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What are the literary devices used in Midsummer Night's Dream Act III in quote: "Which...

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shazzle | (Level 1) eNoter

Posted November 16, 2011 at 5:11 AM via web

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What are the literary devices used in Midsummer Night's Dream Act III in quote:

"Which death or absence soon shall remedy."

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prhodes | High School Teacher | (Level 2) Adjunct Educator

Posted November 16, 2011 at 8:14 AM (Answer #1)

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Do you mean within this line only, or in Helena's speech which precedes it?

If this line: what Helena means is that the way Hermia and the boys are mocking her (as she thinks) is partly her own fault (you may have noticed she tends to be a bit of a drama queen and likes to feel sorry for herself). She says this in the line before. The whole line is, 'Tis partly my own fault, which death or absence soon shall remedy'

In modern English she means: OK, it's partly my own fault for trusting you lot - never mind, I'm going to end this situation either by killing myself or by leaving (neither or which she has any intention of doing, by the way).

The devices would be:

  •  personification of 'death' and 'absence'. Personification is a form of metaphor. She is speaking as if death and/or absence are actually able to take an active part - 'remedy' the situation.
  • you could also say hyperbole (exaggeration) is being used as she is making a huge issue of being teased (even if she were actually being teased it isn't enough to kill herself about)
  • Then of course there is the iambic pentameter in which the line is written (five 'beats' or feet - daduh times five)
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shazzle | (Level 1) eNoter

Posted November 16, 2011 at 8:45 AM (Answer #2)

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I meant this line only and how it ties along with Helena's speech.

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