Student Question

What figures of speech are used in these lines from Shakespeare's Sonnet 29?

"Haply I think on thee and then my state,/ Like to the lark at break of day arising/ From sullen earth, sings hymns at heaven's gate."

Expert Answers

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The speaker is distressed about his fate, but when he thinks of his love, his condition improves.

The condition improving is then compared in a simile:

his mood improves and gets better "Like to the lark at break of day arising..." like a lark rising into the skies. The simile is comparing his mood to a lark soaring.

There's also examples of personification, sullen is an adjective that describes a human characteristic. Once the poet establishes the simile, he extends the speaker's "mood" sings.  

Hyperbole is exemplified by the idea of his mood improving enough to reach heaven's gate.

Hope this helps!

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