Explain the poetic techniques used in the opening lines of john donne’s sonnet x.
Sample Response: Donne is using both personification and apostrophe in these lines. He is using apostrophe when he speaks to Death as though it were a person who could hear and respond to him. He also personifies Death as if it were a person who could feel proud or be “mighty” and “dreadful.”
The technique used by the author is the use of a figure of speech, specifically personification.
The personification is a literary device that allows the author to provide inanimate objects, animals or anything other than human, human characteristics, or the ability to perform tasks closely related to human beings.
An example of this can be seen in the passage shown in the question above, this, because the author talks to death, as if death had the capacity to hear, which is a capacity related to human beings. In addition, the author of human characteristics is death, saying that people believe that it is powerful and terrible.
The techniques used are as follows
Use of the imperative to address Death: Donne appears to be talking to a person in a reproachful tone.
Personalisation of Death: Telling Death how to feel makes Death a person.
Finally, the use of the apostrophe is another techique used by the author.
You could also talk about the mood and tone the author is trying to portray (for "brownie points"). I hope this is somewhat helpful.