What rhetorical devices are used in Edgar's soliloquy in Act 2 Scene 3 of "King Lear?"

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pohnpei397 eNotes educator| Certified Educator

Here are some of the rhetorical devices that Edgar uses in this soliloquy.

First, there are multiple examples of alliteration -- where more than one word in a short space starts with the same sound.  For example, he says "happy hollow" and "poor pelting."  There are a number of other examples.

Second, there is at least one example of personification.  Edgar says that he will be exposed to the "persecutions" of the sky.  The sky cannot persecute -- only people can do that.

Finally, I would say there is hyperbole.  When Edgar says he is going to take the "basest and most poorest shape" known to man, he is surely exaggerating.