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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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O Captain! My Captain!


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o captain my captain

O Captain! My Captain!

Analyzing Walt Whitman’s Famous Poem

title

Title

What do you think the poem will be about?

(Your answers will all be different.)

paraphrase

Paraphrase

(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.

connotation

Connotation

“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. 

attitude

Attitude

The speaker goes back and forth between joyful (that the ship has arrived safely) and mournful (that the Captain is dead).

shift

Shift

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.

title1

Title

The poem is not just

praising a leader, but mourning his passing.

O Captain! My Captain!

The exclamation points show the emotion.

theme

Theme

Even the greatest victories involve tragedy.

OR

A good leader gives himself for the well-being of his people.