Live and Dead Metaphors - Summary of Styles | English

Chapter Three

Live and Dead Metaphors

Live and Dead Metaphors - Summary of Styles:

Metaphor is a figure of speech which is used to compare two different things directly without using as, like, as….as etc. The word metaphor is derived from the Greek word ‘Metaphora’ which means transfer or carry across. Metaphors carry meaning from one word, imagine/idea to another. It is an expression of the unfamiliar (the tenor) in terms of familiar (vehicle). ‘Love is a rose’. In this statement, rose is the vehicle and love the tenor.

Live Metaphors:

A live metaphor is a comparison between two unlike things not using like or as. For example: She is an early bird, in which the girl is being compared with a bird. Indirectly the quality of the bird is being given to the girl. The next example is: Her home was a prison, in which the characteristics of prison are trying to assimilate or compare with the environment of the house.

Dead Metaphors:

A dead metaphor is one that has lost the force and meanings through overuse. When a metaphor loses its poetic meaning, it is called dead metaphor.

The difference between live and dead metaphor is that dead metaphor is just an ordinary part of our literal vocabulary and quite properly not resembled as the metaphor at all. Dead metaphor can easily be understood without knowing their earlier connotation. It is difficult to distinguish live metaphor from dead because the language is dynamic. Metaphors, however striking, have a way of being repeated and so of less unexpected. For example: People say all the time ‘falling in love’ but once it was used as a metaphor because being in love is like the process of falling, means risky sometimes results injury. Another example of dead metaphor is ‘the light of my life’ which is used to refer someone who gives happiness and joy to the speaker. A phase of a clock, to make ahead to look backward is other example of dead metaphor.

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