Figures of Speech Essay

Figures of Speech [ Examples ] 1. Metaphor ? “But my heart is a lonely hunter that hunts on a lonely hill. ” (William Sharp, “The Lonely Hunter”) ? “Love is an alchemist that can transmute poison into food–and a spaniel that prefers even punishment from one hand to caresses from another. ” (Charles Colton, Lacon) 2. Simile ? “Good coffee is like friendship: rich and warm and strong. ” (slogan of Pan-American Coffee Bureau) ? She dealt with moral problems as a cleaver deals with meat. (James Joyce, “The Boarding House”) 3. Personification ? “Fear knocked on the door. Faith answered. There was no one there. ” (proverb quoted by Christopher Moltisanti, The Sopranos) ? “The operation is over. On the table, the knife lies spent, on its side, the bloody meal smear-dried upon its flanks. The knife rests. ” (Richard Selzer, “The Knife”) 4. Apostrophe ? “Blue Moon, you saw me standing alone Without a dream in my heart Without a love of my own. ” (Lorenz Hart, “Blue Moon”) ? “Hello darkness, my old friend

I’ve come to talk with you again…” (Paul Simon, “The Sounds of Silence”) 5. Metonymy ? The suits on Wall Street walked off with most of our savings. ? “I stopped at a bar and had a couple of double Scotches. They didn’t do me any good. All they did was made me think of Silver Wig, and I never saw her again. ” (Raymond Chandler, The Big Sleep) 6. Hyperbole ? “I was helpless. I did not know what in the world to do. I was quaking from head to foot, and could have hung my hat on my eyes, they stuck out so far. (Mark Twain, “Old Times on the Mississippi”) ? I’m really busy, I am doing like ten million things at the same time. 7. Litotes ? “The grave’s a fine a private place, But none, I think, do there embrace. ” (Andrew Marvell, “To His Coy Mistress”) ? “for life’s not a paragraph And death I think is no parenthesis” (e. e. cummings, “since feeling is first”) 8. Irony ? My cat enjoys the thrill of a good, long nap. ? The homeless survived in their cardboard palace. 9. Antithesis ? “Love is an ideal thing, marriage a real thing. (Goethe) ? “We must learn to live together as brothers or perish together as fools. ” (Martin Luther King, Jr. , speech at St. Louis, 1964) 10. Paradox ? “War is peace. ” “Freedom is slavery. ” “Ignorance is strength. ” (George Orwell, 1984) ? “If you wish to preserve your secret, wrap it up in frankness. ” (Alexander Smith) 11. Oxymoron ? “The best cure for insomnia is to get a lot of sleep. ” (W. C. Fields) ? “We have to believe in free will. We have no choice. ” (Isaac Bashevis Singer)

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