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Figurative Language

Describes seven of the most common forms of figurative language

Ryan Jones

on 8 June 2015

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Transcript of Figurative Language

Figurative Language
Literal = Actual
Figurative = Representative
or intended
"Starry Night" ~Van Gogh
A comparison between two
things using like or as.
He is as fast as a cheetah.
Life is like a box of chocolates.
You never know what you're going to get.
By Langston Hughes

What happens to a dream deferred?
Does it dry up
like a raisin in the sun?
Or fester like a sore—And then run?
Does it stink like rotten meat?
Or crust and sugar over—like a syrupy sweet?

Maybe it just sags
like a heavy load.

Or does it explode?
A direct comparison of two
things without using the words like or as.
Her eyes were
green emeralds.
By Carl Sandburg

The fog comes on little cat feet.
It sits looking
over harbor and city
on silent haunches
and then moves on.
The subway coursed through
the arteries of the city.
The repetition of the beginning
sounds of words.
Peter Piper picked a peck
of pickled peppers.
We shall walk
in the wintery white
A word, phrase, or image
that represents something greater than itself.
A dove often represents peace.
I found a four leaf clover
and knew it was going to
be a great day!
from The Road not Taken
By Robert Frost

Two roads diverged in a yellow wood,
And sorry I could not travel both
And be one traveler, long I stood
And looked down one as far as I could
To where it bent in the undergrowth;
Giving human qualities to something not human.
The leaves whispered
softly in the breeze.
She sang softly to the
powerful face of the full moon.
from Mirror
By Sylvia Plath

I am silver and exact. I have no preconceptions.
Whatever I see I swallow immediately
Just as it is, unmisted by love or dislike.
I am not cruel, only truthful—
The eye of a little god, four-cornered.
Most of the time I meditate on the opposite wall.
It is pink, with speckles. I have looked at it so long
I think it is part of my heart. But it flickers.
Faces and darkness separate us over and over.
Extreme exaggeration used to create an effect.
I was so surprised, you could
have knocked me over with a feather
I'm so hungry, I could eat a horse!
from Speed Adjustments
By John Ciardi
He can run a mile in nothing flat.
He can run right out from under his hat
When there's nowhere, really, to go.
And yet
That very same boy that's as fast as a jet
Will take all day—and sometimes two—
To get to school
Words whose sound suggests their meaning.
An expression specific to a region. The literal meaning is much different than the intended meaning.
*kick the bucket

*raining cats and dogs

*like shooting fish in a barrel
Night Sky
A 4 Leaf Clover symbolizes good luck.
The Highwayman

by Alfred Noyes
Tlot-tlot; tlot-tlot! Had the heard it? The horse-hoofs ringing clear;

Tlot-tlot, tlot-tlot, in the distance? Were they deaf that they did not hear?

Down the ribbon of moonlight, over the brow of the hill,

The highwayman came riding,

Riding, riding!

The red-coats looked to their priming!
She stood up, straight and still!

Essential Questions and Ticket out the Door:

What is figurative language?

Why do authors use it to communicate?

How does figurative language impact mood?

Why is figurative language important to understand?

The term “
figurative language
” refers to a set of tools or devices employed by writers to move beyond the

meaning of a word or phrase or to add special effects.
Figurative Language

Term: Definition

Suggested Note-Taking Strategy
Full transcript