Shakespeare's Sonnets Questions and Answers
by William Shakespeare

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In Shakespeare's "Sonnet LXVI" (66), what literary techniques are used?

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The speaker in this sonnet is weary of the world; he feels that justice in the lives around him and that nothing ever seems to change. Thus, he pelts the reader with alliteration to further this sense of repetitive behaviors:

As to behold desert a beggar born,
And needy nothing trimmed in jollity,

These hard consonants help to develop the tone of bitterness toward a world where it seems there is no rationale behind the success of some and the misery of others. These repetitive sounds are further developed through consonance in lines like this one:

And strength by limping sway disablèd

And this one:

And simple truth miscalled simplicity,

In both lines, we hear the speaker almost hissing through the repetition of the s sound as he analyzes how truth is often misunderstood and the strong are often "disabled" by weaker authority figures.

Metonymy, or the substitution of one object for a closely related idea, is also used:

And art made tongue-tied by authority

In this example, the word art is standing in for the...

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