What figurative language and sound devices are used in "Bridal Ballad" by Edgar Allan Poe?

Expert Answers

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The first sound device you will notice is rhyme.  Rhyme is used consistently in an ABAAB pattern in the first stanza, then ABAAAAB for the second, and so on.

The ring is on my hand,  A
 And the wreath is on my brow;  B
 Satins and jewels grand  A

 Are all at my command. A
 And I am happy now. B (stanza  1)

Second, the poem contains simile and metaphor.  A simile compares two unlike things indirectly using “like” or “as” words.

For the words rang as a knell,

And the voice seemed _his_ who fell

In the battle down the dell,

And who is happy now. (stanza 2)

The simile in the first line compares the groom’s words to a bell, and the metaphor in the second through fourth lines compares the voice to a soldier in battle.  She loved the soldier, but is marrying this man because he is alive.

The last device used is repetition.  Repetition is used for sound effect, and to drive the point home about the bride not being happy in who she married. For example, various versions of “happy now” are repeated, and it becomes clearer and clearer that she is not happy.



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