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Metaphor Personification Irony Examples

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  1. Metaphor A. Definition of Metaphor Metaphor is a figure of speech which makes an implicit, implied or hidden comparison between two things or objects that are poles apart from each other but have some characteristics common between them. In other words, a resemblance of two contradictory or different objects is made based on a single or some common characteristics. In simple English, when you portray a person, place, thing, or an action as being something else, even though it is not a ctually that ―something else,‖ you are speaking metaphorically. ―He is the black sheep of the family‖ is a metaphor because he is not a sheep and is not even black. However, we can use this comparison to describe an association of a black sheep with that person. A black sheep is an unusual animal and typically stays away from the herd, and the person you are describing shares similar characteristics. Furthermore, a metaphor develops a comparison which is different from a simile i.e. we do not use ―like‖ or ―as‖ to develop a comparison in a metaphor. It actually makes an implicit or hidden comparison and not an explicit one. B. Examples of Metaphor a. Common Speech Examples of Metaphors Most of us think of a metaphor as a device used in songs or poems only, and that it has nothing to do with our everyday life. In fact, all of us in our routine life speak, write and think in metaphors. We cannot avoid them. Metaphors are sometimes constructed through our common language. They are called conventional metaphors. Calling a person a ―night owl‖ or an ―early bird‖ or saying ―life is a journey‖ are common conventional metaphor examples commonly heard and understood by most of us. Below are some more conventional metaphors we often hear in our daily life: ○  My brother was boiling mad. (This implies he was too angry) ○  The assignment was a breeze. (This implies that the assignment was not difficult) ○  Her voice is music to his ears. (This implies that her voice makes him feel happy) b. Literary Examples of Metaphors Metaphors are used in all type of literature but not often to the degree they are used in poetry because poems are meant to communicate complex images and feelings  to the readers and metaphors often state the comparisons most emotively. Here are some examples of metaphor from famous poems. Example #1 ―She is all states, and all princes, I.‖  John Donne, a metaphysical poet, was well-known for his abundant use of metaphors throughout his poetical works. In his well- known work ―The Sun Rising,‖ the speaker scolds the sun for waking him and his beloved. Among the most evocative metaphors in literature, he explains ―she is all states, and all princes, I.‖ This line demonstrates the speaker‘s belief that he and his  beloved are richer than all states, kingdoms, and rulers in the entire world because of the love that they share. Example #2 ―Shall I Compare Thee to a summer‘s Day‖,  William Shakespeare was the best exponent of the use of metaphors. His poetical works and dramas all make wide-ranging use of metaphors. ―Sonnet 18,‖also known as ―Shall I Compare Thee to a Summer‘s Day,‖ is an extended metaphor between the love of the speaker and the fairness of the summer season. He writes that ―thy eternal summer,‖ here taken to mean the love of the subject, ―shall not fade.‖   2. Personification A. Definition of Personification Personification is a figure of speech in which a thing, an idea or an animal is given human attributes. The non-human objects are portrayed in such a way that we feel they have the ability to act like human beings. For example, when we say, ―The sky weeps‖ we are giving the sky the ability to cry, which is a human quality. Thus, we can say that the sky has been personified in the given sentence. B. Examples of Personification a. Common Examples of Personification    ○   Look at my car. She is a beauty, isn‘t it so?   ○  The wind whispered through dry grass. ○  The fire swallowed the entire forest. We see from the above examples of personification that this literary device helps us relate actions of inanimate objects to our own emotions. b. Examples of Personification in Literature Example #1 Taken from L. M. Montgomery‘s ―The Green Gables Letters‖ , ―I hied me away to the woods— away back into the sun-washed alleys carpeted with fallen gold and glades where the moss is green and vivid yet. The woods are getting ready to sleep — they are not yet asleep but they are disrobing and are having all sorts of little bed-time conferences and whisperings and good- nights.‖  The lack of activity in the forest has been beautifully personified as the forest getting ready to sleep, busy in bed-time chatting and wishing good-nights, all of which are human customs. Example #2 Taken from Act I, Scene II of ―Romeo and Juliet‖,   ―When well -appareled April on the heel Of limping winter treads.‖  There are two personification examples here. April cannot put on a dress, and winter does not limp and it does not have a heel on which a month can walk. Shakespeare personifies the month of April and the winter season by giving them two distinct human qualities. 3. Irony A. Definition of Irony Irony is a figure of speech in which words are used in such a way that their intended meaning is different from the actual meaning of the words. It may also be a  situation that may end up in quite a different way than what is generally anticipated. In simple words, it is a difference between the appearance and the reality. B. Examples of Irony a. Common Examples of Irony Let us analyze some interesting examples of irony from our daily life : ○  I posted a video on YouTube about how boring and useless YouTube is. ○  You laugh at a person who slipped stepping on a banana peel and the next thing  you know, you slipped too. ○   ―Oh great! Now you have broken my new camera.‖  b. Examples of Irony from Literature Example #1 We come across the following lines in Shakespeare‘s ―Romeo and Juliet‖, Act I, Scene V.   ―Go ask his name: if he be married.   My grave is like to be my wedding bed.‖  Juliet commands her nurse to find out who Romeo was and says if he were married, then her wedding bed would be her grave. It is a verbal irony because the audience knows that she is going to die on her wedding bed. Example #2 Irony examples are not only found in stage plays but in poems too. In his poem ―The Rime of the Ancient Mariner‖, Coleridge  wrote : ―Water, water, everywhere,  And all the boards did shrink; Water, water, everywhere, Nor any drop to drink.‖  In the above stated lines, the ship, blown by the south wind, is stranded in the uncharted sea. Ironically, there is water everywhere but they do not have a single drop of water to drink.
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