Figurative Language In Henry VII

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Shakespeare is known thorughout the world as a genius author. He is a master of using different devices to convey meanings beneath the surface of his plays. Henry VII is no different. In Shakespeare’s play, Henry VIII, the playwright uses allusion, tone, and figurative language to convey Wolsey’s response regarding his dismissal from the court. Shakespeare is known for metaphors and intense figurative language and this play is no different. Wolsey angrily spouts at the court, “And when he thinks, good easy man, full surely His greatness is a-ripening, nips his root” (lines 7-8). Shakespeare uses a metaphor here to portray how Wolsey views himself. It gives an insight to the haughtiness of Wolsey’s character. The comparison to a plant that was close to ripening, shows that Wolsey believes that he was on his way to greatness. The second part, where Wolsey compares the court’s actions to nipping the root, shows that he is upset at the dismissal and believes the world is against him. By using figurative language, Shakespeare is able to peer into Wolsey’s mind to gain a perspective on how he views himself. The excerpt takes on a spiteful, almost morose tone. Wolsey seems hopeless, referring to himself as old and weary, giving the reader a vision of a broken man. It seems, from a reader’s…show more content…
At the end of the excerpt, Wolsey says that “And when he falls, he falls like Lucifer” (line 22). By comparing his fall from advisor to Lucifer’s fall from Heaven, the reader gets a sense of the intensity of the dismissal. The allusion allows the reader to understand the depth of the situation and how it characterizes Wolsey. The comparison to Lucifer leads the reader to believing the fault lies on Wolsey alone, just as it did with Lucifer. It gives the reader a frame of context for the dismissal. The use of allusion in this excerpt shows the reader the severity of Wolsey’s
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