Figures of Speech In Literature


A figure of speech is the use of a word or phrase, which transcends it literal interpretation. It can be a special repitition, arrangement or omission of words with literal meaning, or phrase with a specialized meaning not based on the literal meaning of the words in it, as in idiom, metaphor, smile, hyperbole, personification, or synecdoche. Figures of speech often provide emphasis, freshness of expression, or clarity. However, clarity may also suffer from their use, as any figure of speech introduces an ambiguity between literal and figurative interpretation. A figure of speech is sometimes called a rhetorical figure or a locution

(a) Irony: Irony in it broadest sense, is a rhetorical device, literary technique, or event characterized by an incongruity, or contrast, between what the expectations of situation are used and what is really the case, with a third element, that defines that what really the case is ironic because of the situation that led to it. The term may be further defined into several categories, among which are: verbal, dramatic, and situational. The term verbal irony refers to the use of vocabulary to describe something in a way that is other than it seems. 

(b) Metaphor: A metaphor is a figure of speech that describes a subject by asserting that it is, on some point of comparison, the same as another other wise unrelated object. Metaphor is a type of analogy and is closely related to other rhetorical figures of speech that achieve their effects via association, comparison or resemblance including allegory, hyperbole, and simile. 

(c) Simile : A simile is a rhetorical figure expressing comparison or likeness that directly compares two objects through some connective word such as like, as, so, than or a verb such as resemble. Although similes and metaphor are generally seen as interchangeable. 

(d) Personification: Personification is attributing human characteristics to inanimate objects, abstract ideas and animals. It can also be defined as the act of representing an abstract idea as a person. For instance you can say; the stars danced playfully in the sky. 

(e) Assonance: Assonance is the repetition of vowel sounds to create internal rhyming within phrases or sentences, and together with alliteration and consonance serves as one of the building blocks of verse. Assonance is rhyme, the identity of which depends merely on the vowel sounds. Thus, assonance is merely a syllabic resemblance. 
Assonance is found more often in verse than in prose. It is used in (mainly modern) English language poetry, and particularly important in old French, Spanish and the Celtic Languages. 

(f) Synecdoche: A syncdoche meaning ” simultaneous understanding” figure of speech in which a term for a part of something refers to the whole of something, or vice-versa. An example is referring to workers as hired hands. 

(g) Onomatopia: An onomatopia is a word that phonetically imitates, resembles or suggests the source of the sound that it describes. Common occurrence of onomatopia include animal noise such as “oink”, “meow”, “roar”, or “chirp”. 

To be continued

Figures of speech
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