Literary Devices in Worn Out
Medieval Language and Futile Tone: “Worn Out” is full of language and images that are characteristic of medieval literature. There is language that invokes the idea that a heartbreak is causing the speaker actual bodily harm, a metaphor used in a lot of medieval literature. There is language that suggests that the speaker is feeble and innocent and needs the strong arms of a man to save her, all of which is characteristic of the medieval “damsel in distress” narrative.
The speaker creates a conundrum by comparing herself to a bird with broken wings that wants to fly away but can’t. This adds to the tone of futility in the poem as the speaker reveals her immobility in the face of this dilemma. She is unable to create any outcome that would be beneficial to either herself or her lover in her current state.