Literary Devices in Worn Out

Literary Devices Examples in Worn Out:

Worn Out 3

"struck me down..."   (Worn Out )

This line can be interpreted as having two meanings. She either invokes medieval imagery of love at first sight, in which a person struck by Cupid’s arrow becomes irrevocably, obsessively in love with a love object. She could also be describing a betrayal that “struck her” when she felt safely in love. In either reading, Love is characterized as violent and dangerous.

"Must fly away from thee...."   (Worn Out )

The speaker creates a paradox in this stanza. She compares herself to a bird with broken wings that “must fly.” Because birds with broken wings cannot fly, the speaker expresses the conundrum of her situation. She must get away from her audience, “thee,” but she does not have the physical, or metaphorically mental, capacity to do so. This paradox makes her tone hopeless and undermines the validity of this desire to “fly away.”

"strong arms..."   (Worn Out )

“Strong arms” is a characteristic that invokes masculine gender norms. Because of Siddal’s interest in medieval literary themes, descriptions such as this one suggest that the speaker sees her audience through the lens of the medieval romance: he is a strong knight who is there to save her, the endangered damsel.