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What is the figurative language in "To the Virgins, To Make Much of Time"?

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aram | Student, Undergraduate | eNotes Newbie

Posted May 28, 2008 at 4:07 AM via web

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What is the figurative language in "To the Virgins, To Make Much of Time"?

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amy-lepore | High School Teacher | (Level 1) Educator Emeritus

Posted May 28, 2008 at 6:06 AM (Answer #1)

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The link below will give you greater detail on the multitudes of figures of speech, but in this poem, the most obvious include the allusion to Old Time (Father Time) and the Lamp of Heaven (the sun) which uses hyperbole by overexaggerating the speed at which time passes for these virgins.  The speaker tells them that time is flying and by the day they are getting older and uglier, so while they still can, stop being coy and get married as this is their primary duty as a young lady in this time period.  Otherwise, you will forever be an unmarried spinster which is never the desire of any young woman.

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