Would you be shocked to find out that you use metaphor every day?
For example, let's say that this morning you called your little brother a pig.
Congratulations! You're a poet!
OK, that's a bit of a stretch, but when you say so-and-so is such a pig, you're using metaphor. You see, a metaphor is a comparison of two dissimilar things using some form of the verb "to be." For example, "He is a pig."
Poets use metaphor all the time—even novelists do—because the beauty of this literary device is that using metaphor to link two things that would otherwise be completely unrelated helps to create new meanings. It allows us see things in fresh and surprising ways.
Metaphor is powerful, too, because it's compact: You can pack a lot of meaning into one little comparison.
Think about our example: He is a pig.
You could share the details of your brother's disgusting behaviors. You could list the reasons for your displeasure. But "He is a pig" gets the point across in a snap, don't you think?
Just don't let your brother hear you saying that, otherwise (metaphor alert!) you just might be toast.
Next: Motifs in Literature.
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Find the complete eight video guide to literary terms here.
Also at Recap Resource:
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