* Site-Outage Notice: Our engineering elves will be tweaking the Shmoop site from Monday, December 22 10:00 PM PST to Tuesday, December 23 5:00 AM PST. The site will be unavailable during this time.
© 2014 Shmoop University, Inc. All rights reserved.
Paul Revere's Ride

Paul Revere's Ride

by Henry Wadsworth Longfellow

Paul Revere's Ride Symbolism, Imagery, & Allegory

There’s more to a poem than meets the eye.

Paul Revere

Our hero. Of course, since he's at the center of this poem, he can't just be some guy on a horse. He's a symbol of the past, of American courage, of the danger and the fascination of the Revoluti...

The Lanterns

These only show up in the first half, but for a lot of people they are the most unforgettable part of the poem. They are the key part of the cool spy plan Paul and his friend come up with. Like P...

The North Church Tower

The North Church is kind of a spooky place in this poem. It's the biggest landmark we get, and it pokes its head up everywhere. It's an important image in the poem, in part because Longfellow spen...

The Somerset

The big, tough British warship that Paul rows by. It really only gets a quick appearance, but it's a major moment in the poem, and it leaves a mark. We hear a lot about the British, but we don't...

The Churchyard

This is the graveyard around the Old North Church. Like the church itself, it gets a surprising amount of attention in the poem. It almost spins off into its own little plot, a sort of mini ghost...

The Spark

The spark flies out from under Paul's horse's hooves as they gallop along. But, as you probably guessed, this isn't just any old spark. This is a metaphor for the power of freedom and light, and...

Meeting-house Windows

Another slightly sad, slightly creepy image that shows up in the poem. It's maybe the most haunting and lasting disagreement with the reality of war and death that we see anywhere in "Paul Revere'...

The Cry of Alarm

There's actually kind of a mystery about this one, since Longfellow never tells us exactly what Revere says. In any case, the cry is another one of many representations in this poem of the spirit...

People who Shmooped this also Shmooped...

Noodle's College Search