What are some examples of figures of speech in Shakespeare's "Sonnet 29"?

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susan3smith | High School Teacher | (Level 2) Educator

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Personification is used to describe heaven as deaf to the speaker's futile cries:

And trouble deaf heaven  (line 3)

In line 12 personification is also used when earth is described as "sullen."

A simile is used to describe the speaker's joy when he thinks about his beloved:

. . .and then my, state,

Like to the lark at break of day arising

From sullen earth . .

A metaphor is used to compare the "sweet love" of the beloved to "wealth."

These figures of speech serve to contrast the speaker's melancholy state of mind with his joy when he remembers that he is truly lucky to have the love of such a one as his beloved.

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thanatassa | College Teacher | (Level 3) Educator Emeritus

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The first types of figures of speech we encounter in Shakespeare's Sonnet 29 are those of sound. The poem is a sonnet consisting of fourteen lines of iambic pentameter. The lines use the regular rhyme scheme of the English sonnet and consist of three open quatrains followed by a couplet.

Next, there are several examples of simile and metaphor in the poem. The most important comparisons are those concerning the poet's spirit resembling a lark that sings hymns. 

Next, we have paronomasia in the play on the double meaning of a state as a kingdom and as a condition. 

There are several instances of personification, or attributing human characteristics to non-human entities. These include "sullen earth" and "deaf heaven." 

The listing of multiple different types of woes is a form of amplificatio, in which one makes the same point in multiple different ways as a form of emphasis. 

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