Wednesday, March 9, 2011

Metaphor and Simile

Hey everyone, it's Grammar-O Wednesday again. Annette here. Please continue praying for Ocieanna as she regains her strength following a cardiac arrest in early January. She's doing better and really appreciates your prayers.

Last time I filled in for O, we discussed rhetorical devices at large. Today, let’s break down two specific forms—metaphor and simile. These are similar in that they both have to do with comparison. Let’s define them and then practice using them.

Metaphor “compares two different things by speaking of one in terms of the other” (From Virtual Salt’s rhetorical device handbook.) This rhetorical device “asserts that one thing is another thing” not just like something else. Basically, you're making a comparison in order to paint a clear picture for the reader.

Example: “I am the Light of the world.” Jesus speaking in John 8:12, 9:5

Example: "Your baby is an angel."

Simile “is a comparison between two different things that resemble each other…” Similes are often rendered using “like” (for comparing a noun to a noun) or “as” (for comparing verbs or phrases to other verbs or phrases).*

Example: “And he looked up and said, ‘I see men like trees, walking.’” Mark 8:24, NKJV

Example: “As for man, his days are like grass; as a flower of the field, so he flourishes.” Psalm 103:15, NKJV)

Example: "You sing like an angel."

Now, let’s test ourselves, shall we?

___ Metaphor or Simile — Jesus said, “I am the Bread of life.” from John 6:35

___ Metaphor or Simile — Sometimes on hot, summer days I nap like a cat near a sunny window. (notice the alliteration with “s,” as well)

___ Metaphor or Simile — Some drivers crank their music so loud, their cars become stereos on wheels.

___ Metaphor or Simile — “I am the Way, the Truth and the Life.” ~ Jesus from John 14:6

___ Metaphor or Simile — The sunflower opened toward the sun like a smiling face.



How'd you do? Feel free to add examples in the comments below.

* Definitions adapted from Virtual Salt's rhetorical device handbook. See this link for more information on rhetorical devices.

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