What are some literary devices used in Shakespeare's Twelfth Night, act 1, scenes 3–4?

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In Maria's contemptuous speech in act I, scene 3 about Sir Andrew, she uses alliteration and irony. Alliteration occurs when the same consonant appears at the beginning of words that are in close proximity. In the speech below, the repeated use of the guttural "q" and "g" sounds adds a harsh emphasis to Maria's disdain:

he’s a great quarreler, and but that he hath the gift of a coward to allay the gust he hath in quarreling, ’tis thought among the prudent he would quickly have the gift of a grave.

Maria uses verbal irony when she says that Sir Andrew's "gift" of cowardice saves him from "gift" of the grave. In verbal irony, a word means the opposite of what its literal meaning is: in this case, neither being a coward nor dying are actually gifts.

In act I, scene 4, the duke uses imagery. Imagery is description using any of the five senses of sight, sound, taste, touch, or smell. Below, the duke uses sound imagery to describe Cesario's feminine voice.

Thy small pipe
Is as the maiden’s organ, shrill and...

(The entire section contains 3 answers and 1077 words.)

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Last Updated by eNotes Editorial on February 6, 2020
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