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  • 1. Figurative Language Simile, Metaphor, Personification, Apostrophe, Metonymy
  • 2. Figures of Speech
    • Don’t count your chickens before they hatch.
      • We don’t actually think that you have chicken eggs that you expect to hatch. That is the literal meaning of the expression.
      • Rather, it is a figure of speech that indicates that you should not count on an outcome before it happens.
  • 3. Figures of Speech
    • Poetry provides the one permissible way of saying one thing and meaning another.
      • (Robert Frost)
    • Figures of speech allow us to convey meaning in fresh, vivid, and powerful ways impossible through direct expression.
  • 4. Figures of Speech
    • Be Careful!
    • Using a figure of speech doesn’t guarantee good writing.
      • “Lear should know that once he made his bed he was going to have to lay in it.”
        • Trite, hackneyed, banal
      • “Hamlet feels like a Tasmanian when confronted by a wolf.”
        • What in the world does that mean?
  • 5. Simile
    • Compares two unlike things using a comparative word.
      • He’s smart as a whip.
      • He eats like a horse.
      • She was slower than molasses in January.
      • His singing resembled the sound of a cat being killed.
      • The speed of her car seems pantheresque.
  • 6. Metaphor
    • Compares two unlike things without using a comparative word. Instead one thing is substituted or identified with the thing it’s being compared to.
      • She’s a horse.
      • She has a whip smart mind.
      • He screeched and screamed his way through the aria.
      • The car pounced across the road.
  • 7. Metaphor Forms Flour (implied) Snow (implied) “ It sifts from leaden sieves” Form D Wool (named) Snow (implied) “ It fills with Alabaster Wool.” Form C Snake (implied) Leaves (named) “ leaves got up in a coil and hissed.” Form B Hound (named) Life (named) “ life the hound” Form A Figurative Term Literal Term Line
  • 8. Personification
    • A specific type of metaphor where an animal, object, or concept is given human attributes.
      • The wind laughed as it danced through the trees.
      • A lion, confused and alone, sits pondering its fate.
      • Death trooped merrily into the house.
  • 9. Apostrophe
    • Addressing someone absent, dead, or non-human as if that person or thing were present.
      • “Oh nature, thou art my goddess.
      • “Little Lamb, who made thee?”
      • “Blow winds, blow!”
  • 10. Personification & Apostrophe
    • Both allow a writer to give life and urgency to their texts.
    • However, they don’t require a lot of imagination and as a result they appear in bad writing as frequently as in good.
  • 11. Metonymy
    • Metonymy occurs when a writer uses an aspect of an object to substitute for the object itself:
      • (We’re going to lump Metonymy and Synecdoche together under the umbrella of metonymy.)
  • 12. Metonymy
    • “ But break my heart, for I must hold my tongue.”
      • Heart represents all of emotions.
      • Tongue represents speech.
    • “ The grave’s a fine and private place”
      • Grave represents death
    • “ The White House today issued a statement”
      • White house represents the President.
  • 13. Analyzing Figurative Language
    • It’s not enough to be able to identify what a poet or writer is doing.
    • What use is being made of this expression?
    • How does it contribute to the experience of the poem?
  • 14. Analyzing Figurative Language
    • “ I noticed them sitting there | as orderly as frozen fish | in a package.”
      • Conveys the absence of life through the simile comparing the students to dead fish.
      • Frozen similarly allows us to imagine a stillness and lack of movement.
      • Frozen fish also have a feeling of being mass produced, they aren’t unique or special.
      • This allows us to characterize both the audience being described and the speaker. The audience seems still, lifeless, and indistinctive. The speaker seems a bit judgmental.
  • 15.
    • “ I heard the sounds | of fish in an aquarium”
      • Compares the students to interesting, lively fish in a contained environment.
      • An aquarium is typically a thing of beauty that an observer will admire.
      • Maintains the idea that the audience isn’t free to swim away to different ideas, through the use of the aquarium. He recognizes that this is still an artificial world.
      • Reflects the change on the part of the speaker as he recognizes the extraordinary nature of his audience. They thrive in the atmosphere of his poetry and become a thing wonderful to behold.
    Analyzing Figurative Language
  • 16. Exercises
    • “ O Tenderly the haughty day Fills his blue urn with fire.”
      • Haughty day = personification
      • Blue urn (sky) = metaphor
      • Fire (sun) = metaphor
    • “ It is with words as with sunbeams – the more they are condensed the deeper they burn.
      • Words (sunbeams) = metaphor
  • 17.
    • “ Joy and Temperance and Repose Slam the door on the doctor’s nose”
      • Joy, Temperance, Repose Slam = personification
    • “ The pen is mightier than the sword”
      • Pen (persuasive writing), sword (armies) = metonymy
    • “ The strongest oaths are straw To the fire i’ the blood”
      • Oath (straw), fire (impulse) = metaphor
  • 18.
    • “ The Cambridge ladies…live in furnished souls”
      • Furnished souls = conventional minds
    • “ Dorothy’s eyes, with their long brown lashes, looked very much like her mother’s.
      • Literal
    • “ The tawny-hided desert crouches watching her”
      • Desert (lion) = metaphor
  • 19.
    • “Let us eat, drink, and be merry, for tomorrow we shall die.”
      • Tomorrow (day of death) = metaphor
    • “Let us eat, drink, and be merry, for tomorrow we may die.”
      • literal