Figures of Speech in Literature

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Figures of speech say one thing in terms of something else, such as when an overeager funeral director is described as a vulture. Meyer says that although “figures of speech are indirect, they are designed to clarify, not obscure, our understanding of what they describe”. For example: Literal: “The dinner strongly expressed anger at the waiter”. Figurative: “The dinner leaped from his table and roared at the waiter.” The figurative statement is more vivid because it creates a picture of ferocious anger by comparing the dinner to a wild animal. Another example of figurative language is in the passage from Macbeth. In this passage, Macbeth’s wife is dead, and he laments her loss and his own life. Shakespeare compares life to a “brief candle” in order to emphasize the darkness and death that surround human beings. Also, life for Macbeth is a “walking shadow”. Thus, figurative language in the passage provides the emotional force of Macbeth’s assertion. The two most common figures of speech are simile and metaphor. Both compare things that are considered unlike each other. A simile makes an explicit comparison between two things by using words such as like, as, than, appears, and seems. The effectiveness of this simile is created by the differences between the two things compared. There would be no simile if the comparison were with something alike. Similarly, a metaphor makes a comparison between two unlike things, without using the word "like" or "as." Metaphors assert the identity of dissimilar things, as when Macbeth tells us that life is a "brief candle," life is “a walking shadow,” life is a “poor player.” Meyer says, “metaphors can be subtle and powerful, and can transform people, places, objects, and ideas into whatever the wr... ... middle of paper ... ...seem as if the house has feelings and suffers. The house represents the couple and their life. They locked each other in different rooms, fought; dishes were slammed onto the table and left unwashed; boarders were created to keep distance between them. As the conflict arises, the house also slowly crumbled physically due to the neglect and lack of attention. Thus, throughout the poem, the house is personified multiple times when it is described as dividing against itself. The author gives the house extremely human traits as if it fights with itself, eventually becoming torn in two and developing different lifestyles, much like a schizophrenic. The couple became violent with a lot of anger, which it is reflected by the condition of the house. When their relationship fell apart, so did the house. The personification of the house is what is talking in the entire poem.
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