The Merchant of Venice by William Shakespeare

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In Shakespeare's The Merchant of Venice, what figures of speech are used in Act 1, scene 1?   

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The first scene of the play abounds in similes and metaphors, and personification and allusion are used as well.

Similes include “laugh like parrots at a bagpiper,” and Portia’s “sunny locks / Hang on her temples like a golden fleece…”; the latter is also an allusion to the prize that Jason pursued in ancient Greece. An extended instance is Bassanio’s description of the “infinite deal of nothing” that Gratiano speaks:

His reasons are as two

grains of wheat hid in two bushels of chaff: you

shall seek all day ere you find them, and when you

have them, they are not worth the search.

In a metaphor involving sea travel and the merchant fleets, Salarino calls the fleets “pageants of the sea.” Gratiano, speaking of affection, teases Antonio about trying to get him to say nice things so he won’t feel sad: “But fish not, with this melancholy bait,/ For this fool gudgeon, this opinion.”

Extended metaphors include Bassanio’s description of his intended approach to reversing his...

(The entire section contains 2 answers and 762 words.)

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