Literary devices

Shakespeare’s “Sonnet 18” uses a variety of literary devices, particularly figurative language in the form of personification and metaphors. 

Personification

Shakespeare uses personification several times in the sonnet to create vivid imagery and make inanimate objects come alive to the reader. For example, the speaker uses personification to refer to the sun: “And often is his gold complexion dimm’d” (l. 6). By giving the sun a face, the speaker makes it come alive. 

In the second half of the poem, death is personified: “Nor shall death brag thou wander’st in his shade” (l. 11). Here, the speaker imagines death boasting that the young man lives in his shadow. Death is presented as a conscious force who is pleased that human beings must die. This makes the speaker’s intention of...

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