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In metaphor, the comparison is implied – that is, the figurative term is


Academic year: 2021

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Metaphor and Simile are both used as a means of comparing things that are essentially unlike. The only distinction between them is that in simile the comparison is expressed by the use of some word or phrase, such as like, as, than, similar to, resembles, or seems.

In metaphor, the comparison is implied – that is, the figurative term is

substituted for or identified with the literal term.


Imaginative pleasure Additional imagery Emotional intensity

functions of figurative language


The Hound by Robert Francis Life the hound


Comes at a bound Either to rend me Or to befriend me.

I cannot tell

The hound's intent Till he has sprung At my bare hand

With teeth or tongue.

Meanwhile I stand

And wait the event.


Metaphors may take four forms depending on whether the literal and figurative terms are named or implied.

E .g. «Sorrow is my own yard»

(from «The Widow’s Lament in Springtime» by William Carlos Williams)

Literal term Figurative term


• In the first form of metaphor, as in simile, both the literal and figurative terms are named.

e.g. «Life the hound» (from «The Hound» by Robert Francis)

Life – literal term, hound – figurative term


• In the second form, the literal term is named and the figurative term

is implied.


Harlem 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?


There are six images in the poem, five of which are similes. Which is a



What specific denotation has the word «dream»? How would you

interpret it on learning that the poet was a black American?


• What form of metaphor is used in the poem?


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