Metaphor (Greek metaphora – “transference’) is a trope that involves the use of words (word-combinations) in transferred meanings by way of similarity, re-semblance or analogy between them. Let us study the following metaphor: Front Settin in the Baltic to Trestie in the Adriatic, an iron curtain has descended across the continent. (Winston Churchill) Technically. The subject to which the metaphor is applied is the tenor ("political situation, resulting hi the division of the world into two antagonistic parts" in the example above), whereas the metaphorical term is the vehicle ("an iron curtain"). The third notional element of metaphor is the ground, i.e. the bas|is for drawing the comparison, the feature the tenor and the vehicle have in common. There are three types of metaphorical transfer possible: 1. the transfer of the name of one object to another: e.g. Life's but a walking shadow; a poor player... (Shakespeare) 2. the transfer of the mode of action: e.g. / hope this will hare cushioned your loss. Leaving Daniel to his fate, she was conscious ofjoy springing in her heart.(Bennett) 3. the transfer of the typical characteristics: e.g. The fog comes on little cat feet.(Sandburg) Let us consider the following examples of metaphor identifying the tenor, vehicle and ground for comparison as well as naming the type of metaphorical transfer:
1) She looked down on Gopher Prairie. The snow stretching without break from street to devouring prairie beyond, wiped out the town's pretence of being a shelter. The houses were black specks on a white sheet. (Lewis)
2) I was staring directly in front of me. at the back of the driver's neck, which was a relief map of boil scars. (Salinger)
 3) She was handsome in a rather leonine way. Where this girl was a lioness, the other was a panther - lithe and quick. (Christie)
 4) Wisdom has reference only to the past. The future remains for ever an infi¬nite field for mistakes. You can't know beforehand. (Lawrence)
 5) The man stood there in the middle of the street with the deserted dawnlit boulevard telescoping out behind him. (Howard)
6) He smelled the ever-beautiful smell of coffee imprisoned in the can. (Steinbeck)
7) We talked and talked and talked, easily, sympathetically, wedding her experience with my articulation. (John Barth)
8) She and the kids have filled his sister's house and their welcome is wearing thinner and thinner. (John Updike)
9) He had hoped that Sally would laugh at this, and she did. and in a sudden mutual gush they cashed into the silver of laughter all the sad secrets they could find in their pockets. (John Updike)
As far as structure is concerned, metaphor can be conveyed through any notional part of speech and in any pait of the sentence. Metaphors can be divided into genuine and trite (dead). 
Thus, metaphors, which are almost absolutely unexpected and unpredictable, are genuine ones, whereas those that are common in speech and therefore are sometimes even fixed in dictionaries as expressive means of language are trite ones. For instance, the metaphor 'an iron curtain ' used to be very striking and truly genuine at the time of Winston Churchill, but has lonle since become trite. Some once-genuine metaphors have become pan and parcel of modem language (especially of its colloquial layer). The classic example of a metaphor's turning into an idiom is 'a green-eyed monster'used by William Shakespeare in relation to Othello. Now it is applied to any jealous person. The sentences below contain trite metaphors, many of which are. In fact, frequently-used idioms. By its structure a metaphor can be simple (one-step) or sustained (prolonged, extended, a chain of metaphors). A simple metaphor consists of one word or word-group whereas a prolonged one is sustained by some additional images.
For example, let us consider the afore-mentioned verse from Macbeth where, in fact, we deal with two extended metaphors: Life's but a walking shadow; a poor player That struts and frets his hour upon the stage, And then is heard no more: it is a tale Told by an idiot, full of sound and fury, Signifying nothing... 
A sustained metaphor may consist of trite metaphors (idioms) expressing or implying a certain logical development of ideas, and yet the objects mentioned in each of them pertain to different semantic spheres, due to which the links of the chain seem disconnected with one another. The general impression is incongruous, clumsy and comical. This phenomenon - a harsh metaphor involving the use of a word beyond its strict sphere or incongruence of the parts of a sustained metaphor - is called cata-chresis (ox mixed metaphors). e.g. I listen vainly, but with thirsty ear (Mac Arthur. Farewell Address) So much attention has been paid to metaphor as its importance in rhetoric can hardly be overestimated. Not only it is one of the most frequently used stylistic devices, it also plays essential role in building many other tropes that rename objects on the basis of similarity. The following presents other stylistic lexical devices that belong to the so-called metaphorical group: Personification; Allusion; Allegory; Simile; Antonomasia.

No comments:

Post a Comment