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Using Figurative Language Writing Center Workshop.

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Presentation on theme: "Using Figurative Language Writing Center Workshop."— Presentation transcript:

1 Using Figurative Language Writing Center Workshop

2 Figures of speech can add excitement and variety to writing. When these expressions are understood, they can give a work a depth and richness not present otherwise; when not understood, they can confuse the reader.

3 Alliteration Definition: The repetitious use of the same beginning consonant sound in two or more nearby words. Example: “The ballot is stronger than the bullet.” – Abraham Lincoln

4 Allusion Definition: A reference, usually brief, to a person, place, thing, or event with which the reader is presumably familiar. The allusion lets the reader condense great meaning into only a few words. Allusions often refer to mythology, history, religious and literary texts, etc. Example: “He has the patience of Job.”

5 Apostrophe Definition: A figure of speech addressing an absent person as if he or she were present or an abstract concept or inanimate object as if it were capable of understanding. Example: The poet’s addressing the urn in “Ode to a Grecian Urn” by John Keats is an example of an apostrophe.

6 Epithet Definition: An adjective used to limit a noun which it cannot logically modify. Examples: dusty death rosy-fingered dawn wine-dark sea

7 Hyperbole Definition: An exaggeration to make emphasis and heighten the overall effect (comic or serious) of a work. Example: “This backpack weighs a ton!”

8 Irony Definition: A contrast between appearance and reality. Types of Irony: Verbal Dramatic Situational

9 Verbal Irony Definition: A difference between what is literally said and what is actually meant. Example: “Well, thanks a lot!” (spoken when someone has not been at all helpful)

10 Dramatic Irony Definition: When the reader or audience knows that the situation is exactly the opposite of what the participants think it is. Example: In William Shakespeare’s Othello, the audience knows Iago is the villain, but Othello believes Iago is his most trusted friend.

11 Situational Irony Definition: When the outcome of circumstances is the opposite of what is expected or appropriate. Example: In Nathaniel Hawthorne’s The Scarlet Letter, Dimmesdale is found to be a liar and an adulterer, but he is also a clergyman.

12 Metaphor Definition: A comparison of two unlike objects without the use of the word like or as. Example: “The cat's eyes were jewels, gleaming out of the darkness.”

13 Metonymy Definition: Substituting a word with a term meaning an object closely associated with the original word. Example: Using “The White House” when referring to the President is an example of metonymy.

14 Onomatopoeia Definition: Using a word (or a group of words) whose sound reinforces its meaning. Examples: buzz pop fizz

15 Oxymoron Definition: A figure of speech which brings together contradictory terms for rhetorical effect. Examples: living death sweet sorrow cheerful pessimist

16 Paradox Definition: An apparently self- contradictory statement which seems absurd at first but turns out to have a valid meaning. Examples: “The child is father to the man.” – William Wordsworth

17 Personification Definition: Giving human attributes and/or feelings to an idea or thing as if it were human. Examples: a wicked tongue a lonely road a lazy day

18 Pun Definition: A play on words which uses words that sound alike but have different meanings. Example: “The dentist joined the infantry because he liked to drill.”

19 Simile Definition: A comparison of two unlike objects using the word like or as. Example: “My love is like a red, red rose.” – Robert Burns

20 Symbol Definition: Any word, object, character, or action used to stand for something else, embodying and evoking a range of additional significance and meaning. Example: In Heart of Darkness, Joseph Conrad uses a journey up the Congo River to symbolize an exploration of the dark side of the human heart and human civilization.

21 Synecdoche Definition: Use of a part to signify the whole or, more rarely, the whole to signify a part. Examples: wheels = automobile steel = sword the law = police officer

22 References Definitions and examples taken from Pickering and Hoeper’s Literature, Other examples taken from:


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