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Metaphors and its Types
  • Oct 2021
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Metaphors and its Types

19th October 2021

Creativity and experiments lie at the core of the art world. The world of creative writing has a lot to offer its readers, from the writer’s end. It cannot be denied that the plethora of ideas you get here, have no replacement. 

And each idea is unique in itself needing no other base to give it support. But what we do forget is that creative writing is not as easy as we think. Have you ever wondered why different writers are associated with their particular style of writing and why, 

today we recognize these styles by the name of these authors? Well, there is a simple reason for the same. These writers had come up with such styles at their time of writing and then made it a trend among other writers, making others understand that style with that name. 

For example, we associate the Gothic style of writing with the Bronte sisters, the mock-heroic style with Alexander Pope, the epic poetry at the hands of John Milton, and the like. 

Similarly, several figures of speech were developed at the hands of poetry and prose writers. These figures of speech were used in order to add more creativity to a piece of work and make the readers delve more into the world created by the writer. 

A reason for the coming up of all these figures of speech was to make the work more enigmatic and interesting. These techniques have become so evolved today that even those who are not particularly in the field of literature, know about them and also use them abundantly in order to add quality to their work. 

Several writers of great guest posts as well as others who offer content writing services to sites, excel in this technique and thus gain prominence for their work. Similes, metaphors, personification and several other poetic devices have long become a part of our writing style, whether knowingly or unknowingly. 

One of these figures of speech is a metaphor. There has been a lot of confusion among people regarding the difference between a metaphor and a simile and what purpose does a metaphor serve. 

Both these figures of speech serve the purpose of comparing two things, the only difference being that simile compares using the two words- ‘as’ and ‘like’, whereas metaphor compares without explicitly showing the audience that it is establishing a comparison, while simile makes it very explicit. 

Therefore, people are able to find the comparisons done using the simile but not using metaphor. For example, a simile can be in the sentence- She is as intelligent as an encyclopaedia, whereas metaphor can be found in the sentence, she is a walking encyclopaedia. 

In both, the sentences, the knowledge that the girl has, is being compared to an encyclopaedia, which means that the girl is full of immense knowledge, but the way comparisons have been made is a bit different. 

Whereas similes are easy to recognize, metaphors are not. Therefore, people may get confused as to whether or not there is a metaphor in a particular sentence. 

Having, understood what exactly metaphors are, we now need to understand their types, so that we can make an attempt at understanding these metaphors while reading a particular work:

Primary Metaphor: 

This metaphor is the most basic type since this is what we commonly hear or read about in almost all pieces of writing. They are the simplest types that can be easily found out. 

For example: if we say the sentence, 'she is a fox', here we are comparing the girl to a fox and trying to say that the girl is as clever as a fox. Here the two items are being compared side by side in order to bring out the writer's meaning more clearly. 

Complex Metaphors: 

These metaphors, as the name suggests, are more complex than the primary ones because they are a combination of two or more primary metaphors. In such a case, you compare two or more objects at the same time. 

For example, if we look at the sentence, 'Adventure is no more than a sorcerer's cauldron, full of gems.', comparisons are being done among adventure as well as sorcerer's cauldron which is full of surprises and magic as well as gems.

Creative Metaphors: 

In case you find yourself stuck upon a dead metaphor or on the edge of it, you may consider forming a metaphor on your own, in your own creative style. Such metaphors serve the purpose of establishing a comparison and are less than dead. 

Make sure that your metaphor is a legitimate one, grasping your audience to the seat and making the comparison as interesting as possible. These works of creativity can be witnessed in any piece of prose work or even poetry that you come up with. 

Dead Metaphors: 

Not going by the literal meaning, a dead metaphor means that the metaphor has been used so much so that its relevance is next to death. You will find many such metaphors in certain love poems where writers use them extensively. 

Whereas some writers use such metaphors to express their emotions, others use them to come up with a sarcasm on the topic or on the entire idea. 

Extended Metaphors: 

Once you lay your hand on the knowledge of creative metaphors, you will start on the road to the creation of extended metaphors. It means that first you will be able to create a metaphor and then you will be able to keep on referring back to it in the course of an entire extract or a poem. 

These metaphors go hand in hand with the creative metaphors, the reason being, that you were the one who created these new metaphors and now you are the one, who can use them time and again, whenever you wish to, in the course of the entire piece of work. 

Absolute Metaphors: 

One must be very careful while working with these metaphors, the reason being, they compare two things that are not related to each other. Now imagine how hard a task is to compare two absolutely unrelated things with each other. 

These metaphors are also known as anti metaphors or paralogical metaphors. In case the reader is not able to establish a comparison among the two objects the writer is trying to compare, the reader might get frustrated or assume that the way you are trying to bring out the comparison is nonsensical. 

This may not leave a great impact on your work since the reader will not be able to get even close enough to the kind of picture you are trying to portray. 

Implied Metaphors: 

These metaphors are usually said or written as a sarcasm or in a subtle tone. They try to convey the purpose in an indirect manner so that the purpose is done and the listener or the reader is not even able to understand that well. 

For example, a night at that place was worse than the one at the farmhouse. Now no one knows how the experience at the farmhouse was, but we do get a hint that the experience at the farmhouse was not great.

Conceptual Metaphors: 

These metaphors refer to one subject and then elaborate on them in different terms. Basically, a person is trying to elaborate and lay stress upon a petty idea but adds more colour to it. 

For example, I wasted a whole week of my life on that project. This means that the person wasted time on that project, but the calendar year is being used to make things more exact. 

Mixed Metaphors: 

These metaphors usually serve the purpose of comedy. Here two absolutely incongruous or outright absurd metaphors are combined to produce the effect. 

For example, we can say that in the warmth of the minute, she turned cold as ice, and moved to the beat of the drums. In this case, first, two opposite ideas of ice and heat are being compared and then an absolutely vague idea of drums is being dragged.

Root Metaphors: 

These metaphors are related to a person's culture, his perception of life as well as his or her identity. You may see how the person got themselves the success where such concepts are deeply rooted in a person. Here philosophical statements are made that tend to inform us more about a particular character.

Therefore, these were the types of metaphors that help us in making our pieces of writing more creative and colourful as well as attractive to a certain extent. Be it offering great guest post services or content writing services or publishing your piece of prose or poetry work or as a matter of fact, 

any other piece of creative writing, the metaphors as well as other figures of speech are going to help us a lot in getting the desired results. Also, it offers the readers to read something between the lines rather than in a very direct way.



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