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England in 1819 Great poetry is great not because of what it says but because of how it's phrased. Few poems state anything that is quite profound; instead, the best of them use terminology in publication, memorable, and successful ways. Surely that is the case of Percy Bysshe Shelley's famous sonnet "England in 1819." Inside this poem Shelley refers to the depressing, dark, and dirty state of events caused by Britain by political, social, and spiritual corruption. But this poem wouldn't be quite as successful if it weren't for Shelley's strong use of such classic rhetorical devices as adjectives, alliteration, assonance, imagery, irony, lists, topics, and much more. 1 device that Shelley employs very potently is that the use of adjectives. The sonnet is filled with colorful descriptive words. These words include "old," "mad," "blind," "loathed," "expiring" (l. 1), "dull" (l. 2), "helpless" (l. 3), "leech-like" (l. 5), "Golden," "sanguine" (l. 10), "Christless," "Godless" (l. 11), and "magnificent" (l. 13) and also "tempestuous" (l.14). All these adjectives are clearly powerful, memorable, and effective. Another method that Shelley uses very skillfully is alliteration. The poem is filled with all the repetition of consonant sounds. By way of example, alliteration is apparent in such words as "despised and dying" (l. 1), "dregs" and "dull" (l. 2), "mud" and "muddy" (l. 3), "blind," "blood," and "blow" (l. 6), along with "starved and stained" (l. 7). Shelley's usage of this sort of emphasis on consonants makes his phrasing linger in the ears. A third strategy that Shelley uses quite closely is that the use of assonance. The poem consists of several repetitions of vowel sound in stressed syllables. Examples of such as...