John Of Gaunt Speech Analysis

Decent Essays

While on his deathbed in Act Two, Scene One of Richard II, John of Gaunt makes an important speech about his love for England, and his disdain for Richard’s ruinous acts as King. There are several pauses that, if worked into Gaunt’s speech, would help to show the significance of Gaunt’s words. Throughout this speech Shakespeare uses metaphors, vivid imagery, rhetorical terms, and powerful word choice in order to intensify Gaunt’s words, and amplify the different messages within Gaunt’s speech.
John of Gaunt’s speech contains multiple metaphors that help to elaborate on Gaunt’s message. In line thirty-seven, Shakespeare makes a point that Richard’s recklessness will lead to destruction. Shakespeare heightens this point to readers by adding that “violent fires soon burn out themselves; / Small showers last long, but sudden storms are / short;”(2.1.38-40). The expressive description of “violent fires” and “sudden storms” adds emotion to Gaunt’s speech. Shakespeare uses the word “choke” in the line, “With eager feeding food doth choke the feeder”(2.1.42). The word “choke” is key because it is correlated with death. This line is the first time Shakespeare directly tells the reader that Richard’s own actions will be the cause of his death. Through the descriptive words that Shakespeare uses, these metaphors provide a more vivid portrayal of Richard’s fate.
Shakespeare uses several rhetorical terms and devices in order to help the reader have a deeper understanding of Gaunt’s words

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