This article is about metaphor examples in poetry. A figure of speech known as a metaphor compares two unrelated objects. Using metaphor as a literary tool, comparisons are made without the explicit usage of “like” or “as.” When two objects are compared, metaphor might be used to claim that they are identical rather than just similar. This is helpful in writing when expressing abstract facts with specific imagery or notions.
One of the most well-known literary metaphors, for instance, appears in the following passage from William Shakespeare’s Romeo and Juliet: What kind of light does that window let in? The sun is in the East, Juliet! Juliet is compared to the sun in this metaphor. In actuality, Juliet is referred to as the sun in this figure of speech. The reader is aware that Romeo does not take Juliet’s description of the sun literally. Instead, it illustrates Romeo’s view that Juliet is comparable to the splendor, wonder, and life-giving power of the sun. In a metaphorical sense, Juliet and the sun are identical to Romeo. Learn about 100 metaphors meaning also at onlinestudyingservices.
Common Examples of Metaphor
In regular speech and writing, metaphors can be found frequently. Here are a few examples of this figure of speech in use:
- Laughter is the best medicine.
- She is just a late bloomer.
- Is there a black sheep in your family?
- His heart of stone surprised me.
- I smell success in this building.
- He’s buried in a sea of paperwork.
- There is a weight on my shoulder.
- Time is money.
- No man is an island.
- That actor is a tall drink of water.
- Age is a state of mind.
- Last night I slept the sleep of the dead.
- The new parents had stars in their eyes.
- The criminal has blood on his hands.
- There is a garden in her face.
- Our family is a patchwork quilt.
- She has been living in a bubble.
- Your argument is a slippery slope.
- We found it under a blanket of sand.
- I’m pleased to meet your better half.
Examples of Metaphor in Movie Lines
Metaphors can be found in some of the most well-known movie quotes. Here are some catchy movie quotes that demonstrate the power of using metaphor:
- A Dream is a wish your heart makes. (Walt Disney’s Cinderella)
- The rain on my car is a baptism. (Say Anything)
- Life is pain, highness. Anyone who says differently is selling something. (The Princess Bride)
- Fasten your seat-belts; it’s going to be a bumpy night. (All About Eve)
- Life is a cabaret, old chum. (Cabaret)
- Say ‘hello’ to my little friend. (Scarface)
- It was beauty killed the beast. (King Kong)
- Hell is a teenage girl. (Jennifer’s Body)
- You sit on a throne of lies. (Elf)
- I drink your milkshake. (There Will Be Blood)
Famous Examples of Metaphor
Numerous well-known works of poetry, prose, theatre, lyrics, and even clever quotations contain metaphor. Here are a few well-known metaphors:
- Your heart is my piñata. (Chuck Palahniuk)
- Life is a highway. (Tom Cochrane)
- For woman is yin, the darkness within, where untempered passions lie. (Amy Tan)
- Love is a battlefield. (Pat Benatar)
- Each friend represents a world in us. (Anais Nin)
- You are sunlight and I moon. (Miss Saigon)
- If music be the food of love, play on (William Shakespeare)
- Adults are just obsolete children and the hell with them. (Dr. Seuss)
- Time is a drug. Too much of it kills you. (Terry Pratchet)
Difference Between a Simile and a Metaphor
It might be challenging to tell metaphor from simile when they are being used as literary devices. Both are rhetorical devices used to draw analogies. In actuality, metaphor is a subset of simile. They can be distinguished from one another, nevertheless, by the use of the terms “like” or “as.” Without utilizing these terms, metaphors make direct analogies. Similes use like or as when drawing comparisons.
Forrest Gump, a novel by Winston Groom that was made into a movie, serves as a wonderful illustration of how to differentiate between these two literary strategies. A analogy between life and a box of chocolates is one of the film’s themes. Life is like a box of chocolates, says Forrest Gump, the main character. You can never be sure of what you will receive. Due to the use of the word like, this analogy between life and a box of chocolates is a simile.
The audience hears Forrest’s mother tell him in another scene that life is like a box of chocolates. You can never be sure of what you will receive. Due of the lack of the term like (or as), this comparison is a metaphor. There are comparison figures of speech in both quotations. The connotation of comparing life to a box of chocolates differs slightly depending on how metaphor and simile are used.
Read Also: List of 21 Worst American Colleges
Additional Information: Simile, Allegory, and Metaphor
In terms of the distinction between an allegory and a metaphor, both seem to fall under the same category of figurative language. Both mean comparisons are the cause, after all. An allegory, on the other hand, presents a protracted or sustained contrast that may include a complete narrative with allegorical characters and circumstances. It might be a subplot, like the Allegory of the Cave. In contrast, a simile is essentially identical in meaning to a metaphor since it conveys the same idea by using the words “like” or “as,” but a metaphor is simply a word or phrase that displays an implicit similarity.
