Sir Thomas Wyatt

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

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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...

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