Metaphor – Concept, composition and examples

We explain what a metaphor is and how this poetic figure is composed. Also, some examples and their difference from the comparison.

The metaphor tries to force an association or analogy between two things.

What is a metaphor?

It is known as a metaphor a trope or poetic figure which consists of the displacement of meaning between two words or terms, to express a relationship that accentuates or attributes certain characteristics to it. In other words, it is about naming something with something else, to force an association or analogy between the two.

It is a procedure widely used in both literary language (especially in poetry), as in everyday speech, since it serves to impress what is said with a much greater power than direct speech.

A metaphor can beautify a description, be comical, ironic, offensive, take an unexpected turn, or even be enigmatic, mysterious.

Commonly, metaphors are understood as rhetorical or ornamental figures of language, and are composed of three elements:

  • The object of what is really spoken (tenor).
  • The object that is invoked or named (vehicle).
  • The relationship between both terms (foundation).

Thus, it is possible to speak of two types of metaphor, mainly: the explicit, when both terms appear in the expression; and the implicit, when the tenor does not appear but must be inferred or deduced from the expression.

Examples of metaphor

Some simple metaphor examples are as follows:

  • its bear look and mouse character.
  • I looked at the pearls from her mouth.
  • The love is a fight fingers.
  • It rained devilishly.
  • The sun illuminated a sad street.
  • Its in his head there were tongues of fire tied in a ponytail.
  • A toad fat as a truck.
  • The land was gray as regret.

Love metaphors

Love is probably one of the most metaphorical themes in both common speech and literary language. A list of such metaphors would include:

  • Love burns like fire.
  • Love is wide as the sky.
  • Love is a music.
  • Love is a journey as a couple.
  • Love is a mandate of nature.
  • Love becomes addictive like a drug.
  • Love is beautiful like poetry or like art.
  • Love is a secret
  • Love is a refuge.
  • Love is a force.
  • Love is radiant like the sun.
  • Love explodes like fireworks.
  • Love is a shared madness.
  • Love is a gamble.
  • Love hurts like a wound.
  • Love conquers all obstacles.
  • Love is sweet.
  • Love is deep
  • Love breaks into a thousand pieces.
  • Love is reborn from the ashes.
  • Love is like an open flower.

Metaphor and comparison

If two concepts are associated that are intertwined, it will be a pure metaphor.

Usually it is usually distinguished between metaphor and comparison (or simile), based on the way in which the analogy relationship between the terms put in comparison is constructed. So that:

  • If a real concept is associated with an imaginary one, based on its similarity, shape or some other comparable feature, in such a way that both objects maintain their identity despite being compared, we will be faced with a simile or comparison. It is easy to identify them by the appearance of comparative links such as “as … as”, “same as”, “similar to”, “as”, etc.
  • If, on the other hand, two concepts are associated that are later intertwined, matched or one of which is implicit, we will be in the presence of a pure metaphor. In that case, no comparative links will appear, but the terms will be forced to work together.