Figures of speech are the literary devices which can be a word or phrase not used in its usual or basic sense, so as to make the writing more interesting, persuasive, vivid and rhetorical. No form of poetry is complete without the use of figures of speech. In English, there are many figures of speech, but the two most commonly used for making the comparison are simile and metaphor. A simile is a figurative statement that uses connecting words.
On the contrary, Metaphor is a figure of speech wherein a word or phrase represents an object or idea that is used instead to show the likeness between the two. In other words, a metaphor suggests the meaning by creating an image for the reader, whereas a simile creates a picture by exemplifying it.
Content: Simile Vs Metaphor
|Basis for Comparison||Simile||Metaphor|
|Meaning||An expression that helps to compare two varied things, using the words as and like, is called simile.||Metaphor describes someone or something by referring to someone or something else which is same in a specific way.|
|What is it?||A form of metaphor.||A form of figurative language.|
|Connectives||It uses connectives.||It does not uses connectives.|
Definition of Simile
In English, a simile refers to a phrase that describes something by making a comparison between items of a different category. These are used to indicate similarities between two different objects and also to exaggerate the quality of something.
Basically, simile is a type of metaphor that make use of words ‘like’ or ‘as’ or ‘than’ and sometimes verbs like ‘appears’ or ‘seems’ to show resemblance and compare things, to the reader and listener in a better way. Take a look at the examples below:
- Paul danced like Michael Jackson, at the party.
- She is as beautiful as Angelina Jolie.
It must be noted that simile is present only when the compared objects belong to different classes, however, when the objects are of same class, then there is no simile, As you can see in the example below:
- Kashmir is like Switzerland.
- The pastry is like a small piece of cake.
Definition of Metaphor
In literature, Metaphor refers to a figure of speech that characterizes a person or object by referring to someone or something possessing similar virtues with that person or object. It helps to describe the person or object in such a manner that is not exactly true but clarifies the idea, by stating one thing is something else.
A metaphor attempts to associate two objects, owing to comparison or symbolism and not because they are similar. Metaphors are a figurative statement whose literal expression is not meaningful, but they indicate something distinct from their regular definition. Let’s have a look at the examples below:
- Life is a battleground.
- Peter is a momma’s boy
- She is a couch potato.
Key Differences Between Simile and Metaphor
The difference between simile and metaphor can be drawn clearly on the following grounds:
- A simile is a figurative statement, wherein two, unlike objects, are compared, by means of words as and like. Conversely, a metaphor is a figure of speech which can be a word or phrase for one thing that points out another, to express that they are similar.
- A simile is a metaphor, but vice versa is not true, because, a simile is a type of metaphor. As against, a metaphor is a kind of non-literal language.
- In the case of simile, we make use of connectives such as ‘like’ and ‘as’ to indicate that the subject is similar to something. On the other hand, metaphors do not use the connectives as it indicates that the subject is something else.
- Similes contain a direct comparison of two things, metaphor impliedly compare two objects.
- Raman is as tall as a Giraffe.
- The man laughs like a donkey.
- He argues like a lawyer.
- My brother is Doremon.
- Amir is a live encyclopedia.
- She was the heroine of the movie.
How to remember the difference
Both metaphors and simile are mainly used in poetry and are used to understand the subject with the help of a compared person, object or action, but they are different. A simile is one that compares two unlike things directly. As against, a metaphor is nothing but a term considers something as another thing just to highlight the idea or context to the reader.
So, in a metaphor, the subject is said to be or considered as something else, whereas in a simile, the subject is like another.