Figures of Speech
To study and learn figures of speech.
A figure of speech may be defined as “a departure or deviation or shift from the plain and ordinary mode of speaking for the sake of greater effect”.
Classification of figure of speech:
- Similarity or Resemblance – simile, metaphor
- Contrast difference or surprise – antithesis, epigram
- Association or contiguity – metonymy, synecdoche
- Imagination – hyperbole, apostrophe
- Indirectness of speech – irony, innuendo
- Figures based on resemblance
A simile is likeness between two things or events stated full.
A word of comparison as like, as, so etc.
A metaphor is implied comparison. In simile the comparison is expressed, but in a metaphor such words as like, as, are not used.
The road was a ribbon of moonlight.
- Figures based on contrast or difference
It is the figure in which one word or idea is set against another.
example – Many are called but few are chosen.
Epigram is an apparent contraindication in language, which by causing a temporary shock, catches our attention to some important meaning hidden in it.
example – The child is father of the man.
- Figures based on association
It is also referred to as the figure which changes the name.
example – The house, for the members of parliament.
In this one name is substituted for another, whose meaning is more or less similar to its own.
- Figures based on the imagination
It is a figure by which non – living objects and abstract notions are spoken as living human beings having special characteristics of man.
example – Truth has a gentle breast.
It is a direct address to dead, to the absent or to a personified object or idea. The use of this figure gives animation and increased
importance to expression. The absent are here addressed as if present.
example – O liberty, what crimes have been committed in your name?
It is a figure by which things are represented as greater or loss than they really occur. I beg a million pardons.
- Figures based on indirections of speech
It is an art which enable us to make damaging remarks without any direct accusations.
We must be well off by now, because although he received only a small salary be had charge of the cash.
This author’s book will live at least a year.
This figure of speech consists in saying the opposite of what is went, though the words are not to be taken literally. It is the figure of praise intending censure. It lends both interest and surprise to the expression.
I shall lose no time in reading your book.
I don’t believe it ever entered his wise heads
EXERCISE FOR STUDENT
Identify the figure of speech used in following sentence
- He has a heart of gold – Metaphor
- Dale’s smile was as bright as the sun shine – simile
- Life is a journey; travel it well – Metaphor
- A wicked whisper came and changed my life – Personification
- Men’s words are bullets that their enemies take up and make use of against them – Metaphor
- He roared with the force of a thousand lions – Hyperbole
- The theater is his home – Metaphor
- There had been no rain for months and all the crops were death. Some parts of the farm were beginning to look like a desert – simile
- After a good height sleep, I felt like a million dollars – simile & hyperbole
- Everyone wanted ken on the swim team because he could swim like a fish – simile & hyperbole
Thus figures of speech was studied and learned.
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