What are some figures of speech in the poem “Farewell Love and all thy Laws for ever”?

In “Farewell Love and all thy Laws for ever,” Sir Thomas Wyatt employs apostrophe, personification, allusion, metaphor, alliteration, rhyme, imagery, and synecdoche to enhance the beauty and interest of his poem.

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Sir Thomas Wyatt fills his poem “Farewell Love and all thy Laws for ever” with interesting figures of speech. The entire poem is an example of apostrophe, for the speaker directly addresses love as if it were a person. Love is also personified as a fisherman with “baited hooks,” a storyteller with “lore,” and an entity that repulses, troubles, claims authority, and throws darts.

Notice also the metaphors used to characterizes love. Love uses “baited hooks” to draw the speaker onto its line, to capture him and entangle him. Love is a fisherman who takes the speaker as its prey. Love is also a storyteller or a teacher who ensnares the speaker with its “lore.” The speaker says he will abandon such learning and return to Plato and Seneca (alluding to two philosophers).

Love is also a hunter or sportsman who shoots “brittle darts” at the speaker although the speaker tells it to shoot some “idle youth” instead. This latter reference alludes to the mythological Cupid with his dangerous arrows. Finally, love apparently provides “rotten boughs” that the speaker will no longer climb, giving readers the impression of an unsound tree that is about to fall and carry the climber down with it.

The poet employs linguistic techniques as well. Notice the alliteration in the first line with “farewell” and “forever,” two words that fit together nicely in both meaning and sound. In line 4, we have “wealth” and “wit,” in line 8 “liberty” and “lever.” The poet's rhyme scheme is interesting as well, for it scans abbacbbcdeedff. The repetition of the b rhyme does a nice job of tying the poem together.

Notice, too, the vivid descriptive imagery the poet employs. Error is “bitter” to him. Love sharply repulses and “pricketh” sore. The speaker will escape and uses his liberty as a “lever” to lift him up from an undesirable situation. His wit will seek new endeavors and leave love to “younger hearts.” The latter phrase is actually a good example of synecdoche, in which a part of something represents the whole: in this case, “hearts” represents people.

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The term "figure of speech" is a very broad one, describing any word or descriptive phrase which is used in a way that is not completely literal, usually in order to create some kind of image or other literary effect. It is almost impossible to find poetry which does not contain many figures of speech. In this poem, for example, the second line establishes a semantic field of fishing, or being hooked, as Wyatt describes the "baited hooks" of love as having previously "tangle[d]" him within them. The imagery here suggests that love tries to tempt us with "bait" but ultimately lures us to our doom.

Later, Wyatt notes that the "repulse" of love metaphorically "pricketh aye so sore"—he is not literally being stabbed by love or rejection in love, but this figure of speech indicates that the emotional pain is as strong as a literal, physical one might be. Wyatt returns to this idea later in the description of the "many brittle darts" of love.

The closing line uses another metaphor, that of climbing "rotten boughs." The poet says he no longer wants to do this; he does not mean it literally, but in a figurative sense, he does not want to endanger himself as he has done by letting himself be tempted by love.

The whole poem is also, of course, an example of apostrophe—an address to something, or some entity, who is not actually present.

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Wyatt uses the literary device of apostrophe, which is to address or speak to an inanimate or abstract object (or an absent person). In this case, the speaker addresses "love," telling it "goodbye."

The speaker also personifies love, giving it human attributes and speaking to it as if it is a person and not an abstract quality.

By invoking the names Senec [Seneca] and Plato, the speaker employs allusion, which is to refer to another work of literature of a person of historical significance. Seneca is a Roman philosopher who preached detachment, and Plato is a Greek philosopher who put emphasis on ideal forms and the life of the mind.

Metaphor, comparisons that do not use "like" or "as," is a main literary device woven throughout this poem. One example would be the speaker comparing the pain of love to "brittle darts."

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Wyatt uses personification in describing love, which would probably account for the word's being capitalized by a later editor. The speaker is addressing his remarks to the figure of Love, with whom he is throughly disillusioned—so much so that the expresses his intention to give up the game of love entirely and devote more time to studying the philosophical works of Seneca and Plato.

If the speaker hadn't explicitly addressed his remarks to Love in the opening line we could be forgiven for thinking that he was addressing a lover, someone whose inconstancy had caused him to give up on love altogether. For there's not just disillusionment here but real bitterness. The speaker wants nothing more to do with Love, and the "rotten boughs" that it forces him to climb in its pursuit.

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There are many different types of figures of speech. A figure of speech is a phrase or a word that has or gives a meaning different from its literal meaning, like metaphors, similes, or even alliteration.

“Farewell Love and all thy Laws for ever” is a poem written by Sir Thomas Wyatt in an ABBA rhyme scheme. The poem is, as its title suggests, an exclamation by the writer saying that he is giving up on love and turning instead to the world of intellect.

Wyatt relies heavily on metaphors in the poem. In line 2, Wyatt writes:

Thy baited hooks shall tangle me no more.

This is an excellent example of a metaphor, wherein Wyatt likens the temptations of love to “baited hooks” that he will avoid the way fish avoid lures. (Remember that a metaphor is different from a simile in that both compare two dissimilar things, but a simile uses the words like or as.) Similarly, he compares learning to not pursue pointless love with climbing rotten trees, in the poem’s final line:

Me lusteth no lenger rotten boughs to climb.

Just as climbing a rotting tree is dangerous and pointless, so is pursuing love.

Another figure of speech is alliteration, which is when several words start with the same sound. We can see an example of this in line 8:

And scape forth, since liberty is lever.

The examples I gave are just a few kinds of the figures of speech you could look for in the poem. You might also be able to find instances of hyperbole, irony, assonance, etc.

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