Figurative Language There are two types of figurative language: Figures of Speech and Sound Devices.

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1 Figurative Language There are two types of figurative language: Figures of Speech and Sound Devices. Figures of Speech deal with what you see on the page. Sound Devices deal with what you hear as you read. Examples of Figures of Speech 1. Simile A simile compares two unlike things by using the words like or as. a. The daffodils are as yellow as the sun. b. My love is like a red, red rose that s newly sprung in June. from My Love is Like a Red, Red Rose by Robert Burns c. Eli Manning is like a cheetah on the football field. 2. Metaphor A metaphor compares two unlike objects. a. Life is a journey, travel it well. b. Hope is a thing with feathers that perches in the soul. from Hope is a Thing With Feathers by Emily Dickerson c. Eli Manning is a cheetah on the football field. 3. Hyperbole extreme exaggeration a. "Well now, one winter it was so cold that all the geese flew backward, and all the fish moved south and even the snow turned blue. b. "It's a slow burg 1 I spent a couple of weeks there one day." c. "I'll love you, dear, I'll love you / Till China and Africa meet, / And the river jumps over the mountain / 1 Burg---A burg is a town or city 1

2 4. Personification Personification gives human qualities to something that is not human. a. Hey diddle, diddle the cat and the fiddle. / The cow jumped over the moon. / The little dog laughed to see such a sight, and the dish ran away with the spoon. / b. Five-fingered ferns hung over the water and dropped spray from their fingertips. c. Because I could not stop for Death-- by Emily Dickerson He kindly stopped for me 5. Idiom Idioms are expressions that take an item and give it a meaning that is totally unrelated to what it literally means a. It is raining cats and dogs. b. My brother is in the doghouse because he stole dad s car and crashed into a busload of senior citizens. c. If the police had not arrived in the nick of time, the bank robbers would have gotten away. 6. Apostrophe A form of personification in which someone absent or dead or something nonhuman is directly spoken to as if they are alive, present, and can answer back. a. Busy old fool, unruly sun, / Why dost thou thus, / Through windows, and through curtains call on us? from The Sun Rising by John Donne b. Blue Moon, you saw me standing alone / Without a dream in my heart/ Without a love of my own." - from "Blue Moon" by Lorenz Hart c. "Is this a dagger which I see before me, / The handle toward my hand? / Come, let me clutch thee! / I have thee not, and yet I see thee still." - from Macbeth by William Shakespeare 2

3 Examples of Sound Devices 1. Alliteration Alliteration is the repetition of consonant sounds at the beginning of nearby words. a. Once upon a midnight dreary while I pondered weak and weary. from The Raven by Edgar Allan Poe b. Deep into that darkness peering, long I stood there wondering, fearing, Doubting, dreaming dreams no mortal ever dared to dream before. c. Hot-hearted Beowulf was bent upon battle. 2. Assonance Assonance is the repetition of vowel sounds in nearby words. a. Poetry is old, ancient, goes back far. b. Hear the mellow wedding bells" c. "Try to light the fire" 3. Onomatopoeia---Onomatopoeia is when words are pronounced like they sound. a. I heard a fly buzz when I died. b. The sack fell into the river with a splash. c. The rustling leaves kept me awake. 4. Refrain A refrain is the repetition of a word, line, or phrase for effect a. Jesse had a wife to mourn him all her life The children they are brave. Twas a dirty little coward shot Mister Howard, And laid Jesse James in his grave. It was Robert Ford, the dirty little coward, I wonder how he does feel, For he ate of Jesse s bread and he slept in Jesse s bed, Then he laid Jesse James in his grave. Excerpted from an American folk song by Bascom Lamar Lunsford b. The woods are lovely, dark, and deep, But I have promises to keep, And miles to go before I sleep, And miles to go before I sleep. from Stopping by Woods on a Snowy Evening by Robert Frost 3

4 5. Internal Rhyme The repetition of sounds in two or more word or phrases within the line of a poem. a. Once upon a midnight dreary, while I pondered, weak and weary from The Raven by Edgar Allen Poe b. Ah, distinctly I remember it was in the bleak December. from The Raven by Edgar Allen Poe c. Jenny and Me were engaged, you see, So a kiss or two was nothing to you from Pink Dominoes by Rudyard Kipling 6. Anaphora the repetition of the same word or group of words at the beginning of a series of clauses a. It was the best of times, it was the worst of times, it was the age of wisdom, it was the age of foolishness, it was the epoch of belief, it was the epoch of incredulity, it was the season of Light, it was the season of Darkness, it was the spring of hope, it was the winter of despair. from A Tale of Two Cities by Charles Dickens b. Five years have passed; Five summers, with the length of Five long winters! and again I hear these waters from Tintern Abbey by William Wordsworth c. I have a dream that one day this nation will rise up and live out the true meaning of its creed. I have a dream that one day on the red hills of Georgia, the sons of former slaves and the sons of former slave owners I have a dream that one day even the state of Mississippi, a state sweltering with the heat of injustice.. I have a dream that my four little children will one day live in a nation where they will not be judged by from speech I Have a Dream by Dr. Martin L. King 4

5 7. End Rhyme The repetition of sound in two or more words or phrases at the end of two or more lines in a poem. a. Baa baa black sheep, have you any wool? Yes sir, yes sir, three bags full! One for the master, one for the dame, And one for the little boy who lives down the lane. b. Twinkle twinkle little star How I wonder what you are. Up above the world so high Like a diamond in the sky. 5

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