Figures of Speech

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Figures of Speech

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A. Simile - A simile is a figure of speech that directly compares two different things, usually by employing the words "like" or "as".

1) They fought like cats and dogs.
2) She is as thin as a toothpick.
3) Geoff is handsome as a prince.

B. Metaphor - A metaphor is a literary figure of speech that uses an image, story or tangible thing to represent a less tangible thing or some intangible quality or idea; e.g., "Her eyes were glistening jewels."

1) Life is a dream in the night, a fear among fears.
2) Life is a highway and its milestones are the years.
3) Life is our dictionary.

C. Personification - A trope or figure of speech (generally considered a type ofmetaphor) in which an inanimate object or abstraction is given human qualities or abilities.

1) The stars danced playfully in the moonlit sky.
2) The sun glared down at me from the sky.
3) The tornado ran through town without a care.

D. Apostrophe - A figure of speech in which some absent or nonexistent person or thing is addressed as if present and capable of understanding.

1) "Bright star, would I were steadfast as thou art"
2) "Science! True daughter of Old Time thou art!"
3) "Welcome, O life! I go to encounter for the millionth time the reality of experience and to forge in the smithy of my soul the uncreated conscience of my race. . . . Old father old artificer, stand me now and ever in good stead."

E. Allusion - An allusion is a figure of speech that makes a reference to, or representation of, people, places, events, literary work, myths, or works of art, either directly or by implication.

1) She was breathtakingly beautiful, but he knew that she was forbidden fruit.
2) She transformed her backyard to look like the Garden of Eden.
3) His wife was his Achilles' heel.

F. Antonomasia - A rhetorical term for the substitution of a title, epithet, or descriptive phrase for a proper name (or of a personal name for a common name)

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