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Complex metaphor

 

Techniques > Use of language > Metaphor > Complex metaphor

Method | Example | Discussion | See also

 

Description

A complex metaphor happens where a simple metaphor is base on a secondary metaphoric element.

For example using a metaphor of 'light' for 'understanding' may be complexified by saying 'throwing light' rather than 'shining light'. 'Throwing' is thus an additional metaphor for how light arrives.

Example

That lends weight to the argument.

They stood alone, frozen statues on the plain.

The ball happily danced into the net.

Discussion

A metaphor makes people think more than ordinary words. Complexifying the metaphor with additional layers makes them think more and may make them more impressed with your linguistic abilities.

The trick is to keep them with you, as over-complexification can just lead to confusion (although sometimes this may be what you are intending to do).

See also

Confusion principle, Compound metaphor

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