Literary devices


“Sonnet 29” by William Shakespeare makes extensive use of literary devices, particularly figurative language which helps express how the power of love uplifts and transforms the speaker's mood. 


The speaker personifies fortune in the first line of the poem, saying that he is "in disgrace with fortune" (l. 1). This personification creates a sense that fortune is an active force that has the power to influence the speaker's life, but chooses not to do so because the speaker has disgraced it. 

The speaker also personifies heaven by saying it is “deaf” (l. 3) to his cries and pleas. In this way, the speaker likely indirectly refers to a higher power such as God, who he feels is indifferent to his despair and suffering. 

Lastly, the speaker personifies the earth when he compares his mood to a lark soaring away “from sullen earth” (l. 12). In this way, the earth becomes a stifling and unpleasant place for the lark, which thrives when it is soaring in the sky. This highlights the speaker’s idea that thoughts of his beloved uplift him from his gloomy mood.

Simile and metaphor

The third stanza of the poem presents a strong image, as the speaker compares himself to “the lark at break of day arising / From sullen earth” (ll. 11-12). This simile helps to highlight the speak...

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