Homework Help

What is a metaphor? Can you give some examples?

user profile pic

alexb2 | eNotes Employee

Posted November 2, 2007 at 3:33 AM via web

dislike 6 like

What is a metaphor? Can you give some examples?

18 Answers | Add Yours

user profile pic

William Delaney | (Level 3) Educator Emeritus

Posted January 10, 2012 at 4:21 AM (Answer #11)

dislike 1 like

Shakespeare's sonnets are full of metaphors and are probably the best examples of metaphors. Read especially sonnet LXXIII, beginning:

That time of year thou mayst in me behold

When yellow leaves, or none, or few, do hang

Upon those boughs which shake against the cold,

Bare ruin'd choirs, where lete the sweet birds sang.

user profile pic

adarshanurag | Student , Grade 10 | Valedictorian

Posted December 31, 2013 at 1:48 PM (Answer #20)

dislike 1 like

Metaphor is a figure of speech in which a word or phrase is applied to an object or action that it does not literally denote in order to imply a resemblance. In simpler words, it is pointing our a resemblance without using words 'as' and 'like'.

Eg:- "Are fed by peaceful harvests, by war's long winter starved"

       "Thine azure sister of the spring shall blow"

       " That time of year thou mayst in me behold"

user profile pic

nicole8923 | Student , Grade 10 | eNoter

Posted February 28, 2014 at 1:00 AM (Answer #22)

dislike 1 like

A metaphor is used when you are trying to compare two or more things without using the words, "like" or "as".

Examples:

  1. His head was spinning with ideas.
  2. Her home was a prison.
  3. She has a heart of gold.
  4. It is raining cats and dogs.
  5. You had better pull your socks up.
  6. The noise is music to her ears.
  7. You light up my life with your presence.
  8. My memory is a little cloudy about that incident.
  9. He basted her with flattery to get the job.
  10. Keep your eyes peeled.
  11. Take a moment to digest the info.
  12. A rainbow of flavors.
user profile pic

cmcqueeney | High School Teacher | (Level 3) Associate Educator

Posted November 2, 2007 at 3:41 AM (Answer #1)

dislike 0 like

A metaphor is a comparison between two things as if they were the same.   Examples:

His marriage was a noose around his neck.

Her hair was a drowned rat.

The butterfly was a beautiful painting of color. 

user profile pic

clane | High School Teacher | (Level 3) Educator

Posted November 2, 2007 at 3:57 AM (Answer #2)

dislike 0 like

An easy way to remember metaphor is:

A metaphor is a comparison between two things without the use of like or as (it's almost the same as a simile, except we omit the like or as)

Some examples of metaphors are:

Time is a river

(Time is being compared to a river, perhaps because rivers flow on endlessly just like time passes endlessly)

Don't change a horse in the middle of a race

(Here the comparison is not as easy to see. This is a comparison between a horse race and perhaps someone faced with a decision to press on with a project or to change a course of action. For example, if a person was a senior in college it wouldn't be wise to change majors because it will take a long time to finish just like if a person in a horse race decided to change horses in the middle- he surely will lose so it would be unwise.)

user profile pic

amy-lepore | High School Teacher | (Level 1) Educator Emeritus

Posted November 2, 2007 at 5:08 AM (Answer #3)

dislike 0 like

There is also such a thing as a metaphysical conceit--also a metaphor, but a comparsion between two seemingly unrelated things.

John Donne is a master at this, and an example of this is in his poem, "A Valediction: Forbidding Mourning" where he compares his love for his wife to a compass and also where he compares his love for his wife to gold.

The man is leaving his wife for a business trip and he tells her their love above all the crying and physical mourning.  He says you are the fixed foot (of the compass) and I am the part with the pencil...the farther away I travel, we never really part.  You just lean toward me until I come home again and we are again together.

He also compares their love to gold.  He says we never leave each other--absence makes our hearts grow fonder and we are connected not just physically, but spiritually and emotionally.  So, like gold, when you beat it, it never breaks.  It only expands to an airy thinness like gold foil.  We are like that.

Metaphors are a comparison between two things without the words "like" or "as".  Usually the comparison is fairly obvious or take little thought to make the connection.

Metaphysical conceits are metaphors taken to the next level. 

 

user profile pic

playsthething | High School Teacher | (Level 3) Assistant Educator

Posted August 24, 2008 at 9:24 AM (Answer #5)

dislike 0 like

A metaphor is one of several types of figurative language (simile, synechdoche, personification, hyperbole, etc.).  It is similar to a simile, but is less obvious because it does not use "like" or "as".  For example, if I say that the my son's eyes are as blue as sapphires, that is a simile.  However, if I just say that my son's eyes are sapphires, it's a metaphor.  This is a very simplistic way of looking at it, but it's the basic difference between simile and metaphor (something that students tend to struggle with).  

You might also hear of an extended metaphor.  That's when a writer sets up a metaphor and extends it beyond its initial meaning.  For example, let's say I've set up my metaphor of my son's eyes being sapphires which establishes their color, but then I might go on to discuss their value and preciousness.  That would extend the metaphor beyond its initial use of describing the color of my son's eyes.

user profile pic

opalwrites | College Teacher | (Level 2) Adjunct Educator

Posted September 16, 2008 at 2:30 PM (Answer #6)

dislike 0 like

A metaphor is a form of direct comparison, where one thing is said to be another, directly, by using the verb "to be".

For example:

  • The boy is a cypress press.
  • James is a stallion dashing across the savannah, all grace and speed.
  • The toddler is a butterfly flitting from his mother to his father's arms.
user profile pic

dorae | Elementary School Teacher | eNoter

Posted June 4, 2011 at 5:27 AM (Answer #8)

dislike 0 like

when you describe something by referring to something else which is the same in a particular way

ex:if we want to say that someone is frightened of things we can say that he is a mouse. so, we here  described him as a mouse because they are the same in their fear of things.

