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Adjective metaphors

 

Techniques > Use of languageMetaphor > Adjective metaphors

Method | Example | Discussion | See also

 

Description

Adjectives describe nouns and in metaphors often provide additional enhancements to the metaphor.

When the noun is a metaphor then the adjective is also very likely to be in the same sense as the metaphor. It is also possible to use the adjective in contrast to the metaphor, perhaps in linking back to the original subject.

Adjectives can also contain the metaphor for a normal noun, describing it in a way that adds interest.

Example

He was a wilting flower in her presence.

He was a rather frightened flower in her presence.

She was on the final railway tracks of life, approaching the judgment of the terminal station.

He was in a state of high terror at the rough justice being meted out.

Discussion

Adjectives provide additional strength to the metaphor, taking its comparison and extending it. They thus can be used to help make the metaphor more explicit, highlighting its presence and emphasizing its meaning.

Adjectives as metaphors can lead to a more compact form, for example where 'death which is blind' is translated into 'blind death' (the verb 'blind' becomes an adjective in the metaphor).

Adjectival metaphors also allow combinations that create a new or mixed sense, such as 'the black chimes of night'.

See also

Enhancing with adjectives, Quantifying with adjectives

 

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