Figures of Speech – Introduction For TNPSC Group 1, 2, 2a, 4, Civil Service exams


General English
Part-B
Literature

1.Figures of speech observed in the following Poems

Figures of Speech – Introduction
Alliteration:
The repetition of an initial consonant sound*. It depends on the sound and not on repetition of letters.
*The sound of English alphabets except vowels (a, e, i, o, u).
Ex: “Guinness is good for you” – It is alliterative as words Guinness and good gives similar consonant sound.
Climate change is observed lightly in Tamil Nadu” – Non alliterative as words Climate and Change gives different sound.


Allusion:
A reference to a person, place or event that happened – may be real or fiction. The reference may be to any painting, script, character etc.
Ex: “He is a real Romeo with ladies” – Here the reference is to the character “Romeo” in Shakespeare’s plays Romeo and Juliet.

Simile:
Comparing two dissimilar things that have certain qualities in common. It is usually done with phrase “like” or “as”.
Ex: “He is as tall as Eifel tower”

Metaphor:
An implied comparison between two unlike things that actually have something important in common.
Ex: “The streets were a furnace, the sun an executioner.”   (Cynthia Ozick, “Rosa”) – Here the streets are compared to the furnace and the sun to the executioner.  Here too the comparison is done as like simile but it is in broader sense.
NOTE: Similes mostly uses the comparison words “like” and “as”. The other comparison can be attributed to metaphor.

Personification:
A figure of speech in which a lifeless object or abstraction is provided with human qualities or abilities.
Ex: “The wind stood up and gave a shout.” – Here the wind (lifeless object) is compared to a human standing up and shouting.

Oxymoron:
A figure of speech in which contradictory terms appear side by side.
Ex: “The best cure for insomnia is to get a lot of sleep.” – Here the insomnia (habitual sleeplessness) is compared with sleeping – Contradictory words.

Onomatopoeia:
The use of words that imitate the sounds associated with the objects or actions they refer to.
Ex: “Ding Dong! The door bell is ringing.”

Anaphora:
The repetition of the same word or phrase at the beginning of successive clauses or verses.
Ex:  “I needed a drink, I needed a lot of life insurance, I needed a vacation, and I needed a home in the country. What I had was a coat, a hat and a gun.” (Raymond Chandler, Farewell, My Lovely, 1940) –
The word “needed” is repeated in the above verses.

Ellipsis:
Ellipsis is the omission of one or more words, which must be supplied by the reader.
Ex: “Wise men talk because they have something to say; fools, because they have to say something.” (Plato) – Here the second sentence does not contain the word “talk”.

Rhyme Scheme:
The arrangement of Rhymes in a poem. Rhyme here stands for the similarity of sounds.

Repetition:
It is the simple repeating of a word, within a sentence or a poetical line, with no particular placement of the words, in order to provide emphasis.

Apostrophe:

Breaking off the line to address some absent person or thing, some abstract quality, an inanimate object, or a nonexistent character.

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