What is the meaning of "his hand is as black as the inside of wolf's throat" ? Metaphor by William Shakespeare

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mwestwood's profile pic

mwestwood | College Teacher | (Level 3) Distinguished Educator

Posted on

This comparison between the blackness of a hand and the inside of a wolf's throat is a simile that also contains synedoche.  And, as mentioned, the blackness of the hand is a metaphor, as well.

Here is the definition of simile:  A figure of speech that makes an explicit comparison between two unlike things, using a word such as like, as, than, or resembles

The comparison between the hand and the wolf's throat is explicit and employs the word as. The synedoche, a figure of speech in which a part represents the whole, is hand as it represents the entire person who is evil.

 

 

jamie-wheeler's profile pic

Jamie Wheeler | College Teacher | eNotes Employee

Posted on

A metaphor is a figure of speech that uses one thing to represent something else.

In this case, the blackness of the throat is a metaphor for the evil of the hand. Wolves are ruthless predators and scavengers, black is almost always associated with evil. Combining the two images lets us know that this is a bad, bad, person.

tstraub's profile pic

tstraub | High School Teacher | eNotes Newbie

Posted on

The inside of a wolf's throat would be a deadly place to be, combined with the darkness of night you have a metaphor for a violent and evil death. "His hand is as black as the inside of a wolf's throat" renders the hand as menacing and deadly as a wolf's.

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