Have you ever stopped to think that, most of the time, we use some type of figurative speech? Yes, we are always comparing two different aspects or situations, over-exaggerating how bad we were on a test, or how clever you are as an eagle. Sometimes we use or hear poetic devices without even noticing. Poetic devices are all around us, at all times. Either if we’re talking to a friend, writing a paper for English class, or chilling on a Sunday morning while watching your favorite TV show, you can never quite steer clear of them. In fact, we can even spot figurative language in something pretty much we all enjoy: music! If we think about the music we hear everyday and the movies we’re constantly replaying on Netflix we can find many examples! Let’s check them out:
POETIC DEVICES IN SONGS:
Diamonds, by Rihanna
Did you notice that when Rihanna says:
“We're like diamonds in the sky
You're a shooting star I see” ♫
She is talking about a simile in the first line, and a metaphor in the second line!
A simile is when you compare two things/situations using “like or as”. Rihanna wasn’t literally saying that she and her partner were made of carbon atoms, she was saying that her relationship with the person was delightful, marvelous!
A metaphor is very similar to a simile, it is a comparison between two things/situations, but the difference is that a metaphor doesn’t use “like” or “as”. Rihanna doesn’t mean that the person is actually a “shooting star” in the sky… she is saying that the person is one of a kind or maybe a good fortune to her.
“Shine bright like a diamond
Shine bright like a diamond
Shine bright like a diamond”♫
This is repetition!
Repetition is when you repeat the phrase various times. In this song, Rihanna repeats the phrase: “Shine bright like a diamond”.
Million reasons, by Lady Gaga
“You're giving me a million reasons to let you go
You're giving me a million reasons to quit the show
You're giving me a million reasons” ♫
This is a repetition with a hyperbole at the same time!
A hyperbole is when we use exaggeration, overstatement in a phrase. We doubt it if the person gave one million reasons to her partner, perhaps she gave two or three reasons, but one million is way too much...
“I try to make the worst seem better” ♫
Contradictory, isn’t it? That is an example of an oxymoron!
An oxymoron is the use of two different words that contradict each other.
A thousand years, by Christina Perri
If this title seems familiar, it is because it is from Twilight (Breaking Dawn Part 2)!
“I have died every day waiting for you”♫
Christina wasn't actually “dying”... it is just a metaphor and also a hyperbole, she exaggerated a little bit when she said she was dying. She was probably feeling very sad, very bad, but she would never really die for someone.
“I have loved you for a thousand years
I'll love you for a thousand more” ♫
“A thousand years” is such a long time, she won’t probably be around. She used a hyperbole!
Rolling in the Deep, by Adele
“There's a fire starting in my heart
Reaching a fever pitch and it's bringing me out the dark” ♫
Adele used a metaphor on this part.
Adele does not mean that there is actually “a fire starting in her heart”, and she would have to dial 911 to call the firefighters. It means she is probably feeling various emotions at the same time...
Roar, by Katy Perry
“You’re gonna hear me roooaarrrrr
Oh oh oh oh oh oh oh” ♫
Katy Perry used an onomatopoeia!
An onomatopoeia is a word that imitates a certain sound! It can be a cat’s meow, the noise of a creaking door…
Good 4 u, by Olivia Rodrigo
“Remember when you said that you wanted to give me the world?”
It is impossible to give the “world” to someone. It is a metaphor.
One more example of a simile:
“But your apathy is like a wound in salt”
As we can notice, Olivia is using the word “like” to compare that the person’s apathy is like a wound in salt, therefore, this is a simile.
There are countless pieces of music that use poetic devices. You learned some examples, and how meaningful they are to a phrase, making the reader more interested and curious about what the writer is saying, the message that is being so successfully conveyed.
POETIC DEVICES IN MOVIES:
“I am malicious mean and scary”
Do you remember when Rapunzel and Flynn Rider went to that weird restaurant “Snuggly Duckling”? The scary waiters discovered that Flynn was a fugitive and almost killed him, but when Rapunzel asked if they had a dream… They start singing a song!
One of the men said “I am malicious mean”
When we repeat two consonant sounds in two words or more, it is considered alliteration!
“... by behaving like a babbling, bumbling band of baboons!”
Yes, it is an alliteration, and a simile! Minerva is comparing their students' behavior like babbling, bumbling band of baboons, and repeating the consonant sound “B”.
Charlie and the Chocolate Factory
When Grandpa Joe saw the golden ticket inside the chocolate bar, he got out of bed and said:
This is an onomatopoeia. Grandpa Joe is celebrating his grandson being the lucky winner of Willy Wonka’s golden ticket!
When Elsa was in her crystal’s castle fighting with the royal guards, Hans said:
“Queen Elsa?! Don’t be the monster they fear you are!
This is an example of a metaphor. The character is comparing Elsa with a monster. Elsa was anything but a monster, if such ever exists...
When Shrek was walking through a daisy plantation with Donkey he said:
“Ogres are like onions”
Shrek is comparing two things using “like”, therefore it is a simile.
It is surprisingly funny how poetic devices make part of our days! Movies, songs, conversations, lessons, they all use similes, metaphors, assonances and much more. We can always find them everywhere. It is important to know their meaning and enjoy the beauty and richness of the English language!