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"O CAPTAIN!" MY CAPTAIN!

BY

WALT WITMAN
WALT WHITMAN
HE WAS BORN ON MAY 31, 1819 IN WEST HILLS,
NEW YORK.
WHITMAN IS CONSIDERED THE POET PROPHET OF
LIFE.

HE WAS A PART OF THE TRANSITION


BETWEEN TRANSCENDENTALISM AND REALISM.
WHITMAN IS A REVOLUTIONARY WHO WAS IN
FAVOR OF THE EQUALITY OF MAN WITH
WOMAN; I WAS AGAINST SLAVERY AND THE
DEATH PENALTY.
HE DIED ON MARCH 26, 1892.
Characteristics of his works:
MOST NOTABLE
BOOKS:  He belongs to transcendentalism.
 Whitman's goal was to transcend traditional
epics and reflect American society.
FRANKLIN EVANS
 The attitude that predominates in Whitman's
work is joy and euphoria.
LIFE AND ADVENTURES OF
JACK ENGLE  In Whitman's poems, the use of anaphora is
constant.
MANLY HEALTH AND TRAINING  His work was very controversial in its time,
particularly his poetry collection Leaves of
DRUM-TAPS Grass, which was described as obscene for its
overt sexuality.
DEMOCRATIC VISTAS
O CAPTAIN! MY CAPTAIN!
I
O CAPTAIN! MY CAPTAIN! OUR FEARFUL TRIP IS DONE, A

THE SHIP HAS WEATHER’D EVERY RACK, THE PRIZE WE SOUGHT IS WON, A

THE PORT IS NEAR, THE BELLS I HEAR, THE PEOPLE ALL EXULTING, B

WHILE FOLLOW EYES THE STEADY KEEL, THE VESSEL GRIM AND DARING; B

BUT O HEART! HEART! HEART! C

O THE BLEEDING DROPS OF RED, D

WHERE ON THE DECK MY CAPTAIN LIES, E

FALLEN COLD AND DEAD. D


II
O CAPTAIN! MY CAPTAIN! RISE UP AND HEAR THE BELLS; A

RISE UP FOR YOU THE FLAG IS FLUNG FOR YOU THE BUGLE TRILLS, A

FOR YOU BOUQUETS AND RIBBON’D WREATHS FOR YOU THE SHORES A-CROWDING, B

FOR YOU THEY CALL, THE SWAYING MASS, THEIR EAGER FACES TURNING; B

HERE CAPTAIN! DEAR FATHER! C

THIS ARM BENEATH YOUR HEAD! D

IT IS SOME DREAM THAT ON THE DECK, E

YOU’VE FALLEN COLD AND DEAD. D


III
MY CAPTAIN DOES NOT ANSWER, HIS LIPS ARE PALE AND STILL, A

MY FATHER DOES NOT FEEL MY ARM, HE HAS NO PULSE NOR WILL, A

THE SHIP IS ANCHOR’D SAFE AND SOUND, ITS VOYAGE CLOSED AND DONE, B

FROM FEARFUL TRIP THE VICTOR SHIP COMES IN WITH OBJECT WON; B

EXULT O SHORES, AND RING O BELLS! C

BUT I WITH MOURNFUL TREAD, D

WALK THE DECK MY CAPTAIN LIES, E

FALLEN COLD AND DEAD. D


O CAPTAIN! MY CAPTAIN! ANALYSIS
“O Captain! My Captain!” is one of the
best-known American poems of the
19th century.
The poem is an elegy, memorializing
Abraham Lincoln
Abraham Lincoln is never directly
named in the poem, he is alluded to
through the poem’s extended
metaphor.
FIGURES OF SPEECH

IF WE DIFINE A GIGURE OF SPEECH AS A


FIGURATIVE LANGUAGE, THE POEM INCLUDES
METHAPOR EN PERSONIFICATION
EXTENDED METAPHOR
APOSTROPHE
AN APOSTROPHE IS A FORM OF PERSONIFICATION IN WHICH AN
INDIVIDUAL ADDRESSES SOMEONE WHO IS DEAD, SOMEONE WHO
IS NOT THERE, OR AN INANIMATE OBJECT.

"O CAPTAIN! MY CAPTAIN!" AT THE START OF THE FIRST TWO


STANZAS ARE EXAMPLES OF APOSTROPHE, AS IS "EXULT O SHORES,
AND RING O BELLS!" IN THE THIRD STANZA.
WHAT DOES THE RHYME SCHEME OF “O CAPTAIN! MY
CAPTAIN!” REVEAL ABOUT ITS STRUCTURE AND MEANING?

THE RHYME SCHEME IN EACH STANZA IS AABBCDED.


THE FIRST FOUR LINES BEGINS WHAT APPEARS TO BE A REGULAR
PATTERN, BUT THEN IT BREAKS AND IS INTERRUPTED IN THE LAST FOUR
LINES.
IT JOLTS US AS READERS AND EMPHASIZES THOSE LINES, WHICH
ALSO REVEAL A CHANGE IN THE THEME, FROM EXCITEMENT TO
MOURNING.
IT ALSO CREATES A WAVE EFFECT FOR THE READER, FURTHER
EMPHASIZING THE DUAL THEME OF JOY AND SORROW.