Metaphor and Cliches
This is a figure of speech in which a word or phrase is applied to an object or action to which it is not literally applicable. It can also be referred to as poetically calling things something else.
Examples of metaphor:
- It’s raining cats and dogs.
- Love is a battlefield.
- Walls have ears.
- You light up my life.
- He broke my heart.
- She was fishing for compliments.
- I’m drowning in a sea of grief.
- Time is a thief.
- He is the apple of my eye.
- I’m feeling blue.
- She has such a bubbly personality.
- He reeks of infidelity.
- I feel the stench of failure coming on.
- This is the icing on the cake.
- His words cut deeper than a knife.
- The moonlight sparkled brighter than a gipsy.
- The key to success is hard work.
- The newspaper is a plague.
- Your uncle is a tortoise.
- There is a garden in her face.
TYPES OF METAPHOR
- Absolute metaphor: the comparison of two things that are not connected. E.g there is a garden in her face.
- Dead metaphor: These metaphors are the overused everyday figurative language. E.g she is the apple of my eyes.
- Extended metaphors: these are elongated metaphors meant to resonate deep comparisons. E.g she is a rose, beautiful to behold, fragrant to spiky and uneasy to pluck.
- Implied metaphors: these metaphors compare two things without using specific terms. E.g a warning was barked at him.
- Root metaphors: these metaphors are similar to dead metaphors. They are used in our everyday language that we hardly identify them as a metaphor. E.g time waits for no one.
- Visual metaphor: metaphors here are used to compare a thing and a visual image. These are commonly used in advertising. E.g a yoghurt drink manufacturing company picturing their latest yoghurt drink alongside an image of a cow. The metaphor is used to suggest the drink is as sweet and fresh as cow milk.
- Mixed metaphor: the comparison of metaphors that are not compatible. E.g a watched clock never boils.
HOW TO WRITE A GOOD METAPHOR
1. Metaphors must be image-driven so as to paint a picture immediately it is thought about.
2. Metaphors should inculcate the everyday language not necessarily Shakespearean language.
3. Metaphors must be original and not plagiarized.
DIFFERENCE BETWEEN METAPHOR AND SIMILE
Metaphors and simile are closely related to figurative language and tend to be misunderstood. Here are a few examples to recognize the use of each.
- A simile uses like or as for comparison.
- Similes are obvious.
- Objects compared in simile often have something in common.
- Metaphors make direct comparisons.
- Objects compared in metaphors often times not related.
DIFFERENCE BETWEEN METAPHORS AND CLICHES
Metaphors that are commonly confused with cliches are called dead metaphors. Dead metaphors are metaphors that have been so overused that they’ve lost their figurative qualities. Cliches, on the other hand, rely on overly familiar language, whether figurative or literal.
They’re a string of words that have been overused.
Examples of cliches are:
- Actions speak louder than words.
- The grass is always greener on the other side.
- You can’t judge a book by its cover.
- What doesn’t kill you makes you stronger.
- Ignorance is bliss.
- Time heals all wound.
- I’m like a kid in a candy store.
- The apple doesn’t fall far from the tree.
WHEN TO USE METAPHORS
Metaphors should be used when creatively writing because of their over-reliance on figurative expression. They are not clear words and may sound obsolete for formal work or writing. The use of metaphor in formal work is rarely done. When used in formal work it is subtly used in other not to make a caricature of the formal work.
IMPORTANCE OF METAPHORS
1. Metaphors create last impressions.
2. Metaphors conveys thought deeply than ordinary statements.
3. Metaphors make use of exaggeration to draw a clear picture.
WHEN NOT TO USE METAPHORS
1. Metaphors are not to be used in substitution for real understanding.
2. Metaphors are not to be used in coding language.
3. The unbridled use of metaphor makes the user look imprecise.
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