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Identify some figures of speech that are used in "If" by Rudyard Kipling.

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wearethechamp... | Student, Grade 9 | eNotes Newbie

Posted May 31, 2011 at 3:49 PM via web

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Identify some figures of speech that are used in "If" by Rudyard Kipling.

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

Posted May 31, 2011 at 7:29 PM (Answer #1)

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You might want to think about the use of personification in this famous poem. Let us remember that personification is the attributing of human qualities to inanimate objects, and there is one clear instance of this in the poem. Consider the following quote:

If you can fill the unforgiving minute
With sixty seconds' worth of distance run,

Note the way that the minute is described as "unforgiving," which is of course, literally impossible, as time is an inanimate object, but it here serves to emphasise the feat of being able to run for a span of time even though it is hard work.

Also, note the way that apostrophe is used to refer to Triumph and Disaster:

If you can meet with Triumph and Disaster
And treat those two impostors just the same;

Triumph and Disaster are refered to and made out to be human characters, as they are described as being "two impostors just the same," just more individuals that can be met along the path of life and need to be encountered and surpassed.

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