Let us begin with understanding what is a simile? Originating from the Latin word “similis” it is nothing but a figure of speech based on comparing an object with any other having the same features. The English language has witnessed the use of similes to draw up direct differences in perception and helps to provoke the interest of the readers. The direct comparison gives the readers a sense of association to help them understand better.
The article will teach you where to use similes and also provide suitable examples to help you better. After you are well-versed with simile, we will be comparing two literary pieces and examining the differences.
Where do we need to use similes? Though similes are common to be present in speech, various texts also include similes to draw explicit comparisons. Similes are not only found in academic masterpieces but also in blogs and articles; any written text that deserves to draw the attention of the readers.
Generally, similes are used to describe the:
William Shakespeare was quite fond of using similes in his writing. However, he avoided the use of similes to form complex sentences. Instead, understanding what is a simile and properly applying it, he was able to come up with crisp and clear sonnets. Here are the basic rules that you must adhere to:
Texts become vibrant with the inclusion of similes. However, its overuse should be avoided as it can be distracting for the readers. To understand better what is a simile, let us move on to the examples to help you understand better.
William Shakespeare’s Romeo and Juliet was considered a simile king by many literary critics. It can be traced to Shakespeare’s brilliant placement of similes which provides several beautiful turns. Here are few quotes from the novel cited below:
“…scaring the ladies like a crowkeeper…”
“…I’ll warrant him, as gentle as a lamb…”
There are also several poets who have mastered what is a simile and how to use it. William Wordsworth is one such example. Here is a quote from one of his poems:
“I wandered lonely like a cloud
It floats high o’er valleys and hills.”
Wordsworth draws up conclusions and personas by representing himself as an inanimate or non-living object. The first line of the poem helps to draw a direct comparison. Clouds are light and fluffy and flow in the direction of the wind. It describes the mood of the character in the poem.
Robert Burns is another famous author, well-known for his use of similes in his poems. Burns’ description of love is set in such a way that the feeling is evident and tender. Here is an example of a simile used in one of Burns’s poems.
“O my luve is like a red, red rose …
… O my luve is like the melody “.
Here the author compares the feeling of love with that of music and flowers. It is a brilliant use of simile as roses are associated with love, and the sweet sound of melody is very pleasant.
However, it would be completely wrong to believe that similes used to form the crux of past poems. Most of you must be familiar with the story of “Forrest Gump”. When talking to a nurse, Gump describes his life as a box of chocolates in the story. Though this might seem irrelevant, readers will soon be able to compare the unpredictability of life and the unpredictability of what chocolate will you find in the box. Its subtleness helps to make it interesting.
It is a very common literary technique; simile can be found in the works of artists like N. Scott Momaday, Amy Lowell, Kelly Ropers, and Robert Francis. Apart from its use in literary works, British comedy from the last century heavily relied on similes.
Both metaphors and similes are based on object comparison. Though you might have understood what is a simile, many confuse it with metaphors. Primarily a metaphor is a trope, while a simile is a stylistic figure.
As mentioned in the previous sections, similes draw obvious similarities and utilise words like “like” or “as”. However, in the case of a metaphor, the comparisons are not quite explicit. Here are few examples of metaphor applications.
“His words cut deeper than the knife.”
“Nora has gone through a rollercoaster of emotions in the last year after losing her father.”
Though the similarities have not been drawn explicitly, readers will be able to conclude. So, if you are looking to understand what is a simile, it is a type of metaphor that eases understanding.
In conclusion, similes and metaphors are two different literal tools used for writing and speaking in a comparative sense. Despite their similarities, both have different implementations. While similes help draw small comparisons of the text, metaphors help to describe deeper collation but are more difficult to understand.
Now that you have understood what is a simile take a responsible approach in selecting and implementing them. The reader might fail to follow the text if the author uses much incomparable concepts. On the other hand, excessive use of similes can cause the readers to get distracted and lose the essence of the story.
Also, studying worksheets of famous authors and poets to master storytelling is unnecessary. Instead, formulate similes to draw comparisons which is easy to understand for everyone. Understand the rules and the difference between what is a simile and what is a metaphor. It is vital to draw effective and interesting narratives and texts.
No, words such as “like” and “as” are not necessarily to be used; they can be replaced with words like “similar” or “resembling”.
Authors can use analogy, euphemisms and dead metaphors instead of similes.
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