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What figures of speech are used in these lines from Shakespeare's Sonnet 29? "Haply I...

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seventhheaven | Student, Undergraduate | (Level 1) Honors

Posted May 25, 2012 at 1:26 AM via web

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What figures of speech are used in these lines from Shakespeare's Sonnet 29? "Haply I think on thee and then my state,/ Like to the lark at break of day arising/ From sullen earth, sings hymns at heaven's gate."

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kimberleemay | High School Teacher | (Level 1) Adjunct Educator

Posted May 25, 2012 at 2:16 AM (Answer #1)

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The speaker is distressed about his fate, but when he thinks of his love, his condition improves.

The condition improving is then compared in a simile:

his mood improves and gets better "Like to the lark at break of day arising..." like a lark rising into the skies. The simile is comparing his mood to a lark soaring.

There's also examples of personification, sullen is an adjective that describes a human characteristic. Once the poet establishes the simile, he extends the speaker's "mood" sings.  

Hyperbole is exemplified by the idea of his mood improving enough to reach heaven's gate.

Hope this helps!

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Esraa Rose | Student | eNotes Newbie

Posted December 18, 2012 at 8:52 PM (Answer #2)

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Figurative Language, Imagery. And Sound in “Sonnet 29”

Williams Shakespeare’s “Sonnet 29” is Shakespeare starts the first quatrain with himself talking of disgrace in his fortune and in the eyes of others. In the second quatrain, Shakespeare takes the inward thoughts and looks outward with coveting eyes and wishes he could be a different man. By the third quatrain, the poet thinks upon the young man to whom the poem is addressing, which makes him assume a more optimistic view of his own life. The speaker compares such a change in mood to a lark rising from the early morning darkness at sunrise. Finally, the speaker masterfully closes the sonnet by declaring an emotional remembrance of his friend's love which is enough for him to value his position in life more than a king’s friendship. Several poetic devices enhance his use of poetic imagery, figurative language, and sounds to create a unifying effect throughout his work, thus enabling him to express many intricate emotions in simply fourteen lines.

In this poem there’s only sense of sight and hearing For example, when Shakespeare. Imagery in “Sonnet 29”

Personification and simile assist the reader to better understand the poet’s change in condition from depression to utter joy. For example, when the speaker describes his lonely condition, he writes how he “troubles deaf heaven with my bootless cries.” (line 3) This shows that the poet gives a human quality to heaven in this case, the inability to hear. Readers sense the Bard meaning that his prayers have no purpose. The word "troubles" has particular interest because it suggests that he believes his prayers bother heaven, which shows a general exhaustion of hope and faith on the part of the speaker. He continues by wishing himself to be like someone with more prospects, someone more attractive, someone with more friends, and someone with greater artistic skill and range of opportunity.

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