Literature Study GuidesFor The Union Dead

For the Union Dead | Study Guide

Robert Lowell

Download a PDF to print or study offline.

Study Guide
Cite This Study Guide

How to Cite This Study Guide

quotation mark graphic


Course Hero. "For the Union Dead Study Guide." Course Hero. 13 Jan. 2019. Web. 5 June 2020. <>.

In text

(Course Hero)



Course Hero. (2019, January 13). For the Union Dead Study Guide. In Course Hero. Retrieved June 5, 2020, from

In text

(Course Hero, 2019)



Course Hero. "For the Union Dead Study Guide." January 13, 2019. Accessed June 5, 2020.


Course Hero, "For the Union Dead Study Guide," January 13, 2019, accessed June 5, 2020,



Robert Lowell

Year Published





Fiction, History

Perspective and Narrator

The poem is narrated by a first-person speaker, whom readers can assume is the poet. He connects his childhood and a Civil War memorial to contemporary life, including progress and civil rights.


The poem alternates between past and present tense.

About the Title

First published as "Colonel Shaw and the Massachusetts 54th," the poem commemorates the Civil War's 54th Massachusetts Regiment and Colonel Robert Gould Shaw, who died with nearly half of his men at the siege of Fort Wagner in 1863. A memorial plaque depicting Shaw surrounded by his men was erected on the Boston Common in 1897.


This study guide for Robert Lowell's For the Union Dead offers summary and analysis on themes, symbols, and other literary devices found in the text. Explore Course Hero's library of literature materials, including documents and Q&A pairs.

Buy this book from
Cite This Study Guide

information icon Have study documents to share about For the Union Dead? Upload them to earn free Course Hero access!

Stuck? We have tutors online 24/7 who can help you get unstuck.
A+ icon
Ask Expert Tutors You can ask You can ask You can ask (will expire )
Answers in as fast as 15 minutes
A+ icon
Ask Expert Tutors