Updated: Dec 29, 2021
The terminology itself is quite telling. When you read a piece of literature do you drift into a world those words have painted for you? Imagery is just that. It is a literary device where the writer uses language to evoking a certain sensory or emotional experience in the reader. The words used can bring to mind sensory experiences such as of taste, touch, smell, sound and so on as well as prompt inner feelings and emotions as well as trigger memories.
OBERON: I know a bank where the wild thyme blows, Where oxlips and the nodding violet grows, Quite over-canopied with luscious woodbine, With sweet musk-roses and with eglantine: There sleeps Titania sometime of the night, Lull’d in these flowers with dances and delight; And there the snake throws her enamell’d skin, Weed wide enough to wrap a fairy in: [II.i.249-256]
This from Shakespeare's A Midsummer Night's Dream evokes many sensory experiences such of smell, sight, touch, sound and of emotions, too.
OTHELLO: It gives me wonder great as my content To see you here before me. O soul's joy! If after every tempest come such calms, May the winds blow till they have waken'd death! And let the labouring bark climb hills of seas Olympus-high and duck again as low As hell's from heaven! If it were now to die, 'Twere now to be most happy; for, I fear, My soul hath her content so absolute That not another comfort like to this Succeeds in unknown fate. [II.i.174-184]
These lines spoken by Othello, upon seeing Desdemona on his return from the sea, also from Shakespeare's play, Othello, paints a picture of the sea, especially of the roughness of its enormous waves, which can toss even the mightiest of ships from frighteningly high-rising waves to its quick and slamming fall — And let the labouring bark climb hills of seas | Olympus-high and duck again as low | As hell's from heaven!
Further, these lines spoken by Othello also brim with emotions as he suggests how at ease he is at Desdemona's presence, despite returning from the most turbulent of times.