Homework Help

Name the literary element in this quotation, "The glorious lamp of heaven, the sun".

user profile pic

roadsideruin | Student, Undergraduate | eNotes Newbie

Posted August 5, 2010 at 2:13 AM via web

dislike 1 like

Name the literary element in this quotation, "The glorious lamp of heaven, the sun".

2 Answers | Add Yours

user profile pic

engtchr5 | High School Teacher | (Level 3) Associate Educator

Posted August 5, 2010 at 2:41 AM (Answer #1)

dislike 1 like

It's a metaphor. Notice how the author is comparing the sun to the "glorious lamp of heaven" without using the word "like" or "as." Had he chosen to use like or as, that would make the ;iterary device into a simile. Instead, he chhoses the direct route, simply naming something as something else and allowing the readers to put the clues together on their own.

Metaphors are commonly used in poems that are both canonized and contemporary; a look at works by poets ranging from Frost to Collins will prove this assertion to be true. Metaphors are one of the most widely used poetic devices.

 

user profile pic

mwestwood | College Teacher | (Level 3) Distinguished Educator

Posted August 5, 2010 at 3:20 AM (Answer #2)

dislike 1 like

In Robert Herrick's "To the Virgins, to Make Much of Time," the metaphor of the sun being likened to a lamp also serves to further the theme of carpe diem which is the main idea of this poem.  For, like a lamp, the sun loses its light after the day is done, and does not arise until the next day when time has passed.  So, the idea of taking advantage of opportunities while it is light and before darkness sets in suggests the theme of making the most of time. The metaphor of the sun's being a lamp of heaven serves well to develop the controlling metaphor of Herrick's poem that time is fleeting.

Join to answer this question

Join a community of thousands of dedicated teachers and students.

Join eNotes