Because I Could Not Stop For Death Figurative Language

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The poem “Because I Could Not Stop for Death” by Emily Dickinson juxtaposes death to a trip with someone in a carriage that takes the speaker on a ride to eternity. The poem itself is an extended metaphor, but also includes different types of figurative language to portray that death can be calm and subtle. The speaker describes death as more of an optimistic and unavoidable journey rather than death being a gruesome and painful experience. The poem is written in six quatrains (four lines per stanza), and is divided into different stages of life. There is no particular pattern for rhyme, but there are words that rhyme with each other such as “immortality” and “civility.” The poem consists of two basic meters: iambic tetrameter and iambic trimeter. The first and third line of each stanza has the same metrical pattern, and the second and fourth line of each stanza also have the same meter.…show more content…
Death is personified and given human characteristics, and the fact that he “kindly” stopped for the speaker gives us a reassurance that the death was not painful in any way. It is almost ironic that death can be describes with such a caring attribute. The speakers states that she “could not stop for Death,” meaning that she had no choice about when she was going to die. Although Dickinson capitalizes Death to personify it, the way she capitalizes “Carriage,” “Ourselves,” and “Immortality” is just used for emphasis. There is emphasis on the three words because the carriage is her transportation for death, “ourselves” means only her and death, and immortality shows that death is not the end. In the second quatrain, the speaker and Death are slowly moving with no hurry, and states that she has given up her work in exchange for Death’s
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