Simile or Comparison

What is simile or comparison

The simile, also called comparison, is a rhetorical figure that consists of establishing a relationship of resemblance or comparison between two images, ideas, feelings, things, etc. The word, as such, comes from the Latin similis.

A fundamental characteristic of the simile as a literary figure (and that differentiates it from the metaphor), is that the simile is introduced by a relational elementthat is, a word that establishes an explicit relationship between two elements, such as: like, which, that, resembles, similar to, similar to, similar to, etc.

In this way, the simile allows different elements to be connected in a simple and effective way to offer a new way of seeing or understanding a certain thing, since it operates by transferring the characteristics or traits, symbolic or evident, of one thing to another.

For example:

  • “I was looking What the pure dawn;/ smiled What a flower”. Ruben Dario.
  • “Oh, sound loneliness! My serene heart / opens, What a treasure, to the breath of your breeze”. Juan Ramon Jimenez.

Literature and, above all, poetry, constantly use similes to relate ideas, objects, emotions, etc., in order to endow the image with greater liveliness and strength. However, its use is not limited to the literary field, since in popular language people constantly use similes spontaneously:

For example:

  • She was so tired that when she lay down she fell What stone in well
  • I feel strong What an oak
  • This is a young country What the morning.
  • Your father has always been stubborn What a mule.
  • I met a blonde girl What Sun.
You may be interested:  Letter N

See also:

  • simile examples.
  • Literary figures.

Difference Between Simile and Metaphor

Both the simile and the metaphor express relationships of proximity or similarity between elements, images, ideas, feelings or things. However, they differ in several things. On the one hand, the simile establishes connections that are more notorious or evident between the elements or images that it compares, while in the metaphor this relationship is more subtle.

On the other hand, the simile has explicit relational elements (like, which, what, etc.), which the metaphor does not have. For example: the metaphor says: “The sighs escape from her strawberry mouth”. While the simile would postulate: “The sighs escape from his mouth red as the strawberry”. Example taken from “Sonatina” by Rubén Darío.

See also Metaphor.