What is one metaphor in Shakespeare's "Sonnet 55"?


Quick Answer

One metaphor in Shakespeare's "Sonnet 55" is, "But you shall shine more bright in these contents / Than unswept stone besmear'd with sluttish time." In these lines, Shakespeare compares the memory of his subject to a brightly shining light.

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Full Answer

Shakespeare uses another metaphor in these lines when he calls time "sluttish," personifying time by comparing it to a filthy, gross woman. A third metaphor in the poem occurs in lines 1 and 2: "Not marble, nor the gilded monuments / Of princes, shall outlive this powerful rhyme." Here he compares statues, monuments and the sonnet itself to living beings with a lifespan.

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