O Captain! My Captain!. Analyzing Walt Whitman’s Famous Poem. Title. What do you think the poem will be about? (Your answers will all be different.). Paraphrase. (Stanza 1) The ship has weathered the storm and everyone is happy, but the speaker finds the Captain bleeding on the deck.
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Analyzing Walt Whitman’s Famous Poem
What do you think the poem will be about?
(Your answers will all be different.)
(Stanza 1) The ship has weathered the storm and everyone is happy, but the speaker finds the Captain bleeding on the deck.
(Stanza 2) The speaker urges the Captain to hear the celebration, which is for him, but the Captain is unable to.
(Stanza 3) The ship has safely landed, but the Captain is dead.
“Exulting” and “rise up” are examples of a celebratory feeling.
“Bleeding drops of red,” “cold anddead,” “pale andstill,” and “mournful” are examples of sadness and loss.
The speaker goes back and forth between joyful (that the ship has arrived safely) and mournful (that the Captain is dead).
There is no shift in speaker, but a shift in attitude.
In the first two stanzas, the opening lines are happy, but the last four lines are sad.
The final stanza is full of grief.
The poem is not just
praising a leader, but mourning his passing.
O Captain! My Captain!
The exclamation points show the emotion.
Even the greatest victories involve tragedy.
A good leader gives himself for the well-being of his people.