Analysis Of The Poem ' O Captain ! My Captain '

Decent Essays
Whitman’s “O Captain! My Captain!” was written about the assassination of Abraham Lincoln which gives the poem a strong sense of historical context. The context of the poem gives it the emotional connection and remembrance that so many Americans know and honor each year. When it comes to remembering and honoring him, Walt Whitman was a very good poet that wrote very good poems about Lincoln. Walt Whitman was alive when Abe was assassinated so that gives Whitman a real time view of the effects of Abe’s death. The news of the assassination of Abraham Lincoln swept through the nation and a cloud instantly fell over the country. His death came at the most inconvenient time because the war just ended. He did not get the opportunity to lead a…show more content…
My Captain!” was special in particular because it did not need much explanation and people in that time could easily read and understand its meaning. Victorian poets wrote about serious topics regarding the emotions and things that provoke the different emotions and were generally old fashioned. The tone of sadness could also be a direct correlation to Walt Whitman’s evolving writing style that changed throughout his later years. A good friend of Whitman’s, William Osler, told Whitman “to live by the motto ‘carpe diem - make hay while the sun shines’ - a theme that permeated the poetry of younger Whitman. The aging Whitman did not always appreciate the advice.” (Nelson 111) This connection between Whitman and his writing plays a big part in the writing process. The tone is the attitude of the piece of work generally intended by the author. Although the rhetoric of the poem “O Captain! My Captain!” can be seen as the main reason for the tone but the writer plays just as much a part as the situation behind the poem. The poem “O Captain! My Captain!” has two main allusions that are present. The allusions also help make the poem so impactful. One of the allusions present is the assassination of Abraham Lincoln. The other allusion is the ending of the American Civil War. Although both events were big, country wide events, the assassination of Abraham Lincoln is the main reason that Whitman wrote this poem. Most Americans and literature pursuers around the world
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