 

user profile pic

lolodancer | Student , Grade 9 | Salutatorian

Posted September 15, 2011 at 11:32 AM (Answer #10)

dislike 0 like

A metaphor is a figure of speech in which an expression is used to refer to something that it does not literally denote in order to suggest a similarity.

EXAMPLES:

1.) She's the apple of my eye.

2.) The movie struck a spark that massaged the audience's conscience.

3.) I'm heartbroken.

These are several.

user profile pic

harshitasnehal | College Teacher | eNoter

Posted March 10, 2012 at 6:49 AM (Answer #12)

dislike 0 like

A metaphor is an indirect comparison between the qualities of objects  or people.

 For eg. He was a lion in the battle.

here quality of lion i.e. bravery is compared with that of his.

user profile pic

sabarigirish | Student , Grade 10 | eNoter

Posted April 12, 2012 at 8:28 AM (Answer #13)

dislike 0 like

Metaphor is a figure of speech that involves designating one thing with the name of another, a process that is carried out essentially by substituting one term for another.

Metaphor is a fundamental notion that Jacques Lacan introduced in relation to his thesis that "the unconscious is structured like a language." He justified its legitimacy principally by analogy with the Freudian mechanism of "condensation," and more generally in relation to the structure of the formations of the unconscious and the metaphorical process of the Name-of-the-Father.

Lacan proposed the following symbolic formula for metaphor (2002, p. 190):

The Lacanian use of metaphor is founded on the principle of a signifying substitution that promotes the authority of the signifier over that of the signified. In language, metaphorical substitution most often occurs between two terms on the basis of semantic similarity. At the level of unconscious processes, this similarity is not always immediately apparent, and only a series of associations can bring it to light.

Thus Freudian condensation plays a role in the different unconscious formations, such as dreams and symptoms, for example. Just as the unconscious material in dreams, telescoped by condensations, reappears in a meaningless form in the manifest dream content, so the symptom expresses, in reality, something completely different from what it appears to mean.

The metaphor of the Name-of-the-Father, as it was called by Lacan, is based on the same principlehat of the substitution of signifiers. In this case, the signifier of the Name-of-the-Father substitutes for the signifier of the mother's desire, which thus becomes the object of repression and becomes unconscious.

The "fort/da game" that Freud described (1920g) directly attests to the process of metaphorization and the repression that is linked to it. A relation of signifying substitution is established by the child as soon as they "name" the signifying reference to the father as the cause of the mother's absences. In addition to the paternal metaphor, which makes it possible, the fort/da game is also inscribed in a double metaphorical process. In itself, the reel is already a metaphor for the mother, and the game of its presence and absence is another metaphor since it symbolizes her departure and return.

JO DOR

See also: Condensation; Displacement; Forgetting; Formations of the unconscious; Letter, the; Linguistics and psychoanalysis; Matheme; Metonymy; Mirror stage; Name-of-the-Father; Phobias in children; Psychoses, chronic and delusional; Signifier; Signifier/signified; Signifying chain; Symptom/sinthome; Topology.

Bibliography

Dor, Joël. (1998). Introduction to the reading of Lacan: The unconscious structured like a language (Judith Feher Gurewich and Susan Fairfield, Eds.). New York: Other Press, 1998.

Freud, Sigmund. (1920g). Beyond the pleasure principle. SE, 18: 1-64.

Lacan, Jacques. (2002).rits: A selection (Bruce Fink, Trans.). New York: W. W. Norton.

Source: International Dictionary of Psychoanalysis, ©2005 Gale Cengage. All Rights Reserved. Full copyright.

user profile pic

msnewbooklover | Student , Grade 9 | Honors

Posted May 23, 2012 at 2:41 PM (Answer #14)

dislike 0 like

: a figure of speech in which a word or phrase literally denoting one kind of object or idea is used in place of another to suggest a likeness or analogy between them (as indrowning in money);

 

Definition: Metaphor is when you use two nouns and compare or contrast them to one another. Unlike simile, you don't use "like" or "as" in the comparison.

 

I am a sword,
Sharper than a tongue
Nobody can defeat me,
Because I am a sword,
I can not be hurt by what people say
About me, 
I will not show my anger
Against
Someone else.

 

user profile pic

qasenior | Salutatorian

Posted July 31, 2012 at 12:05 PM (Answer #16)

dislike 0 like

when you compare two things not using the word like or as. 

For example, in Shakespear's  play, Romeo and Juliet... Romeo says: Juliet is the sun. 

Juliet is compared to being the bright and amazing sun. 

user profile pic

Yojana_Thapa | Student , Grade 10 | eNoter

Posted January 30, 2014 at 4:09 PM (Answer #21)

dislike 0 like

A Metaphor is a figurative speech which is an implied comparison is made between two unlike things that"s have something important in common. It doesn't use "like" or "as".

AN example would be :

"Life is a journey, travel it well."

user profile pic

nicoledesilva | Student , Grade 9 | Salutatorian

Posted August 19, 2012 at 8:51 AM (Answer #17)

dislike -1 like

A metaphor is acually a simile, but without the use of 'like' and 'as'.

user profile pic

nicoledesilva | Student , Grade 9 | Salutatorian

Posted August 19, 2012 at 8:53 AM (Answer #18)

dislike -1 like

Example : The paper was a peice of cake.

user profile pic

faithm99 | Student | eNoter

Posted November 7, 2012 at 10:43 PM (Answer #19)

dislike -1 like

A metaphor is a phrase that does not use the words "like or "as"

Join to answer this question

Join a community of thousands of dedicated teachers and students.

Join eNotes