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This is the "Figures of Speech" page of the "Literature and English Research" guide.
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Last Updated: Nov 15, 2017 URL: http://libguides.warner.edu/literature Print Guide RSS UpdatesEmail Alerts

Figures of Speech Print Page


  • Symbolism: Topic Page
    In the arts, the use of symbols to concentrate or intensify meaning, making the work more subjective than objective. In the visual arts, symbols have been used in works throughout the ages to transmit a message or idea, for example, the religious symbolism of ancient Egyptian art, Gothic art, and Renaissance art.
  • Simile
    From The Princeton Encyclopedia of Poetry and Poetics
    A figure of speech most conservatively defined as an explicit comparison using “like” or “as”—e.g. “black, naked women with necks / wound round and round with wire / like the necks of light bulbs” (Elizabeth Bishop).
  • Metaphor: Topic Page
    Figure of speech using an analogy or close comparison between two things that are not normally treated as if they had anything in common. Metaphor is a common means of extending the uses and references of words.
  • Trope
    From Encyclopedia of Postmodernism
    A trope is a figure of speech that denotes or connotes meaning through a chain of associations. It employs a word or phrase out of its ordinary usage in order to further demonstrate or illustrate a particular idea.
  • Synecdoche
    From Encyclopedia of Postmodernism
    Synecdoche means literally understanding one thing with another; as a rhetorical trope, the substitution of part for whole or vice versa. When defined as the use of an attribute or adjunct as a substitution for that of the thing meant, synecdoche is directly related to metonymy.

Related Terms

  • Allusion
    From The Princeton Encyclopedia of Poetry and Poetics
    A poet’s deliberate incorporation of identifiable elements from other sources, preceding or contemporaneous, textual or extratextual. A. may be used merely to display knowledge, as in some Alexandrian poems; to appeal to those sharing experience or knowledge with the poet; or to enrich a poem by incorporating further meaning.
  • Alliteration
    From The Princeton Encyclopedia of Poetry and Poetics
    The repetition of the sound of an initial consonant or consonant cluster in stressed syllables close enough to each other for the ear to be affected.
  • Onomatopoeia
    From The Princeton Encyclopedia of Poetry and Poetics
    The traditional term for words which seem to imitate the things they refer to, as in this line from Collins’ “Ode to Evening”: “Now the air is hushed, somewhere the weak-eyed bat / With short shrill shriek flits by on leathern wing.”
  • Hyperbole
    From The Princeton Encyclopedia of Poetry and Poetics
    A figure or trope, common to all lits., consisting of bold exaggeration, apparently first discussed by Isocrates and Aristotle (Rhetoric 1413a28).

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