Radmila Lazic Writing Styles in Death Sentences

Radmila Lazic
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In poetry, a "conceit" refers to an elaborate and extended metaphor. A metaphor is a word or phrase that is used in place of another to suggest a likeness or comparison between them, and a conceit can carry one metaphor across many stanzas and through many different situations. Conceits are not as common as they were in seventeenth-century England, for example, but Lazic uses one when she employs Shakespeare's character of Ophelia as a metaphor for the speaker of "Death Sentences." The speaker begins by saying she is not like Ophelia, but then she spends the next two stanzas imagining herself as Hamlet's abandoned lover, sinking in the water and drowning. This entire comparison is a conceit.

Poets often use conceits to shed light on the object or event being replaced by the metaphor, and conceits allow the reader to picture something in a new and different way...

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This section contains 387 words
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Poetry for Students
Death Sentences from Poetry for Students. ©2005-2006 Thomson Gale, a part of the Thomson Corporation. All rights reserved.