What are the rhetorical devices in King Lear's speech in Act 4, scene 6? It is the speech where Lear is talking about adultry and saying that Gloucester's son Edmund is kinder than his daughters.

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In this speech, Lear is expressed his hatred of women, a hatred brought on by the way his daughters Goneril and Regan have treated him. They have betrayed him, lied to him, and treated him so disrespectfully that we as an audience can understand his anger.

Here, Lear is trying...

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to convince those listening that, below the waist, women are nothing but animals, driven by sexual lust. To make his case, he uses vividimagery. Images use the five senses—sight, sound, touch, taste, and smell—to convey a picture. Lear points to a woman he sees and calls her a "simpering dame" and says she "minces." Simpering and mincing are not pleasant images, as they suggest using fake facial expressions and a fake way of walking to lure a man to sex. Lear also uses such images as "soiled horse" to describe what women are like sexually. This is not a pleasant image. He says too that women's lower body parts belong to "the fiends." Again, fiends or devils are unpleasant symbols. Lear is trying to persuade his audience that women are repulsive creatures that men should stay away from sexually.

Lear also uses metaphor to make his point. Metaphor is a comparison that does not use "like" or "as." Lear likens women's sexual organs to "hell," "darkness," and "the sulfurous pit," using off-putting descriptors like "scalding" and "stench." If his audience takes him seriously, they will stay far from sexual relations with such creatures!

Lear also uses exclamatory expressions to reinforce his point, saying, "Fie, fie, fie, pah, pah!" This is a rhetorical device because it emphasizes that he means what he says.

Finally, Lear states that, with what he knows of women, he needs "civet," or an artificial stimulant, to get his imagination in the mood for sex: certainly his understanding of women would not make them desirable to him on their own.

Lear's attitude toward the female sex couldn't be bleaker at this point. Later, as he realizes Cordelia loves him, his misogyny will soften.

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King Lear, Act IV, scene vi, is one of the great monologues in literature.  It's full of sexual imagery, analogies, and verbal irony (sarcasm).  Literally translated, it reads something like this (according to my No Fear Shakespeare):

Women are sex machines below the waist, though they’re chaste up above. Above the waist they belong to God, but the lower part belongs to the devil. That’s where hell is, and darkness, and fires and stench! Death and orgasm!

In the monologue Lear uses the following rhetorical devices:

Rhetorical question: "What was thy cause? Adultery?"

Animal imagery: "The wren goes to 't, and the small gilded fly"

Eye / Sight imagery: "Does lecher in my sight."

Verbal irony (sarcasm), sexual imagery, and analogy: "Let copulation thrive; for Gloucester's bastard son Was kinder to his father than my daughters Got 'tween the lawful sheets."

Animal imagery: "The fitchew (a skunk), nor the soiled horse, goes to 't / With a more riotous appetite."

Hell / fire imagery: "There's hell, there's darkness, there's the sulphurous pit," AND "Burning, scalding, stench, consumption;"

Appearance vs. reality motif (women are gods above the waist, devils below):

"Down from the waist they are Centaurs,"Though women all above:But to the girdle do the gods inherit,Beneath is all the fiends';

Analogy and apostrophe (compares Gloucester to an apothecary; addresses an apothocary not present):

Give me an ounce of civet,good apothecary, to sweeten my imagination:there's money for thee.

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