Language is not as simple as it seems, it is full of complicated bundles, which gives language its meanings as well as its beauty. While examining the language of any literary text, you will surely wonder that language is not always literal. The technique the snatches away the literal meaning from the language is the use of ‘figures of speech’. Figures of speech are usually considered as figures which decorate the language and make it an embellished one. However, the use of figures of speech as mere ornaments or exhibition of author’s skills is no more considered as their only purpose.

All types of figure of speeches are collectively called tropes. ‘Tropes’ is a term which is derived from a Greek word tropos. Tropos means ‘turn or twist the direction or course’. It asserts that figures of speech are terms or phrases which are not exactly true. The use of figure of speeches is often ambiguous because they are turned away from their literal meanings.

There are many figures of speeches but the most common and widespread are metaphors and similes.


When we say that something is something then we are using a metaphor; for example, her lips are petals of rose.


When we are explaining something by using the word ‘like’ then we are using similes, e.g. her lips are like petals of rose.


When we use an exaggerated statement to explain something then we are using a hyperbole, e.g. I have been waiting for you since ages.  The use of Ages is surely an exaggeration.


When you express your meanings by saying something totally opposite then you are using the irony, e.g. ‘you are wearing such a lovely dress’ though the dress in reality is not lovely at all. Because of its opposite meanings, ironies are often been misunderstood.


When a part of something is used to explain the whole then it is known as synechdoche, e.g.  ‘The white house has a new policy’. By using the part (white house), the whole US government has been discussed.


When we give the name of one thing to another with which it associates then we are using a metonymy. For example, ‘the cup is quite tasty’; here the cup is used instead of tea.


When we describe something inanimating by attributing the characteristics of life with it then we are incorporating animism in our sentence. For example ‘my car roared’, the car cannot roar, roaring is the characteristics of animals or in generally of life.



When an abstract concept is defined as a human being then it is called persopopie. For example, the justice is often described as a blindfolded woman.