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Friday, December 02, 2005

Using the Elements of Figurative Language in Writing

Figurative Language uses words in fresh, new ways to appeal to the imagination. Similes, metaphors, extended metaphors, hyperbole, and personification are all elements of figurative language.

Using figurative language in your writing enables you to describe people, places, and things while creating memorable images that stay in your readers' minds long after they have finished reading your words. Let's examine each element of figurative language.


A figure of speech in which two essentially unlike things are compared, often in a phrase introduced by 'like' or 'as'. Here are some examples from Shakespeare:
"How like the winter hath my absence been"
"So are you to my thoughts as food to life"
Metaphor and Extended Metaphor

Metaphor - a figure of speech in which an expression is used to refer to something that it does not literally denote in order to suggest a similarity. Here are some examples from Shakespeare:
"All the world's a stage"
"It is the east, and Juliet is the sun"
Extended Metaphor - a metaphor that is extended through a stanza or entire poem, often by multiple comparisons of unlike objects or ideas.


A figure of speech in which exaggeration is used for emphasis or effect. Here are some examples:
I could sleep for a year.
This book weighs a ton.

A figure of speech in which inanimate objects or abstractions are endowed with human qualities or are represented as possessing human form. Here is an example from Shakespeare:
"Arise, fair sun, and kill the envious moon,
Who is already sick and pale with grief,
That thou her maid art far more fair than she."
As you can see from the examples above, figurative language can add depth, power, and/or lyrical beauty to your writing. Judicious use of these elements will spark a reader's imagination and help improve the quality of your prose.




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3 comment(s):

blogroll me back,

By Blogger Tyrone, at 3:14 PM  

Hi Tyrone,

What's your URL?

By Blogger klynn, at 10:06 PM  

thnx alot...that was helpfull and simple....some ppl just use figurative languages by talent though they donnu what is figurative language..


By Blogger معتز / خالد, at 12:18 PM  

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