Figurative Language In Shakespeare's Henry VIII

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In William Shakespeare’s play, Henry VIII, a bitter tone, structured figurative language, and biblical allusions are employed by the author in the process of conveying Cardinal Wolsey’s complex response to his dismissal from court. Shakespeare’s use of biblical allusions brings emphasis to the extent of Cardinal Wolsey’s downfall to that of Lucifer’s, the author reflects Wolsey’s lack of hope. This allusion serves as a tool to help establish the idea that Cardinal Wolsey has fallen from a grace he shall never return from. He expects himself to live in a life full of shame and misery after his dismissal. Through the use of figurative language a powerful understanding of Wolsey’s despair is established. Shakespeare thoroughly enables figurative language to convey Wolsey’s disappointment and anguish. Within…show more content…
In the very beginning of the soliloquy Wolsey is depicted with a bitter tone speaking of how “little good” the court had done for him. He goes on to describe the stages of one’s downfall; which in this case is symbolic to the changes of seasons and the sequence in which they take place and then proceeds to elaborate his dreary tone by speaking of his lack of depth and high blown pride that now must be hidden. The shift in Wolsey’s tone happens dramatically when he claims the world to be something in which contains glory and vanity and states that he “[hates] ye!” This phrase alone depicts Wolsey’s hostility and complex feelings. He later quickly shifts to a tone which contains one of self pity by calling himself a “wretched” man that does by the monarchy. The use of shifts in tones varying throughout the soliloquy reflects Cardinal Wolsey’s struggle to cope with such shocking news. Shakespeare does a marvelous job of capturing the complex nature of a human’s emotional stability and mental processes when confronted with a situation to this

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