How Does Longfellow Use Figurative Language In Hymn To The Night

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In Henry Wadsworth Longfellow’s poem “Hymn to the night”, techniques such as figurative language and symbolism are used to convey his constructive views on the foreseeable and comely nature of life and death while developing the deeper meaning of the poem. To illustrate, Henry Wadsworth Longfellow incorporates figurative language when including personification in his stanza, “I heard the trailing garments of the Night! / Sweep through her marble halls! / I saw her sable skirts all fringed with light / From the celestial walls!” (1-4). This quote gives the night characteristics of a woman. It refers to the night as “her” and says that the night wears a sable skirt. It also makes the night have ownership of the marble hall being mentioned. This…show more content…
To those yearning for peace or rest, death is beautiful and serene. Longfellow’s view on death is proved to be as tranquil as the love of a aesthetically pleasing and calm woman. In “Hymn to the night”, a variety of similes can be found. Of these similes, the most important and profound example can be found within the stanza, “The calm, majestic presence of the Night, / As of the one I love” (7-8). In this stanza, Longfellow compares the night with a woman whom he loves. This woman being mentioned is tranquil and beautiful and gives him inner peace. The night is also soothing and allows him to be at ease with himself. It also provides him with the calmness that the woman he loves gives him. His portrayal of the night as a majestic and beautiful woman explains how he views death in a quick overview of his understanding feelings toward its occurrence. Death is unavoidable and will provide many with the consolation they need. Moreover, Henry Wadsworth Longfellow uses a variety of figurative language but also incorporates symbolism in his poem. An example of this symbolism is in the stanza,

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