The Portent

Length: 2 Pages 385 Words

"The Portent" by Herman Melville Herman Melville's poem, "The Portent" is about the brutal death of the famous abolitionist, John Brown. A portent is an evil omen. Herman Melville and many others thought of John Brown as the portent of the Civil War. Melville was known as a moralist and a supporter of Abraham Lincoln. The theme of the poem is about the courageous death of a martyr. The atitude is sad and dramatic. The connotation reflects the author's sympathy towards a punished abolitionist. On October 16, 1859 John Brown led twenty-one me Continue...


Brown was known as a bit of a lunitic. John Brown's slave rebellion could have been Shenendoah's future, but instead, Brown's face was covered and he was condemned. He neglected to inform the slaves of his plans and even failed to supply his men with enough food to last one day. n to seize the arsenal at Harpers Ferry, Virginia, in hope of starting a slave rebellion throughout the south. this was his punishment by the law. His thin shadow was cast upon the green ground at Charlestown in the Shenendoah Valley. He was symbolized as the meteor or omen of the war. John Brown was extraordinary and fantastic. His stab wounds will not heal agter his death. Ralph Waldo Emerson said that Brown would "make the gallows as glorious as the cross. " In the poem, John Brown is obviously favored by the author. Lee and his troops quickly overpowered th raiders.