A useful intro to literary devices, Shaun. Maybe it's worth writing a second article, going into a little more depth? For example, metaphor is often used to create a simultaneous feeling of familiarity and peculiarity, as in "the curtain breathed in and out slowly in the summer breeze." Then there's metonymy, where a part is used to represent the whole, as in "the suits entered the room to present their offer." Similarly we have synechdoche, a specific class of metonymy and Shakespeare is a good source of examples of both, as per Henry IV, part II: "Heavy lies the head that wears the crown." Zeugma can be used creatively to link two concepts that normally are separate, thus creating an amusing identity, as with “Danny intended to plant the cactus in the ground with his Aunt Mary.”

Finally, for an old but still excellent guide to a wide variety of literary techniques, David Lodge's book Modes of Modern Writing is still the go-to reference and there’s something to learn on nearly every page.

Anyone who enjoys my articles here on Medium may be interested in my books Why Democracy Failed and The Praying Ape, both available from Amazon.

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