Figures of Speech

Fig­ures of speech is a means of express­ing ones thoughts and feel­ings by mak­ing use of words in their lit­eral mean­ing or even out of their usual usage, in order to add emo­tional inten­sity or beauty or for trans­fer­ring the poet’s impres­sions either by iden­ti­fy­ing or com­par­ing a thing with another which has a mean­ing that is famil­iar to its reader.
A few impor­tant fig­ures of speech include metaphor, sim­ile, per­son­i­fi­ca­tion, sym­bol and hyperbole.

Sim­ile: Sim­ile is a fig­ure of speech which is essen­tially used for com­par­ing explic­itly two unlike things. Usu­ally words like ‘as’, ‘then’ and ‘like’ are used.

Exam­ples: Her cheeks are like red roses.
It is as thick as the cloth

There are few sim­i­les in which a par­al­lel com­par­i­son is extended and devel­oped beyond the pri­mary com­par­i­son and are also usu­ally sus­tained through numer­ous lines. Such sim­i­les are known as Home­ric sim­i­les or epic similes.

figures of speech

fig­ures of speech

Metaphor: In these fig­ures of speech, a phrase or a word is used for denot­ing an idea or an object to another, fur­ther sug­gest­ing an anal­ogy or like­ness between them.

Exam­ples: Life is a jour­ney, death is sleep
Dif­fi­cul­ties are the obsta­cles and achieve­ments are the landmarks.

Usu­ally most of the metaphors are nouns; how­ever, verbs can be metaphor too.

Per­son­i­fi­ca­tion: It is a kind of metaphor in which the unique and pecu­liar human char­ac­ter­is­tics such as hon­esty, voli­tion and emo­tion and more, are imputed to an object, an ani­mal or an idea.

Exam­ples: My cell phone hates me
Flow­ers were danc­ing with the rain

Per­son­i­fi­ca­tion is com­monly used in apologues.

Hyper­bole (hi-PER-buh-lee):
Hyper­bole is a delib­er­ate and bold over­state­ment which is used basi­cally as a mode of accent­ing the truth of the bold state­ment. Usu­ally these sen­tences are not meant to be taken precisely

Exam­ples: His mobile phone is mil­lion years old.
She told him the same thing thou­sands of times.

Ady­na­ton is a kind of hyper­bole, in which the over­state­ment is so greatly mag­ni­fied that it starts refer­ring to impossibility.

Allit­er­a­tion:
Allit­er­a­tion is also known as ini­tial rhyme or head rhyme. It is the rep­e­ti­tion of prime sounds, gen­er­ally the con­so­nants, of a stressed word that is either at a short inter­val or is in neigh­bor­ing word.

Exam­ples: Mary’s micro­phones made much music.
Peter poked his pen into him.

Allit­er­a­tion pro­vides strength and sup­port to stresses, grat­i­fies effect on sound and also serves as an elu­sive con­nec­tion or stress of key words in a line, how­ever, a word that is allit­er­ated should not call any atten­tion, by their strained usage, towards themselves.

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8 Responses to “Figures of Speech”

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