Poem Analysis: O Captain! My Captain! By Walt Whitman

755 words - 4 pages

The poem basically tells a story about the death of the captain of a ship men crew. The speaker of the poem is a sailor of the ship crew. He grieves mournfully about the death of his respectfully captain. Gloomy and dreary atmospheres are vividly sensed throughout the poem as the speaker lamenting the captain’s death.
The poem begins with the speaker calling out his captain that they have finally made it home after their “fearful trip”. The boat is in sight of land and the people in the shore watch as it approaches, cheering and ringing church bells. However, as it approaches the shore, the boat is described as “grim and daring”, as if the speaker warns that something terrible is going to ...view middle of the document...

The “face” in “eager faces” is used to represent the whole attitude of excitement toward the captain. Same is true with “the shores” as it is used to symbolize the whole land, not just the shore as the closest land to the sea. Finally, “his lips are pale and still” is representing the general state of death.
Another figurative language applied in this poem is apostrophe. Apostrophe is a kind of personification in which a person calls out to something or someone who isn’t there or can’t answer you back. Apostrophe can be seen in stanza 2, “O heart! heart! heart!”, as heart can’t answer the speaker. “O Captain! My Captain!” in stanza 3 is also an apostrophe, since the captain has already described “fallen cold and dead”. Lastly, “Exult, O shores, and ring, O bells!”, as neither shores nor bells are actually alive.
Sound device that is used in this poem is rhyme. The rhyme pattern is aabb-xcxc. The end of each line of the last two stanzas in the following are colored with different colors to mark the rhyme.
My Captain does...

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