Some definitions and examples
Metaphor. A metaphor talks about something as if it were another thing. You will find three types of metaphor:
- The descriptive metaphor talks about something concrete by talking about another thing concrete. For example take: “It had been an excellent day. The trees swayed like dancers lost in reverie. Because they waltzed the mid-day away the breeze ongoing to wind its mournful tune.”
- ( The abstract metaphor explains an abstract principle by evaluating it to some thing concrete. For instance: “My cup runneth over.” (The author of the scriptural Psalm talks about the existence that submits to divinity when it comes to just one cup that’s full and remains filled.)
- The embedded metaphor utilizes a verb or perhaps a noun inside a non-literal fashion. For instance: “The darkness put itself upon the land having a sigh of relief.” (Clearly darkness may not throw itself upon the land– it just appears to do this. The metaphor “The darkness put itself upon the land” is embedded since it just shows that the night time is sort of a lover overwhelmed following a lengthy absence or perhaps a man exhausted following a hard work day.)
Simile. A simile is really a particular type of metaphor that talks about something as much like another thing. You are able to usually recognize similes by the existence of the term “like” or “as.” For instance: Alice is an extremely beautiful youthful lady: she’s as pretty like a rose.
Hyperbole. A hyperbole is definitely an exaggeration so excellent that nobody could possible go literally. For instance: “He earned my skin crawl.” (We do not expect the speaker in this situation be physically impacted by her encounter with someone else: she simply does not like him and it has expressed the extent of her dislike by exaggerating).
Understatement. An understatement seeks to convey a concept or impression by underemphasizing the extent that an announcement might be true. Understatement may be the complete opposite of hyperbole and it is frequently useful for its comedy value in articles, speeches, etc. when issues crucial are now being discussed. For instance: “Jen had stolen his watch, diminish his vehicle, and stored him from getting together with his buddies. Pointless to state, Jack had acquired a under favorable opinion of his ex-girlfriend.”
Irony. Irony involves creating a statement which means the alternative of the items it states literally. Suppose you will be experiencing a streak of misfortune: your home continues to be conned, your cat just died, other people you know is mad to you, which morning you backed your vehicle right into a tree. You cry in exasperation: “Well that’s just great!” Clearly you do not imply that you are happy relating to this sequence of occasions: you’ve just made an ironic statement. You may even encounter irony in bits of literature or anecdotes. Probably the most famous types of literary irony is Shakespeare’s Romeo and Juliet: it’s ironic the enthusiasts die because of the program which was designed to ensure their spending the remainder of their lives together.
Synecdoche. In synecdoche part of something represents the entire. For instance: “You don’t live and eat bread alone.” The statement assumes that bread is associated with all groups of food. Or: “All on the job deck!” The statement equates the employees with negligence your body that performs a lot of the work they do– both your hands.
Metonymy. In metonymy some attribute of what’s being described can be used to point the entire. When talking about a king, for instance, you can rather say “the crown”– that’s, the physical attribute that’s usually identified with royalty.
Several things to take into consideration when employing figurative language:
Watch out for clichés. Clichés are often types of figurative language (“dead like a doornail,” “leading edge,Inch “an axe to grind,” “a bone to choose,Inch etc.). Clichés frequently contain archaic or obscure terms which do hardly any to explain topics of debate. Should you state that a problem is really as “dead like a doornail” what am i saying? Exactly what does a defunct doornail seem like? Is really a readers that has heard the saying a 1000 occasions likely to take time to create a comparison between your issue and also the cliché? • Avoid extended metaphors. From time to time you’ll think of a metaphor that illustrates your point so completely that you would like to talk about your resourcefulness using the readers. A metaphor should make some point very rapidly: its purpose would be to clarify and stimulate. Extended metaphors makes readers much less impressed using the comparison the more it lasts. Exactly the same imagery just will get redundant and unexciting before long.
Avoid mixed metaphors. Should you make an effort to explain a place utilizing a string of 3 or 4 metaphors the readers will probably get either (1) confused regarding which model is easily the most accurate, or (2) exhausted by reiterations of the concept that they understood the very first time through. When the readers is analyzing your argument critically it’s also entirely possible that he’ll observe inconsistencies one of the various metaphors. In almost any situation, you need to be interested in discussing the subject directly figurative language will help you along, but should not be important compared to argument itself.
Thus, you need to never base a disagreement on figurative language. No example is perfect. Things could be compared on certain levels but there’s a time every example breaks lower. In case your readers is having to pay focus on your rhetoric he can refute the thesis of the paper very easily.
BIBLIOGRAPHY (to learn more)
Marius, Richard. A Writer’s Companion. New You are able to: McGraw-Hill Corporation. 1995. 171-90.
UVic Help guide to rhetorical terms (index of terms, including concise definitions of figurative language terms discussed above)