What is a metaphor?
We explain what a metaphor is and how this poetic figure is composed. In addition, some examples and their difference with the comparison.
What is a metaphor?
It is known as a metaphor for a trope or poetic figure that consists in the displacement of meaning between two words or terms, to express a relationship that accentuates or attributes certain characteristics. In other words, it is about naming something with something else, to force an association or analogy between the two.
It is a procedure widely used both in literary language (especially in poetry ), and in everyday speech, since it serves to print what has been said to be a power much greater than direct speech.
A metaphor can embellish a description , be comical, ironic, offensive, take an unexpected turn or even be enigmatic, mysterious.
Commonly, metaphors are understood as rhetorical or ornate figures of language, and are composed of three elements:
- The object of what is really talked about (tenor).
- The object that is invoked or named (vehicle).
- The relationship between both terms (foundation).
Thus, it is possible to speak of two types of metaphor, mainly: the explicit one , when the two terms appear in the expression; and the implicit one , when the tenor does not appear but must be inferred or deduced from the expression.
Some simple examples of metaphor are the following:
- Its bear appearance and mouse character .
- I looked at the pearls in his mouth .
- The love is a battle of two.
- It was raining hellily .
- The sun illuminated a sad street .
- His on his head were tongues of fire tied in a ponytail.
- A fat toad like a truck .
- The earth was gray as regret .
Love is probably one of the themes that most metaphors raises in both common speech and literary language. A list of such metaphors would include:
- Love burns like fire.
- Love is wide as heaven.
- Love is a music.
- Love is a trip as a couple.
- Love is a mandate of nature.
- Love becomes addictive like a drug.
- Love is beautiful as poetry or as art.
- Love is a secret.
- Love is a refuge.
- Love is a force.
- Love is radiant like the sun.
- Love explodes like fireworks.
- Love is shared madness.
- Love is a bet.
- Love hurts like a wound.
- Love overcomes all obstacles.
- Love is sweet.
- The love is deep.
- Love breaks into a thousand pieces.
- Love is reborn from the ashes.
- Love is like an open flower.
Metaphor and comparison
Typically , a distinction is made between metaphor and comparison (or simile), based on the way in which the relationship of analogy between the terms put in comparison is constructed. So that:
- If a real concept is associated with another imaginary one, based on its similarity, shape or some other comparable feature, so that both objects maintain their identity despite being compared, we will be faced with a simile or comparison. It is easy to identify them by the appearance of comparative links such as “as … as,” “same as,” “like,” “as,” etc.
- If instead two concepts are associated that are then intertwined, matched or one of which is implied, we will be in the presence of a pure metaphor. In that case, no comparative links will appear, but the terms will be forced to operate together.