Difference between simile and metaphor in English language

Simile Vs Metaphor – 04 Tricky Differences – focus grammar

Simile Vs Metaphor, simile is the direct comparison of two unlike objects while in metaphor one thing describes other.

Simile Vs Metaphor:

Simile and Metaphor are two confusing figures of speech. These two terms are closely related to each other, however different in language.

What is a Simile?

‘Simile’ is derived from the Latin word “like”. It is a direct comparison in which two, unlike objects, are associated and the comparison is led by the words as, as so, like. It is used to clarify the link of one thing with some other, different in nature.

Use of As & Like in Simile:

Words as ‘like’ or ‘as’ are used to express simile. This does not mean that in every sentence in which these words are used, the simile is present there.
For example, when we say, “My cat is like yours” or “She is as good as her mother”, there is no simile here. However, when one says “The Lion runs like the speed of the wind” or “She is as beautiful as the flower”, the simile is present there because the comparison of one thing has been made with the other.

Common Simile Examples:

  1. As firm as a rock
  2. As fast as a wind
  3. As fat as an elephant
  4. As daring as a lion
  5. As strict as a police officer
  6. Brave like a soldier
  7. Thirsty like a crow
  8. Famous like an actor
  9. Red like apple
  10. Green like grapes
  11. Sweet like sugar
  12. Soft like palm
  13. Straight like finger
  14. Beautiful like rose
  15. Silly like joker
  16. Big like a house
  17. Tricky like stairs
  18. Round like a table
  19. Sharp like a knife
  20. Spread like a fire
  21. Blue like a sea
  22. Fit like a shoe
  23. As solid as a hill

Purpose of Using Simile in a Sentence:

In a sentence, ‘Simile’ is used for clearance and explanation of actions between two things. Writers use ‘simile’ in their writings in order to create the rhetorical and poetical effect. It allows the readers to relate the feelings of a writer to their personal experiences. It also helps the readers to better understand the subject matter before them.
Simile Examples in Literature:

A simile is vividly used in literature. Poets and writers use a simile to create a humorous effect. It has deep meaning through which the reader can understand the actual meaning of what the writer wants to share.

Simile Examples in Literature:

Romeo and Juliet by Shakespeare

“is love a tender thing?
It is too rough, too rude,
too boisterous, and it pricks the thorn.”

Romeo talks to Mercutio before the Capulet’s party, he makes the comparison about the love and considers it a rough, rude boisterous and the one that pricks the thorn.

Lord Jim By Joseph Conrad

“ I would have given anything for the power to soothe
Her frail soul, tormenting itself in its invincible
Ignorance like a small bird beating about the cruel wires of a cage.”

The helplessness of the soul is being compared with the bird in a cage.

Daffodils by Wordsworth

“I wandered lonely as a cloud,
That floats on high over vales and hill’s,

Here the writer wants to show him a free cloud. He shares his loneliness with the readers.

A Red, Red Rose by Robert Burns

O my Luve is like a red, red rose,
That’s newly sprung in June;
O my Luve is like the melody
That’s sweetly played in tune.

Here the beauty writer describes the beauty of his beloved by comparing her to the red rose, melody, tune, etc.

The Merchant of Venice by W. Shakespeare

The quality of mercy is not strained
It droppeth as the gentle rain from heaven.

Here the Shakespeare compares mercy with the kind feeling. He expresses the quality of mercy that is like a kind of rain of heaven. The feeling of mercy is not stressed rather one feels purity and happiness while adopting it.

The very lines were spoken by Portia to Shylock when Shylock demands his debt. It was Portia’s appeal to Shylock’s merciful disposition, however, she remained fails to convince Shylock.

What is a Metaphor?

Originated from the French word ‘metaphore’ means carrying over. First known used in later 15th century.

Definition

Metaphor is used to compare two unlike things describing one thing as if it was like the other. It is also known as an implied simile.

Why Writers Use Metaphor?

It suggests the comparison of two things not usually thought of as similar. Writers use metaphor when they have to show the resemblance between two subjects or about performing some function, one is, for the time being, actually identified with the other.

Types of Metaphor

There are two types of metaphor.

i) Extended Metaphor
ii) Mixed Metaphor

Extended Metaphor:
The use of metaphors in extended form in writing is called extended metaphor. Sometimes writers use metaphor over an entire poem or any other piece of writing.

Mixed Metaphor:
The combination of two metaphors which do not normally imply together.

Examples of Metaphor:

  1. My father is an iron man.
  2. Camel is the ship of the desert.
  3. John is the star of his family.
  4. Maria has a heart of kindness.
  5. Life is a bed of thrones.
  6. My son is a moon.
  7. She is a Peacock.
  8. The thunder was a mighty lion.
  9. His voice created a bad effect upon the listeners.
  10. Lion is the King of the forest.

Examples of Metaphor in Literature:

Fog by Carl Sandburg

The fog comes in little cat feet
It sits looking,
over harbor and city,
on silent haunches,
and then moves on”.

Here in the above lines, ‘Sandburg’ is feeling the fog and is comparing it with the little cat’s feet, which two are unlike things and there is no similarity between them. He associates the voice of the cat’s feet which is slow and unlikely heard. So as in the case of the fog which has no voice like the feet of a cat.

Daffodils by Wordsworth

“When all at once I saw a crowd”

Here the ‘Wordsworth” compares the daffodils with the crowd of people without using the connecting words like or as. This is an example of a metaphor. He compares the daffodils flower with the people gathers at someplace. The presence of daffodils is appealing to the poet’s mind and they are present in bulk numbers as the gathering of people at someplace.

“As you like it” by (William Shakespeare)

“All the worlds a stage”

The world has been compared with a stage where the people are present and performing their acts. The world and stage are two unlike things and there no comparison exists. However, the poet has described this world with a stage metaphorically to show the comparison between the people who are the actors so is spending their life on stage.

The Darkling Thrush by Thomas Hardy

“And Winters dregs made desolate
The weakening eye of day”

Here the writer means us to understand that (the weakening eye of day) i.e. sun has been made monotonous by the dull winter light and the cold weather. These lines are an example of an implicit metaphor.

Mutability by P.B. Shelly

“The flower that smiles today,
Tomorrow dies.
All that we wish to stay,
Tempt’s and then flies.
What is this world’s delight?
Lightning that mock’s the night
brief even as bright.

‘Shelly’ use of metaphor in the beginning line of the poem makes us understand that he compares the present with the future. All the living things in this world are for a short span of time and will come to their end and that is the main theme of this poem.

Solitary Reaper by Wordsworth

The vale profound is overflowing with the sound.

‘Wordsworth’ use of adjective metaphor makes the line more profound. Here the depth of the song of a woman that has turned into liquid and has overfilled the whole valley with her enchanting voice has been categorized.

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