Overall, metaphor serves as a literary device to directly compare two things that are initially perceived to be unrelated. This works well for readers because a metaphor can link together two disparate things or concepts and, as a result, help to clarify and amplify each other’s meanings. For authors of poetry and prose, metaphor is a crucial figure of speech.
To ensure that the reader does not miss the comparative meaning, writers must carefully craft their metaphors. In actuality, the comprehension of a major term and a subsidiary phrase must be combined. The primary term expresses the concrete or literal idea, while the secondary term adds additional meaning by being used figuratively. For instance, the primary phrase in the metaphor “the car was a lemon” is “car,” and the secondary term is “lemon.” The metaphorical meaning of the lemon is added to the car.
Here are a few advantages of using metaphor in writing for authors.
By using metaphors, authors can provide readers images that is not possible with only description. In other words, a strong metaphor minimizes the need for the writer to provide in-depth justification or description. Instead, an image is generated for the reader to enable for deeper meaning and understanding by subtly comparing two distinct things. This imagery is a potent outcome of the literary method known as metaphor.
Evoke Thought and Emotion
When authors use metaphor as a literary device, the reader is frequently prompted to consider the “logic” or truth in the analogy. With a successful metaphor, these ideas can then make the reader feel something by making them realize how accurate the analogy is. This works particularly well in poetry as a way to express truths in a poetic yet succinct way.
Using Metaphor in a Sentence
- The wolf’s eyes were onyx in the dark.
- Is it your room? Serious it’s a hot furnace!
- Zain is a chicken, scared all the time.
- I hate it here. This place is a zoo.
- Sofi’s bed was a marshmallow. So soft!
Examples of Metaphor in Literature
The literary device of metaphor is immensely powerful. Here are some metaphor examples that demonstrate how they heighten the significance of well-known literary works:This article is about metaphor examples poetry in Literature.
Example 1: Fire and Ice by Robert Frost
Some say the world will end in fire,
Some say in ice.
From what I’ve tasted of desire
I hold with those who favor fire.
But if it had to perish twice,
I think I know enough of hate
To say that for destruction ice
Is also great
And would suffice.
Frost likens the devastating energies of the end of the world to both fire and ice in this poem. In the sense that the poet is not actually implying that the world would end as a result of fire and ice, these metaphors are used as figures of speech. Fire, on the other hand, stands in for the destructive energies of desire, such as power, envy, and fury. Ice also stands for the negative aspects of hate, such as prejudice, antagonism, and loneliness. These metaphors are potent literary devices because they get the reader to think about how destructive desire and hatred are—just like fire and ice.
Example 2: Dreams by Langston Hughes
Hold fast to dreams
For if dreams die
Life is a broken-winged bird
That cannot fly
Hold fast to dreams
For when dreams go
Life is a barren field
Frozen with snow.
Hughes uses metaphor in this poem to describe the effects of giving up on dreams as being like a bird with broken wings and a desolate landscape, respectively. Hughes asserts in the first stanza that if dreams die, existence will be like a “broken-winged bird that cannot fly.” This is an important metaphoric application because it portrays a life without dreams as frail and irreparably damaged. The viewer is given the mental image of a bird that is injured, rooted, and unable to fulfill its mission or attain its full potential. If life is this bird, then it is also wounded, grounded, and purposeless without dreams.
In the second verse, Hughes uses the second metaphor to describe a life without dreams. When dreams disappear in this instance, existence is like a “barren field frozen with snow.” By using this metaphor, life is compared to a barren, icy wasteland. Hughes uses metaphor as a literary strategy in this poem, turning existence into death and a graveyard devoid of dreams.
Example 3: since feeling is first by E.E. Cummings
we are for eachother: then
laugh, leaning back in my arms
for life’s not a paragraph
And death i think is no parenthesis
In this poem, Cummings cleverly compares life and death to the restrictions of formality and punctuation in writing. In actuality, the parallel is unfavorable because the poet says that death is “no” parenthesis and that life is “not” a paragraph. In this piece, metaphor is used as a literary device in a significant, poetic, and self-reflective way. The poet is demonstrating that life and death are concepts too colossal to be “contained” in writing or “enclosed” by punctuation, which is why the metaphors for life and death are poetic (paragraph and parenthesis). However, the metaphors are also self-reflexive in that the poem itself is both “contained” in and “enclosed” by the analogies of life and death.
Synonyms of Metaphor
Although no two words can be used interchangeably to describe a metaphor, some terms, such as trope, image, allegory, parable, symbol, and simile, might have similar meanings. There are other other tropes as well, but they are all defined, understood, and have examples that are unique to them. As a result, they cannot be used interchangeably when there is a need to clarify their respective meanings.