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Dickinson - "Much Madness is Divinest Sense"

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by

Candace Edwards

on 19 February 2015

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Transcript of Dickinson - "Much Madness is Divinest Sense"

"Much Madness is divinest Sense"
Figurative Language & Literary Elements
There are quite a few examples of figurative language and literary elements found in 'Much Madness is divinest Sense'. There are examples of Sound devices, Personification, Imagery, Repetition, and Metaphors.
Poetic Elements
Poetic elements help the reader understand what the author of the poem is trying to say by the format of the pom. Emily Dickinson uses Slant Rhyme, End Rhyme, and a Paradox in this poem.
Discussion Questions
1) Why do you think Dickinson wrote this poem?Who is she writing about?

2) Reread the first four lines of the poem. Who does Dickinson consider herself to be -­ "mad" or "sane"?


3) How could we summarize the poem's
conclusion?
Sound Devices
Line 1 - "
M
uch
M
adness"
This is an alliteration because of the repetitions of the
M
.
Metaphors
Line 6 - " Assent - and you are sane - "
This is a metaphor because Emily Dickinson is saying that if you agree with society, you are 'sane'.
To Emily Dickinson, society believed that when you think differently from the majority you are considered to be insane. Emily did not agree with this.
By Emily Dickinson

Much Madness is divinest Sense -
To a discerning Eye -
Much Sense - the starkest Madness -
’Tis the Majority
In this, as all, prevail -
Assent - and you are sane -
Demur - you’re straightway dangerous -
And handled with a Chain -

Line 3 - " Much
S
ense - the
s
tarkest Madness"
This is an consonance because of the repetition of the
S
.
Personification
Line 2 - " To a discerning Eye"
This is personification because Emily Dickinson is giving an the human qualities to "judge".
Imagery
Line 8 - "And handled with a Chain".
This is imagery because you get the image of society handling the "insane" as if they were chained up and were not to be let free.
Repetition
Lines 1-3 - "Much
Madness
is divinest Sense -
To a discerning Eye -
Much Sense - the starkest
Madness
".
The repetition of 'Madness' helps Emily Dickinson show how she really feels about how society treats people. She does not agree the the people they claim to be 'mad' are really mad.
Line 7 - "Demur - you're straightway dangerous - "
This is a metaphor because Emily Dickinson is saying that if you disagree with society, you are considered 'mad' or almost as a threat.
Slant Rhyme
Lines 1-3 - "Much Madness is divinest
Sense
-
To a discerning Eye -
Much Sense - the starkest
Madness
- "
Emily Dickinson uses the slant rhyme to put more emphasis on madness. It helps her tone because she can stress her topic of 'madness'.
End Rhyme
Lines 6-8 - "Assent - and you are
sane
-
Demur - you’re straightway dangerous -
And handled with a
Chain
- "
Once again Emily Dickinson uses a rhyme to help emphasize her topic.This time she puts the emphasis on 'sane'. Society puts so much pressure on people to be 'sane'. Emily Dickinson put emphasis on 'chains' to show how ociety feels the need to confine these mad people; cut them off from the mainstream so they can't corrupt it.
Paradox
Emily Dickinson's poem "Much Madness is divinest Sense" is all one big paradox.
The title is even its own paradox. She is explaining how she feels that those who are considered mad by society are actually the only sane people. The truth in this paradox is that if people only agree with other people, they are forfeiting their own individual thoughts, making them mad, in a sense.
Full transcript