Go Figure! Figurative Language, Poetry terms & Rhetorical Devices

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  • Go Figure!Figurative Language, Poetry terms &Rhetorical Devices

  • Recognizing Figurative Language The opposite of literal language is figurative language. Figurative language is language that means more than what it says on the surface. It usually gives us a feeling about its subject. Poets use figurative language almost as frequently as literal language. When you read poetry, you must be conscious of the difference. Otherwise, a poem may make no sense at all.

  • Recognizing Literal Language Ive eaten so much I feel as if I could literally burst!In this case, the person is not using the word literally in its true meaning. Literal means "exact" or "not exaggerated." By pretending that the statement is not exaggerated, the person stresses how much he has eaten. Literal language is language that means exactly what is said. Most of the time, we use literal language.

  • What is figurative language?Whenever you describe something by comparing it with something else, you are using figurative language. Figurative Language is the use of descriptive words and phrases that bring your reader into your writing.

  • Types of Figurative Language IncludeSimileMetaphorPersonificationHyperboleAlliterationOnomatopoeiaIdiomsRepetitionImagery

  • Similes

    A simile is a comparison between two unlike things, using like or as.Examples: Her smile was so wide it looked like a piano keyboard. (comparing: smile & piano keyboard)A heart as cold as snow. (comparing: heart & cold snow)Create your own simile using like or as about a topic of your choosing.


    A metaphor directly compares two unlike things without using like or as. A metaphor states that one thing is another. Often uses a form of the be verb. (am, is, was, are)Examples: The boy was a golden knight, protecting his little sister from the fire-breathing dragon that lives in the sandbox.You are an ant, while Im the lion.Create your own metaphor stating one thing is another about a topic of your choosing.


    Personification assigns human characteristics and traits to non-human objects.Examples: The pencil fought furiously with the eraser, battling over question number three.The sun winked at me through the clouds.

    Create your own sentence using personification about a topic of your choosing.


    Hyperbole is the use of overstatement to describesomething that could never happen in real life.An exaggerated statement used to heighten effect. It is not used to mislead the reader, but to emphasize a point. Examples: She has said so on several million occasions.The teachers voice was so loud the astronauts orbiting Earth could hear her lecture.Create two exaggerations (hyperboles) about any topic of your choosing.


    Alliteration is the repetition of two or more sounds.Repeated consonant sounds occurring at the beginning of words or within words. Example: She was wide-eyed and wondering while she waited for Walter to waken.Tommy turtle terrified Theresa terribly. The witchs washed-out, withered lips whispered, Watch what awaits you at the bewitching hour!Create an alliteration using your first or last name.Must be at least 6 8 words long.


    Onomatopoeia is a word that imitates a sound or mimics the sound.Example: The cow moos in the pasture. (Moo is the onomatopoeia.)You must click the button on the right to take the picture. (Click is the onomatopoeia.)The firecracker made a loud ka-boom!Use onomatopoeia in a sentence that you create!Be creative, think attention grabber or lead for a newspaper story.

  • An idiom is a commonly used expression that means something different from what it appears to mean. An idiom or idiomatic expression refers to a construction or expression in one language that cannot be matched or directly translated word-for-word in another language. EXAMPLES: Riding on the rollercoaster Deathrace was a piece of cake. (Piece of cake is the idiom. Really meaning that it wasnt so hard, or it was easy.) "She has a bee in her bonnet." (Meaning "she is obsessed," cannot be literally translated into another language word for word.)Viola was on the ball today!(Meaning she was the center of all the action at the game.)


  • REPETITIONRepetition is a general term for repeating a single word or variants of the same word. Repetition is a form of emphasis in which attention is gained. We are very good at pattern-matching and it does not take long to spot the repeated word pattern and then start to wonder what it means.Example: It's a mad, mad, mad world.Vanity of vanities: you are vain, he is vain, all is vanity.

  • Imagery Language that appeals to the senses. Descriptions of people or objects stated in terms of our senses.Sight: bright, sunny dayHearing: piercing screams shattering the night Touch: rough crumbs scratched the insides of my jawsTaste: The sweet vanilla flavor was still on my tongue.Smell: the rotten stench of death

  • Poetic Devices: Rhyme Scheme

    rhyme schemea repeated pattern of rhymed words at the end of the linelusty eyes (A) passionate cries (A) rich blood, (B) bitter sweat (C) she/he loves (D) and dies (A)

    internal rhymerhyming that occurs within the line (rather than at the end) piece of me emerges

  • RhetoricRhetoric is the art of using words well when speaking or writing.An example of rhetoric is when a politician can describe a problem and make it sound like it is not a problem.An example of rhetoric is a insincere offer by someone to do something.Rhetorical devices are often used in public speaking or speeches.

  • Rhetorical DevicesAllusion - a reference to an event, literary work or person EXAMPLE: I cant do that because I am not Superman.Analogy - compares two different things that have some similar characteristics EXAMPLE: He is flaky as a snowstorm.Anaphora - repeats a word or phrase in successive phrases . Usually it is found at the beginning of the phrase. EXAMPLE: "If you prick us, do we not bleed? If you tickle us, do we not laugh? (Merchant of Venice, Shakespeare)