Analysis of Walt Whitman’s “Beat!Beat!Drums!”

“Beat!Beat!Drums!” By Walt Whitman is an amazing poem that uses many metaphors, alliterations, and repetitions to get its point across. The author uses precise and impacting vocabulary that clearly shows his hatred towards slavery.

Walt Whitman uses lots of literary devices in his poem “Beat!Beat!Drums!”.He uses the repetition of the words “Beat!Beat!Drums – blow!Bugles!Blow!” throughout the poem to emphasize that we are not seeing what is right in front of us; it’s a call to action. Every stanza is a different metaphor. They all tell us in different ways to stop and do something, to listen to the drums and bugles.

Throughout the poem, there is a very distinct change of tone. At the end of every stanza, the drums and bugles have gotten louder and louder. On the second line of the second stanza, Whitman uses hyperbole to express how loud the sound is, yet no one seems to hear it. On the last paragraph, Whitman uses a more violent and commanding tone. Almost every line of the third stanza is a command. His change of tone emphasizes how desperate he is, how he wants people to be aware of what’s happening. You can see his passion being poured out on the lines as the poem progresses.

On the first lie of every stanza, Whitman uses alliteration. This is really fascinating because the sounds that are made when people read sound like drumming. “Beat!Beat! Drums – blow!Bugles!Blow”. The repeating “b” sound sounds like drums being played. The author chose to do this to demonstrate how oblivious we are to the sound of the drums and bugles. The reader is making the sound, yet they still do not hear the loud drums.

The whole poem is a metaphor for Whitman’s distaste towards slavery. People are oblivious to the “drums and bugles”, which represents slavery. Whitman is trying to make us open our eyes to what is really happening around us.

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