O Captain! My Captain! | Theme of Death and Pathos

O Captain! My Captain! | Theme of Death and Pathos

Theme of Death and Pathos in O Captain! My Captain!

Walt Whitman was one of the finest American poets who used to love to deal with the political issues as well as democracy. The poem, “O Captain! My Captain!” deals with the most burning political topic of American Civil War and at the same time the poem deals with the theme of death of elegy due to the death of the most popular contemporary leader, Abraham Lincoln. The poem shows Abraham Lincoln not only as a political leader or as the president of America but also as a pathfinder of the whole United States of America.

O Captain! My Captain! registers the last ride of Lincoln along with the poet, Walt Whitman. The poem bears lots of the contemporary themes like power of democracy as well as the theme of conspiracy and outrageous hatred among the countrymen. The leader was assassinated and became the victim of a pre planned political conspiracy.

During the course of the 19th century America made a tremendous growth in its social arena. The country tried to rise in its all possible ways. The state expanded to a large number of areas. But the inevitable period of the civil war almost stunted the growth of the country. It had almost broken the backbone of the states. It became almost impossible for the state to raise its head again. The society of the contemporary period of the United States of America confronted a huge amount of social dilapidation. The situation of the country was really volatile and vociferous. Lots of people were killed almost like cattle and bloodsheds drained through the city road like water.

The writer, Whitman focused on the individual loss. The death of their favourite leader was an added nook to the history of America. But the amount of genocide happened there in the state was really noteworthy. The last phase of the poem is a mixed image of one side the public enjoying the victory over the enemy at the same time the poet is carrying the body of the leader. The dead body of the leader is really important. When America was having the simultaneous rate of death and population growth then the poet tried to focus on the individual growth of the state.

One of the most vital poems, “When Lilacs Last in the Dooryard Bloomed” the poet imagines that death is an integral part of life. In that poem the poem imagines that at a time flowers die but somehow it reblooms to fill the vacuum He vows to see that every year how New Year flowers bloom in the springtime. In the poem of Whitman, he registers the number of death that he visualizes in the state during the period of civil war. It helped Whitman to contextualize the severe picture of death as well as the trauma. The number of death had given a vision in that period.

Throughout the life Whitman imagined of a democratic world. In most of his poetry, Whitman imagined of a united state. His works were praised by a large number of the contemporary scholars. In the year of 1965, for his male supportive poems he was sacked from his job just with the sting that he was bisexual or homosexual.

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As the speaker was mourning the death of Lincoln and at the same time he also sprays lilac onto the coffin and by doing this he serves homage to the great leader. In the last paragraph of the poem the writer requests to the dead leader to rise again to stand again for the country and to enjoy the fruit of the victory that he had brought by his own shoulder. The poet is bearing an affected heart. He considers the death of the leader of their country as a great loss.

“My Captain does not answer, his lips are pale and still.”

The above line registers that the writer so anxious for a miracle from the god. He is aware that their leader will never rise up again. But in spite of that he tries in vain to wake him up.

Walt Whitman has always tried to experiment with poetic diction on different level by including slangs, colloquialism, and dialects. We can see a sense of variety in his poetry. He expanded the boundary poetic world. Like William Wordsworth Whitman believed that everyday life and everyday people are fit for the subjects of poetry. Although most of his poetry is supportive of the political issues but in most of his poetry Whitman dealt with the theme of democracy. The poem uses short form of poetic lines.

The use poetic devices make the poem more energetic in literary sense. Political perspectives are drawn here indirectly as much as the theme of death is induced in the poem directly. We appreciate the poem and its effort to show up the theme of death and the way the poet pays homage to the leader, Abraham Lincoln.

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