Last week we started looking at rhetorical devices, specifically what is know as simile. Today we will continue our discussion about rhetorical devices by looking at metaphors.
From Wiktionary we have the following definition of a Metaphor:
The use of a word or phrase to refer to something that it isn’t, invoking a direct similarity between the word or phrase used and the thing described, but in the case of English without the words like or as, which would imply a simile.
Metaphors are great for getting your message across. A very good example is from Isac Newton:
If I have seen further, it is by standing on the shoulders of giants.
Obviously Newton wasn’t literally standing on the shoulders of giants. The example clearly shows how powerful a metaphor can be for making a point. It conveys so much power, information and meaning and really gets the audience attention.
Some other examples are:
- He was big. vs. He was a whale.
- She looked so old. vs. She was a raisin.
- That linebacker is massive. vs. That linebacker is a tank.
On the left side we just describe the person without using a metaphor and that works well. But when using a metaphor to say the same thing on the right side, we create images in the reader’s or listener’s mind that are much stronger and more vivid. Great imagery creates great stories. Using metaphors challenges the audience’s imagination and keeps their minds active and engaged. Strong metaphors can really enhance a message and its memorability.
So think about how you can integrate metaphors into your speeches and presentations to really help get your message across.