What literary techniques does John Keats use in the poem “To the Nile”?

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Literary techniques used in the poem “To the Nile” include sonnet form, apostrophe, personification, metaphor, alliteration, consonance, and rhetorical questions.

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In his poem "To the Nile," John Keats uses a variety of literary techniques and devices. The form of the poem is a sonnet, which is a form that consists of fourteen lines with two distinct parts, or stanzas, of eight and six lines. The rhyme scheme is abbaabba cdcdcd.

The poet use apostrophe and personification in the speaker’s addressing the Nile River. Apostrophe is direct address to a person, thing, or abstract concept. Personification is the attribution of human characteristics to an animal, inanimate object, natural element, or concept. The speaker begins by addressing the river as “Son” and “Chief.”

Keats also uses metaphor, a direct comparison of unlike things for effect. This device is combined with personification, alliteration, and consonance as the speaker calls the river “Nurse of swart nations.” Alliteration is the repetition of initial consonant sounds, seen here in the initial n. Consonance is the repetition of consonant sounds within a word; this is evident in the s sounds.

A technique that Keats uses twice is posing a rhetorical question. This is a question to which the answer is known or seems obvious that is asked for effect rather than to elicit an answer. The speaker asks the river,

Art thou so fruitful? or dost thou beguile

Such men to honour thee … ?

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