O Captain! My Captain! as an Elegy
The poem, “O Captain! My Captain!” written by Walt Whitman is an elegy which celebrates the heroic death and demise of the 16th former American president, Abraham Lincoln. He died in the civil war. The poet, Walt Whitman was a humanitarian poet who realized at heart the sadness for the loss of Lincoln.
This is a narrative poem where it is shown that the sudden death of their leader brings about a great loss in the life of the Americans. It seems that they are enjoying at the sea shore with ribboned wreaths in their hands. Others at the sea shore cannot realize that their captain is no more. But the poet was present at the deck of the ship where the corpse of his leader was lying pale and being bloodless and cold. The former president made an effective part in the American civil war but the ending of his life shown in poem is really pathetic one which affected not only the life of the Americans but also the general readers. After reading the poem one thing becomes very prominent in the mind of the readers.
Abraham Lincoln fought bravely leading his troops and at the same defeated the confederates of the Southern state of America. He secured the national integrity of the whole nation as well as spread the brotherhood among the countrymen avoiding external and internal dangers. The poem is meaningful in the sense that it carries a different meaning which signifies the heroic authenticity of the leader, Abraham Lincoln. As a sailor rides his ship safely in the harbor avoiding the dangers in his journey the same way out of love for the nation as well as out of responsibility Lincoln shod the path to the Americans to a new world.
In the poem it is shown that the journey is called a ‘fearful trip’ as signifying the fearful voyage of Abraham Lincoln. The poet does not want to believe in the fact that his leader is no more. He believes that his leader is lying to take rest and he will rise once again. So in that hope the poet places his hand on his back to support him to ruse once again to lead their country to a newer world.
Abraham Lincoln was not only represented as a leader in the poem but something more than that. His through out struggle is reflecting here in the poem through a long description. The poet is here torn between two thoughts, individual vs group. In this struggle the poet cannot enjoy the taste of victory as he can see that his leader is no more. So his mind is divided between two parts. The poem carries a symbolical stance which signifies that it is nothing but a symbolical representation of the last journey of the former president of the United States of America. The ship is considered as the country and the leader of the nation is lying on the deck of the ship leading to its ultimate victory.
Whitman is ever feeling pathetic for the death of their favourite captain, Abraham Lincoln. He is not ready to in the harsh reality that he is no more. The kind of emotional attachment has been shown here in the poem is not only a kind of condolence shown towards the great leader but it is more than that. The poem is very much in the cube of leadership and guts to represent the country though the description of Lincoln’s gallantry.
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