,
Fallen cold and dead." Also when Whitman says, "My father does not feel my arm, he has no pulse or will..." he is also referring to Abe Lincoln. "The ship has weather'd every rack, the prize we sought is won." In this line, the "ship" stands for the United States of America. O Captain! My Captain! Our fearful trip is done." The "fearful trip" that is mentioned here stands for the Civil War that was going on at the time. "O Captain! 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 ribboned wreaths--for you the shores a-crowding,
For you they call, the swaying mass, their eager faces turning;
Here Captain! dear father!
This arm beneath your head!
It is some dream that on the deck,
You've fallen cold and dead." "My Captain does not answer, his lips are pale and still;
My father does not feel my arm, he has no pulse nor will;
The ship is anchored safe and sound, its voyage closed and done;
From fearful trip the victor ship comes in with object won;
Exult O shores, and ring O bells!
But I, with mournful tread,
Walk the deck my Captain lies,
Fallen cold and dead." Second example on Stanza 3, Line 3
Third example on Stanza 3, Line 4

"My Captain does not answer, his lips are pale and still;
My father does not feel my arm, he has no pulse or will;
The ship is anchored safe and sound, its voyage closed and done;
From fearful trip the victor ship comes in with object won..." Fearful Trip- Civil War
Ship- United States
Prize- Union victory over Confederacy
Port- End of the war
Captain- Abe Lincoln "But O heart! heart! heart!" is another example of repetition. "Heart" is repeated to express how deeply sad Whitman is at his captain's death. "O Captain! my Captain! our fearful trip is done;
The ship has weather'd 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 the bleeding drops of red,
Where on the deck my Captain lies,
Fallen cold and dead." Another example is when at the end of every stanza, "fallen cold and dead" is said. This shows the disbelief towards the Captain's death and it's as if Whitman is still trying to get over that very fact. O Captain! 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;
Here Captain! dear father!
This arm beneath your head;
It is some dream that on the deck,
You've fallen cold and dead. My Captain does not answer, his lips are pale and still;
My father does not feel my arm, he has no pulse nor will;
The ship is anchor'd safe and sound, its voyage closed and done;
From fearful trip, the victor ship, comes in with object won;
Exult, O shores, and ring, O bells!
But I, with mournful tread,
Walk the deck my Captain lies,
Fallen cold and dead. Walt Whitman But first, a little video. It all started May 31, 1819... On May 31, 1819, Louisa Van Velsor gave birth to her second son, Walter Whitman. Louisa was of Dutch descent and she was a Quaker. Walt's father, also named Walter, was of English descent. Walt was the second of nine children. out of all nine kids, four were handicapped. At age 11, Walt had to drop out of school to work to support the large family. Whitman had to work many jobs in his life time. He was a shoolteacher, a printer's devil, an apprentice, and a office boy. After seeing that being a schoolteacher wasn't his ideal job, he went on to make his own nespaper.... the Long Islander. In 1864, Whitman and his family went through hard times.
First, Walt's brother, George Whitman who was in the Union army, was captured by Confederate soldiers. Then Walt's other brother, Andrew, died of tuberculosis. That same month, Walt entered his other brother Jesse to a lunatic asylum. It all got better though when Walt got a government job as a clerk. Things all went more downhill. He got fired from his job, yet got accepted into another. In 1873, Walt underwent a stroke. He was forced to live with his brother George (after George was released by the Confederates). Their mother was also staying there and in That very year, she fell ill and died. This was very difficult on Walt so he fell into a deep depression. Walt was very ill. By his last week of life, he wasn't able to do anything. He wrote, "I suffer all the time: I have no relief, no escape: it is monotony — monotony — monotony — in pain." This is just to show his agony during his lifetime. He had no escape. On March 26, 1892, Walt Whitman died. An autopsy was performed and it was said that he died of bronchial pneumonia. He also had a deteriorated rib. The cause of death was listed as "pleurisy of the left side, consumption of the right lung, general miliary tuberculosis and parenchymatous nephritis." He was buried in Harleigh Cemetery. Whitman's poetry was very unusual. He was very unique though. He used many different symbols for each poem and he also used different images as well. He was also known as the father of free verse. He openly talked about death, sexuality, and even prostitution. All based on his poetry, he has been known as being homosexual or bisexual (there are still arguments out there). It is believed that Whitman was in an intimate relationship with a man named Peter Doyle. Bill Duckett was another possible lover. In 1890, he sent a letter claiming that he had 6 children, but 2 of them died. So that's where the whole argument comes in. His poetry is all based on Romantisism since he was going through the Romantic movement. He believed the poet should be expressing his personality through his poetry.
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