Can anyone tell me the style of Shakespeare's writings and the figures of speech in it??   P.S.It's urgent!!  

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William Delaney eNotes educator| Certified Educator

This is a very big question. It covers all of Shakespeare's writings and might take an entire book to answer completely. Shakespeare wrote poetry and plays. Most of his poetry and plays were written in iambic pentameter, though not always entirely. Iambic pentameter consists of five "feet" with two syllables to each foot, the second usually being stressed in each foot. His poetry and plays are full of figures of speech, mainly similes and metaphors. A simile usually is preceded with the word "like" or "as" or some equivalent. A metaphor does not. An excellent example of Shakespeare's use of metaphors can be found in his sonnet 73. Here are the first four lines of iambic pentameter:

That time of year thou mayst in me behold

When yellow leaves, or none, or few, do hang

Upon those boughs which shake against the cold,

Bare ruin'd choirs, where late the sweet birds sang.


He is saying, of course, that he is getting old and that his time of life is like the beginning of winter. The entire sonnet continues with this theme.

If you were to quote this entire sonnet and show how it is literally packed with metaphors (figures of speech), and with metaphors within metaphors, it should show that you understand and appreciate Shakespeare's characteristic style and use of beautiful figures of speech.

For a marvelous example of a simile, see his sonnet 29, one of his most famous. which contains these lines:


Yet in these thoughts myself almost despising,

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 . . .


If you would like further suggestions about Shakespeare, I think you would get faster and better responses by asking more specific and less general questions.