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In the poem "Love's Philosophy," what literary devices does Shelley use?

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hannahnasser | Student, Grade 10 | eNotes Newbie

Posted April 15, 2011 at 5:36 PM via web

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In the poem "Love's Philosophy," what literary devices does Shelley use?

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accessteacher | High School Teacher | (Level 3) Distinguished Educator

Posted April 15, 2011 at 7:59 PM (Answer #1)

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What is most notable about this excellent poem of love and how the speaker views the world and uses the way that all of nature mixes together to support his request that his beloved kiss him is the series of implied metaphors in the second stanza that describe various aspects of nature as if they were lovers. Let us examine this verse more closely:

See! the mountains kiss high heaven,

And the waves clasp one another;

No sister flower would be forgiven,

If it disdained it's brother;

And the sunlight clasps the earth,

And the moonbeams kiss the sea...

Note the way that the mountains "kiss high heaven" as if they were lovers. The waves "clasp one another" in their embrace, just as the sunlight "clasps the earth." The moon, not to be outdone by the sun, allows its moonbeams to "kiss the sea." These series of implied metaphors serve to reinforce the central idea of the poem, which is the way in which all things are shown to "In on another's being mingle." Since nature teaches us this lesson, why should the speaker not be able to love his beloved?

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