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Literary Devices in I Died for Beauty

Literary Devices Examples in I Died for Beauty:

Text of the Poem

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"We brethren are..."   (Text of the Poem)

Notice that in the previous line, the man says that “truth” and “beauty” are one, echoing Keats once again. However, consider that in this line, the man uses the pronoun “we,” which now directly identifies their respective ideals as “truth” and “beauty.” Dickinson thus personifies these ideals. These two people are no longer distinguishable from what they died “for”; rather it is as if both “truth” and “beauty” have died.

"I died..."   (Text of the Poem)

The first line of the poem is paradoxical: the speaker is dead, yet speaking. Dickinson often uses paradoxes in her poetry to manipulate tone. In this case, the first two words give the poem an immediate tone of mystery, but the reader is asked to accept the reality one can speak from beyond the grave. Dickinson uses this strategy to reflect on the meaning of death from a perspective that has already experienced it. Thus, she is able to reach beyond the limits of “truth” or human knowledge, a theme throughout the rest of the poem.

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