Emotions In O Captain! My Captain!" By Walt Whitman

1175 words - 5 pages

The poem, "O Captain! My Captain!" by Walt Whitman re-imagines the assassination of Abraham Lincoln by using emotions filled with shock and regret of losing a father figure. Walt Whitman has a patriotic attitude towards this poem as he describes Abraham Lincoln and all that he did for America by using imagery to develop a scene similar to the reality. The poet conveys his deep admiration for the achievements of Abraham Lincoln. Whitman shares his form by using a physical way of laying out and his attitude through the use of sound devices such as the iambic meter and the use of amphibrach. He also used repetition as a part of his sound device, to give reader more insight of the sorrow emotions that he has regarding Abraham Lincoln.

Whitman uses the iambic meter of his poem to convey the intensity of his admiration for Abraham Lincoln. He uses mainly iambic meter in his poem but breaks from it when announcing Lincoln's name. He mostly uses iambic meter to convey his poem but sometimes uses the quote "O Captain! My Captain!" (Walt Whitman, lines 1 and 5). This quote breaks from Whitman's iambic meter to create a point of difference and highlight the significance of this 'Captain' to the people waiting on the shore and to the speaker too. The poet is trying to deliver a statement that this man is different from any other person and therefore he stands out from the crowd and is a very unique individual. The use of the iambic meter portrays the poet’s attitude of patriotism and his regards for Abraham Lincoln. The amphibrach that breaks loose from the iambic meter gives reader an idea of how important the captain is and the people who are anxiously waiting for his arrival after the captain's heroic battle. The sound device used by Whitman creates an atmosphere which manifestly describes his attachment with Abraham Lincoln.

Whitman effectively uses repetition to convey his sorrow feeling of losing a great heroic personality. The quote that he uses, expresses his feelings of shock for the captain’s sudden death. "Fallen cold and dead" (Whitman, lines 4, 12 and 20). The quote explains the regret of losing a man who the poet admired for so long and is now "fallen cold and dead." The poet is trying to deliver his painful and almost a heart-rending of a feeling to the reader by repeating the quote "fallen cold and dead." This quote explains the sudden death of a great nationalist and has no chance of survival. It also gives reader an insight into how the people on the shores are desperately waiting for the captain’s arrival and celebrate after his heroic and an epic voyage but at the end, all their celebrating of joyfulness turns in a misery. The poet’s view of his admirer in this poem, the captain, is very patriotic as the captain went through a monumental voyage and prevailed victorious even after his death. The effective words used to describe the captain's death, creates an unsettled and rather heartbreaking atmosphere among the reader and the...

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