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Themes

Shmoop thinks there are little pieces of a ghost story buried in this poem.  They don't always jump out at you at first, but spooky, scary moments are sprinkled throughout.  These help add to the tension and the excitement of the poem, and they also make the poem much more interesting than a straight history lesson.

Questions About The Supernatural

  1. What is the description of the graveyard doing in the poem?  What does it add to the overall effect?
  2. Would you like to see Paul Revere fight some ghosts?  Maybe some of the British soldiers could be zombies?  Sorry, we'll have to leave that for the summer movie version:  "Paul Revere: Revenge of the Redcoats." 
  3. Are there any moments in the poem that seem genuinely supernatural, or is it more just spooky?
  4. Do you think nature and the spiritual world are tied together in this poem?

Chew on This

Try on an opinion or two, start a debate, or play the devil’s advocate.

The supernatural elements of "Paul Revere's Ride" provide a tension and excitement that gives shape and determination to the history.

The history in the poem offers an excuse for Longfellow to explore natural and supernatural ideas.

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