Difference Between Metaphor and Simile (With Table)

English is a vast language and it can have various parts for redefining it. The most common ways of writing comparison in a poem to provide meaning are metaphors and similes. The two mentioned are poetic devices and they have been developed to provide ease to people in writing a narrative passage. 

Metaphor vs Simile 

The main difference between metaphor and simile is that metaphor is used to compare two objects in an abstract way and it is direct and easy to understand whereas a simile is used to compare two words with the help of words like as, like, etc. The two of them also have different purposes. 

Metaphors are generally phrases used in poems or passages to make the reader understand the true meaning. They are lies but seem like truth when perceived about the thing which is being talked about. Metaphor is the comparison that is done directly without the use of words like as and such. 

Similes are phrases that are used at various places for providing a comparison that is similar yet abstract. The comparison is done on the basis of truth and indirectly. The words such as and like are seen to provide a poetic meaning. Example:- As fierce as a tiger. 

Comparison Table Between Metaphor and Simile

Parameters of ComparisonMetaphorSimile
Definition Metaphors are phrases that compare two features abstractly and directly.Similes are also phrases that compare two objects directly with the use of words like such as and like.
PurposeTo make the reader imagine the situationTo make the reader imagine the situation giving the example of a situation
Memorising tipAnother thing or person is the subject.The subject is like another object.
Mode of comparisonThe comparison is made to be implicit.The comparison is said to be explicit
ExamplesShe was crying like a baby. Life is chocolate either white or black.He is as raging as a volcano. She is as sweet as candy.

What is a Metaphor?

Metaphors are phrases that give a comparison between two objects that are not alike but give the impression they are the same and allow the reader to paint a picture of what the writer wanted to write. It is a poetic device that gives the poems and passages a creative style that is eye-catching and persuades the user to read further.

It is generally said to be a symbol that represents an object. The subject is another object and the main object is the one being compared to. The metaphor also has the advantage that most of the figures of speeches are metaphors like the rumbling of bells is a metaphor for sound. 

The associations are created abstractly and are direct and easy to understand. They are used to compare indirect objects. They are similes without the words like as and such but the metaphors are more effective in reading because it raises the complexity that provides the twist and turns.

There are extended metaphors also which means that they are extended over multiple lines which means that they extend over a poem or passage. Even if they are not direct they are left to be interpreted. Some of the phrases which can be classified as metaphors are as follows:- 

  1. The white and black horses symbolise death.
  2. The heart is lonely on the white hills.
  3. The love travels on white horses.

What is Simile?

The simile is a comparison being done between two objects and is direct and easy to use. The similes use words that are like and such as which gives the reader a clear idea about what is being said and are mostly used in day-to-day languages as well as paragraphs to give them a meaning. 

The similes are a way to represent two abstract things in a single sentence to give it a meaning which is easy and hassle-free. The subject is like another object. Most of the similes have a deeper meaning but sometimes they are used because of the features. The features may be personality traits like anger, care, etc or they could be outward features like fairness, height, etc.

They allow the user to picture the exact information that is being said or done. The picture imagined is more vivid and clear as well as leaves a greater impact on the minds of people. The usage of simile is also done to make the description stand out and makes the user read further.

The origin of the word simile is from the Latin word “similis” which means similar and it clarifies the word done by the poetic device in the sentence. Some of the phrases that are similes are as follows:-

  1. As hot as a volcano
  2. As cool as ice
  3. He goes with the flow, much like water. 

Main Differences Between Metaphor and Simile

  1. Metaphors are phrases that compare two features abstractly and directly whereas similes are also phrases that compare two objects directly with the use of words like such as and like.
  2. The purpose of using a metaphor is to make the reader imagine the situation whereas a simile is used to make the reader imagine the situation giving the example of a situation.
  3. In a metaphor, another thing or person is the subject whereas in a simile the subject is like another object.
  4. The comparison in metaphor is made to be implicit whereas in simile the comparison is said to be explicit.
  5. Examples: 
  • She was crying like a baby.
  • Life is chocolate either white or black.
  1. Examples:
  • He is as raging as a volcano.
  • She is as sweet as candy

Conclusion

The figure of speeches mentioned above are co-related and the way of writing them is different. It is said that all metaphors are simile without the use of special words like such as and much like. The simile word itself is said to represent the similarities and the comparison between two objects. The writing style is different for both of them and the subject is also set according to that. The metaphors are a bit difficult yet more elegant to read whereas similes are an easy way to compare yet give a vivid picture to the user about what is being said. The two poetic devices have importance in binding the user to the text. 

References

  1. https://www.academia.edu/download/31547724/Israel_al-Simile.pdf

https://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/abs/10.1111/j.1468-0017.2006.00282.x

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