The Alegorical Nature of O Captain! My Captain! by Walt Whitman to the Journey of Abraham Lincoln

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Explication of “O Captain! My Captain!” “O Captain! My Captain!” is one of the most popular poems ever written by Walt Whitman. Upon the initial reading of this poem, one may perceive the poem to be about a loyal captain who leads his crew on a treacherous, but successful, voyage which ends in devastation. If interpreted literally this is the poem’s only meaning, but for those who look further there is an underlying story behind the words of Whitman. Whitman uses multiple literary elements throughout this poem in order to unmask the story of Abraham Lincoln’s journey and ultimate death as a result of the Civil War and his fight to end slavery. The title of the poem, “O Captain! My Captain!” , insinuates that the poem will be centered …show more content…
Explication of “O Captain! My Captain!” “O Captain! My Captain!” is one of the most popular poems ever written by Walt Whitman. Upon the initial reading of this poem, one may perceive the poem to be about a loyal captain who leads his crew on a treacherous, but successful, voyage which ends in devastation. If interpreted literally this is the poem’s only meaning, but for those who look further there is an underlying story behind the words of Whitman. Whitman uses multiple literary elements throughout this poem in order to unmask the story of Abraham Lincoln’s journey and ultimate death as a result of the Civil War and his fight to end slavery. The title of the poem, “O Captain! My Captain!” , insinuates that the poem will be centered around a leader and possibly someone who is crying out to this leader. The first lines of the poem state, “O Captain! my Captain! our fearful trip is done, / The ship has weather’d every rack, the prize we sought is won,” (lines 1-2). This reveals to the reader that an important journey has taken place and resulted in a certain type of victory for the captain and his crew. The capitalization of the word “captain” portrays to the reader the importance of this figure to the speaker. Lines three through four maintain the joyous atmosphere as the excitement of the people at the harbor is illustrated upon the returning of the ship. This description is relevant to the excitement of the civilians as his or her loved ones returned home after the
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