Aristotle created that mastery end the art of an allegory is a authorize of genius—and it turns out it he was right. Literary devices, consisting of simile, allusion, and satire, no only provide life come our words, but also make us … smarter?

For example, cognitive research study has discovered that deciphering an ironic statement takes double the initiative as understanding a an ext straightforward comment. Renders sense, right? Someone claims “What a beloved day” (when that lousy weather), and also our brains perform the occupational of an initial interpreting the indigenous literally, and then collection the added information needed around the context to understand the joke.

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So let’s take time to gain to understand these 13 crucial literary devices. Where would us be without a well-placed yeah, right (it can be supplied ironically!) or an exaggeration choose I’m for this reason hungry I could eat a horse! (who hasn’t claimed this hyperbole at least once)?



We know just how Aristotle feels around a metaphor, however what does this term typical at that is most an easy form?

A metaphor is a number of decided in which a ax is applied to something come which it is not literally applicable in order to suggest a resemblance, together in She is a rose. Not included the possibility that the topic of this sentence is precise a flower, this example argues that the topic possesses figurative attributes or features of a rose, such as exquisite beauty, beauty or probably a prickly disposition.

One famous metaphor is the Doomsday Clock, a symbolic clock that represents just how close the world is to worldwide disaster.



Metaphor is often puzzled with simile, a figure of speech in which 2 unlike things space compared; this comparison frequently uses the word like or as.

To build on the instance in the vault slide, she is prefer a rose and as thorny together a climbed bush are instances of simile.



Simile and an allegory are both creates of analogy, the illustration that one idea by a much more familiar or easily accessible idea that is in some way parallel.

In his novel Cocktail Time, P.G. Wodehouse offers the analogy the a man expecting to hear a climbed petal fall in the grand Canyon to highlight the futility of a novelist hoping because that swift success. It is as unlikely come hear that climbed petal drop as it is for a novelist come get great success on their an initial try.

And, here’s a real-world analogy that you may have actually seen popular music up in the news … the atom football.



Hyperbole is an obvious and intentional exaggeration, such as I check out a million publications this summer.

Although teachers everywhere would most likely rejoice if this to be a true statement, this literary device is often used because that dramatic or comedic effect.

Learn more about the really wonderful and exceptional literary term hyperbole in this an extremely informative, best-of-the-best article. You won’t it is in sorry.


An allusion is one indirect recommendation to a person, place, event, or creative work. Allusions assume a level the familiarity ~ above the part of the reader with the referenced work, person, or event.

In The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn, one of the con artists who claims to be an heir come the French throne provides allusions to three of Shakespeare’s dram in his jumbled rendition of Hamlet’s soliloquy, which opens with the humorously botched line “To it is in or not to be: that is the ceiling bodkin.”

Have you ever before confused allusion with illusion? Yup, we have actually too … that’s why us wrote an additional whole short article on the difference in between the two.


Euphemism is the substitution the a mild, indirect, or pass out expression because that an expression that is thought to be harsh, blunt, or offensive. Break wind, the birds and the bees, and also cold turkey room euphemisms for flatulence, sex and also reproduction, and also a quick, finish withdrawal from the use of one addictive substance, respectively.

The the contrary of euphemism is dysphemism, characterized as the substitution that a harsh, disparaging, or unpleasant expression because that a more neutral one.

To learn some much more euphemisms, examine out this perform of politics ones.


A paradox is a explain or proposition that seems self-contradictory or absurd however may in truth express a reality or tension.

William Wordsworth offers an example of paradox in his city My heart Leaps Up through the heat “the child is father of the Man.” This expression defies typical sense ~ above a literal level, yet expresses a deeper truth that our leading character traits are developed when we room young, and they continue to shape our experiences as adults. Paradox originates from the Greek word parádoxos, which method “beyond belief.”

Ever heard of the bootstrap paradox? Read much more about it … it involves time take trip so what have actually you got to lose?


Similar to paradox, the rhetorical device oxymoron supplies contradiction, however an oxymoron is more compressed 보다 a paradox.

An oxymoron is a number of speech the produces an incongruous, look at self-contradictory effect, such as in the phrase humblebrag or cruel kindness, or much more famously in Shakespeare’s Romeo and also Juliet when Romeo utters the lines “O loving hate” and “O heavy lightness” in the opening scene.


Satire is a slippery concept that can sometimes it is in deeply embedded in a work’s themes or narrative, and sometimes closer to the surface in the action or habits of characters. Simply put, satire is the usage of irony, sarcasm, or ridicule in exposing, denouncing, or deriding angry or folly.

Jonathan Swift’s 1726 novel Gulliver’s Travels is an example of satirical fiction. Written in the layout of travel writing that its day, Gulliver’s Travels likewise provides an instance of parody, defined as “a feeling imitation the a serious piece of literature or writing.”


Perhaps the most fun-to-say term on this list, onomatopoeia is defined as the development of a word, as cuckoo, meow, honk, or boom, by imitation the a sound do by or associated with its referent.

It originates from the Greek native onomatopoiía, which way “making of words.” read some much more onomatopoeic words below … you know you favor ’em.


Alliteration is the start of two or much more nearby words v the same letter or sound, as in the schoolyard clip “She sells seashells through the seashore.”

Alliteration is regularly used in poetry and song writing, in addition to assonance, the repetition of collection sounds in native with various consonants, and consonance, the repeat of consonants, frequently at the end of words.


An allegory is a story in i beg your pardon the characters or advancements symbolize real world or events.

George Orwell’s Animal Farm is an example of an allegory; top top the surface it’s around a team of pets that overthrow their person masters to create a an ext egalitarian culture only to watch it devolve into tyranny, but listed below the surface ar it’s around Russia’s Bolshevik transformation and the corrupting nature of power.


Perhaps the many widely misunderstood ax on this list, irony has actually a broad selection of meanings and applications. That is primary definition is “the use of words come convey a an interpretation that is the contrary of its literal meaning meaning,” sometimes called verbal irony. Responding “How nice!” to unpleasant news is an example of verbal irony.

There is likewise situational irony, in i m sorry actions have an effect that is opposite indigenous what to be intended, and also therefore the outcome is contradictory to what was expected. We also have dramatic irony, i m sorry occurs as soon as a situation is taken by the audience however not grasped by the personalities in the play.

See more: Are Pokemon Cards Made In China, How To Tell If A Pokémon Card Is Fake

People say irony a lot … however are castle abusing the word and also its definition by utilizing it incorrectly? discover out an ext here and also see if you agree.