metaphor metaphora
 met’-a-phor from meta “beyond, over” and pherein “to carry”
translation, figure of transport

A comparison made by referring to one thing as another.

No man is an island —John Donne

For ever since that time you went away
I've been a rabbit burrowed in the wood —Maurice Sceve

Life is a beach.

Who captains the ship of state?

Related Figures
  • simile
    Like a metaphor, a simile involves making a comparison (except it does so explicitly).
  • catachresis
  • allegory
    An allegory is an extended metaphor that goes through a whole narrative.
Related Topics of Invention
  • Comparison
    Since a metaphor is based on an implied comparison, it is most closely related to this topic of invention.
  • Similarity / Difference
    Since this topic of invention often takes the form of arguing by analogy, it is related to the figure metaphor since a metaphor is a kind of analogy.
See Also

  • Pathos
    Because metaphors are often concrete and sensory, they can affect the audience's emotions.
  Sources: Ad Herennium 4.34.45 ("translatio"); Quintilian 8.6.4-18; Susenbrotus (1540) 7 ("metaphor," "translatio"); Sherry (1550) 40 ("metaphora," "translatio," "translacion"); Fraunce (1588) 1.7; Putt. (1589) 189 ("metaphora," "figure of transsporte"); Day 1599 77 ("metaphora"); Hoskins 1599 8 ("metaphor," "translation"); Melanchthon (1531) a8r

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Gideon O. Burton, Brigham Young University
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