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Paul Revere's Ride

Paul Revere's Ride


by Henry Wadsworth Longfellow

Analysis: Speaker

For some reason, we picture the speaker of this poem as a fun, twinkly-eyed old grandfather. (Maybe it's the "listen, my children" stuff at the beginning.) He probably doesn't get around so well anymore, and he likes his easy chair with the kids all around him.

His mind's still sharp, and he's told his stories so many times that he knows exactly how to keep his audience entertained. Sometimes his voice drops to a whisper, sometimes it rises to a shout, but it's always full of excitement, as if he were living the story himself. Maybe he uses his hands to drum out the sound of the horse's hooves, maybe he jumps at you a little to spook you in the scary parts.

You can never quite tell if the story happened to him, if he just heard about it, or if he completely made it up. All you know is that his stories are the best you've ever heard, and you can't get enough.

That's how we see the speaker. How do you picture him? Why?

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