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beateach eNotes educator| Certified Educator

Similes are literary devices used to make direct comparisons of two things or ideas that are similar. They generally use the words “like” or “as.” On the other hand, metaphors make comparisons without the words “like” or “as.” “They are as different as night and day” is a common simile used when comparing siblings who are not alike.

You will find similes used as literary devices in many forms of literature, music, and speech where the author wants to add drama, interest, or imagery. In many cases, especially in poetry, similes make the written piece easier to understand since similes provide an example for the comparisons. There are a few cases of similes that do not use ‘like” or “as.” In these similes, one might find the word “compare.” Shakespeare is known for creating similes that are written this way.

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