Part 2. Project 3. Exercise 2

In this exercise I am to put what I have learnt about poetic devices into practice by studying other creative writing.

I started by visiting and looking at a copy of Seven Ages of Man by William Shakespeare. (2019). – William Shakespeare. [online] Available at: [Accessed 18 Jul. 2019].

Similie – I’m fairly confident I’ve picked out the Similies.

Metaphor – Initially I confused these with the Similies as opposed to the more definitie ‘giving it the identity of something else’

Consonance – I wasn’t sure about the Consonance. I think I’m right in highlighting the repetition of the letter ‘S’. I’m not so sure about my highlighting of the letter ‘L’.

Alliteration – Initially I thought that the words which started with the same initial sound had to be next to each other in the line for it to count as an example of Alliteration. When I re-read the definition in the course guide I realised it can be ‘two or more words in a line of poetry that begin with the same initial sound’. This made it easier to identify the lines in question.

Assonance – This one was completely new to me. I think I’ve correctly identified some examples of assonance…

Seven Ages Of Man by William Shakespeare

All the world’s a stage, (metaphor)
And all the men and women merely players, (metaphor)
They have their exits and entrances, (alliteration)
And one man in his time plays many parts, (alliteration), (consonance)
His acts being seven ages. At first the infant, (consonance), (metaphor)
Mewling and puking in the nurse’s arms. (assonance)
Then, the whining schoolboy with his satchel (assonance), (alliteration)
And shining morning face, creeping like snail (assonance), (alliteration)
Unwillingly to school. And then the lover,
Sighing like furnace, with a woeful ballad (similie)
Made to his mistress’ eyebrow. Then a soldier, (alliteration)
Full of strange oaths, and bearded like the pard, (similie)
Jealous in honour, sudden, and quick in quarrel,
Seeking the bubble reputation
Even in the cannon’s mouth. And then the justice (assonance)
In fair round belly, with good capon lin’d, (assonance)
With eyes severe, and beard of formal cut, (assonance)
Full of wise saws, and modern instances,
And so he plays his part. (alliteration)

I am now to ‘pick up a novel and see if you can find any of these devices employed in the text. Why did the writer use it at this particular point? What is its effect on the writing and so on the reader?’

The novel which I have handy is ‘Jamaica Inn’ by Daphne du Maurier and I set about studying the first page. Within it I discovered Similie, Metaphor, Rhyme, Alliteration and Assonance.

 ‘It was a cold grey day in late (Assonance) November. The weather had changed overnight, when a backing wind

When studying this one page closely, I was very surprised by how many poetic devices were used within the text. The first lines assonance sets the rhythm of the coach which is continued throughout the excerpt.

brought a granite sky (metaphor) and a mizzling rain with it, and although it was now only a little after two

The use of the metaphor ‘granite sky’ instantly adds colour to the scene in the readers mind. Everyone has seen granite, the bleak depressing grey springs easily to mind. The comparison of the stormy grey with the time of afternoon normally considered to be when the weather is at it’s best adds further to this impression.

o’clock in the afternoon the pallor of a winter evening seemed to have closed upon the hills, cloaking them in mist. It would be dark by four. The air was clammy cold (Aliteration) and for all the tightly closed windows

The alliteration of ‘clammy’ and ‘cold’ further enhances the perception of the element being described.  

it penetrated the interior of the coach. The leather seats felt damp to the hands, and there must have been a small crack in the roof, because now and again little drips of rain fell softly through, smudging the leather and leaving a dark-blue stain like a splodge of ink (similie). The wind came in gusts, at time

Use of this commonly seen simile helps aid the visual image in the minds eye.

shaking the coach as it travelled round the bend of the road and in the exposed places on the high ground it blew with such force that the whole body of the coach trembled and swayed, rocking between the high wheels like a drunken man (similie). .

This similie is something that everyone can imagine and apply to the idea of a rocking coach. It further enhances the image the author is describing.

The driver, muffled in a greatcoat to his ears, bent almost double in his seat in a faint endeavour to gain shelter  from his own shoulders (Aliteration) , while the dispirited horses plodded sullenly at his command, too broken by the wind and the rain to feel the whip that now and again cracked above their heads, while it swung between the numb fingers of the driver.

The wheels of the coach creaked and groaned as they sank into the ruts on the road, and sometimes they flung up the soft spattered (Aliteration)  mud against the windows, where it mingled with the constant

The alliteration of ‘shelter’ and ‘shoulders, and ‘soft spattered’ provide descriptors but also rhythm within the text. They assist in the depiction of the carriage as a jerky unevenly lurching object across rough terrain.

driving rain, and whatever view there might have been of the countryside was hopelessly obscured.

The few passengers huddled together for warmth, exclaiming in unison when the coach sank into a heavier rut than usual, and one old fellow, who had kept up a constant complaint (Aliteration), ever since he had

The alliteration of “constant complaint’ and ‘fury’ and ‘fumbling’ further assist in describing the rhythm of the coach.

joined the coach at Truro, rose from his seat in a fury; and, fumbling (Aliteration) with the window-sash, let the window down with a crash (Rhyme) bringing a shower of rain in upon himself and his fellow passengers.’

In contrast to the first line of the excerpt in which the rhythm is fairly smooth, the final two lines of my excerpt are incredibly jarring. The use of the rhyme ‘ash’ twice in quick succession is what reinforces this.

Overall there are several poetic devices which I have spotted, all of which are put to work within the text to paint a picture for the reader. Word choices are used to put across the rhythm of the subject they describe, something I would never have noticed if I hadn’t been looking for it.

To be honest I’ve never read this book, I picked it off the shelf at random thinking that I should probably use a ‘proper’ book to work with for a Uni assignment. Studying this first page has got me quite interested in what the rest of the book may offer!

Examples of my own for each poetic device

Rhyme – It’s been four months since I had a well cooked meal, when I get to see real veg again I don’t know how I’ll feel!

Rhythm (excerpt from a nomination that I wrote for a section monthly competition for ‘biggest flapping b***ard award’) –

‘We have a nomination for a brand new category, the biggest flapping b***ard that this place has ever seen, the vein in his head has been throbbing away as day by day the dumpies sweep cobwebs from corners that haven’t seen light since the Argies were here, because dust is what matters right?!’

Repitition – I call this one. ‘A lament to Falkland Islands Internet connectivity’…..Terrible Internet, Terrible Internet, Terrible Internet. 

Aliteration – This is a piece of aliteration used quite widely by the services community. ‘Practice Prevents Piss Poor Performance’

Assonance – diverse iguanas practice guitar intermittently (I think this works as an example?!)

Consonance – Winter Weather thaWs slowly

Onomatopoeia – Plop-Plop-Plop , the sound of the water dripping from the broken water pipe in the corridor..

Personification – My lonely sketchpad sits on my work desk feeling utterly unloved.

Simile – On the morning of the day I leave this place I shall be as high as a kite

Metaphor – His back hair, a furry pelt…..


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