Figure of Speech

Figure of Speech

1.       Personification – human quality
E.g.
  • The Moon is laughing.
Personification: The Moon is given the human quality of Laughing.
  • The river is running.
Personification: The river is given the human quality of running.
  • The waves are dancing
Personification: The waves are given human quality of dancing.
  • Wind made the trees to dance.
Personification: The trees are given the human quality of dancing.
  • The pine trees frowned at the sun.
Personification: The pine trees are given the human action of ‘frowning’ (disappointing) .
  • The sky rejoices in the morning’s birth.
Dual Personification: Bothe the sky and the morning are given human abilities of ‘rejoicing’ and ‘being born’. respectively.
  • The forests are dying.
Personification: The forest is given the human ability of ‘dying’.
  • Wildlife is crying. (Try yourself)
  • Mother earth is sighing. (Try yourself)
  • And let us greet our Motherland and bow before her feet and say.
Personification: The Motherland is given human ability of ‘having feet’ and we are bowing. It is an act of human being.





2.       Alliteration – repetition of same alphabet
  • It clogs and clutters up the mind.
Alliteration:  The sound of the letter ‘c’ is repeated for poetic effect.
  • Such wondrous fine fantastic tales.
Alliteration: The sound of the letter ‘f’ is repeated for poetic effect.
  • And pirates wearing purple pants.
Alliteration: The sound of the letter ‘p’ is repeated for poetic effect.
  • The rain came heavily and fell in floods.
Alliteration: The sound of the letter ‘f’ repeated for poetic effect.
  • The hare is running races in her mirth.
Alliteration: The letter ‘r’ is repeated for poetic effect.
  • It’s sharing sorrow and work and mirth. (Try yourself)
  • It’s struggling on with the will to win.
  • And greedy industries play their polluted pranks.
  • The soup’s too hot, the corn’s too cold.
  • The tip toe softly to the doorI wish I’d stayed a minute more.
Alliteration: The sounds of the letters ‘s’ and ‘m’ are repeated for poetic effect.
  • Mother! your millions meet and swear on this, our proud Republic Day. (Try yourself)
  • The grinning mask of death and doom worn  by cress enemies of truth. (Try yourself)
  • Famine and drought and dread and doom. (Try yourself)
  • Let India’s millions chant in chorus. (Try yourself)
  • Down with all ruthless tyranny, down with all exploitation which Renders the poor: the poorer - and renders the bloated rich, more rich!
Alliteration: The sounds of the letter ‘p’ and ‘r’ are repeated for poetic effect.




3.       Repetition – repetition of same word
  • They sit and stare and stare and sit.
Repetition: The words ‘sit’ and ‘stare’ are repeated pleasantly for poetic effect.
  • They ...used...to...read! They read and read, and read and read, and then proceed. (Try yourself)
  • So, please, oh please, we beg, we pray. (Try yourself)




4.       Tautology – same meaning
  • Pure unadulterated butter available here.
Tautology: The meaning of the word ‘unadulterated’ is already contained in the word ‘pure’.
5.       Antithesis – opposite words or ideas
  • Speech is silvern, but silence is golden.
Antithesis: Two opposite ideas of speech and silence are placed together for poetic effect.




6.       Hyperbole – over statement
  • And stare until their eyes pop out.
Hyperbole: The idea expressed is highly exaggerated.
  • It makes a child so dull and blind.
Hyperbole: The idea expressed is highly exaggerated.
  • His powers of thinking rust and freeze.
Hyperbole: The idea expressed is highly exaggerated.
  • For buying the hundreds of elctronic gadgets.
Hyperbole: The idea expressed is highly exaggerated.
  • Millions of fish are dying




7.       Interrogation – questions
  • How could anyone not know?
Interrogation: Idea is expressed in the form of a question.




8.       Exclamation – expression
  • Oh! how wonderful is the rain.
Exclamation: The idea is conveyed explicitly.
  • Oh the value of the elderly!
Exclamation: The idea is conveyed explicitly.




9.    Onomatopoeia – sound
  • The clock is running tik - tik - tik.
Onomatopoeia: Sense of sound is conveyed through the word ‘tik - tik - tik’
  • There was a roaring in the wind all night.
Onomatopoeia: Sense of sound is conveyed through the word ‘roaring’.
  • The Jay makes answer as the Magpie chatters.
Onomatopoeia: Sense of sound is conveyed through the word ‘chatters’
  • For something in it crunches.
Onomatopoeia: Sense of sound is conveyed through the word ‘crunches’.
  • Echoing and re - echoing a new hope and a new desire.
Onomatopoeia: Sense of sound is conveyed through the words ‘echoing’ and ‘re-echoing’
10. Climax - Ideas are arranged in the order of increasing importance.
  • The spectators smiled, giggled and finally burst into laughter.
Climax: Ideas are arranged in the order of increasing importance.
  • They’ll loll and slop and lounge about And stare until their eyes pop out.
Climax: Ideas are arranged in the order of increasing importance.
  • That nauseating, foul, unclean, Repulsive television screen!
Climax: Ideas are arranged in the order of increasing importance.
  • I’d tuck you in all safe at night. And hear your prayers, turn off the lights.




11. Metaphor- An implicit (indirect) comparison is made without using words such as ‘like’, ‘as’ and ‘so’.
  • Before this monster was invented?
Metaphor:  The television is indirectly compared to a monster.
  • Our world is an institution.
Metaphor: The world is indirectly compared to an institution.
  • They hold so many keys.
Metaphor: The experience of the elderly is indirectly compared to keys.
  • As a nation we are mission our greatest true resource.
Metaphor: The nation is indirectly compared to a resource




12. Simile - An explicit comparison is made between two things by using words such as ‘like’, ‘as’ and ‘so’
  • I wandered lonely as a cloud.
Simile: The loneliness of the poet is compared to that of the cloud using the word ‘as’.
  • His brain becomes as soft as cheese.
Smile: The softness of the brain is directly compared to that of cheese.
  • That attracts the industries to produce like maggots.
Simile: The industries are directly compared to maggots.




12. Apostrophe: Inanimate things are directly addressed.
  • O Mother! teach our hands to bear.
Apostrophe: The earth is directly addressed as if it were a living being.
  • Republic Day of India! Your dawning shall begin to work.
Apostrophe: Republic day is directly addressed as it were a living being.




13. Synecdoche - Here one idea is understood by means of another.
  • My hands were busy through the day.
Synecdoche: Part (hands) for the whole (the person).
  • My hands once busy now are still.
Synecdoche: Part (hands) for the whole (the person).