Hyperbole, derived from a Greek word that means "oversizing", is a rhetorical figure that implies an exaggeration of ideas for the sake of emphasis.
It is a device that we use in our everyday speech. For example, when you meet a friend after a long time, you say, "It has been years since I last saw you." You may not have seen it in three or four hours, or in a day, but the use of the word "ages" exaggerates this statement to add emphasis to your wait. Therefore, a hyperbole is an unreal exaggeration to emphasize the real situation. Here are other common examples of hyperbole.
Common examples of hyperbole
My grandmother is as old as the hills.
Your suitcase weighs a ton!
She's as heavy as an elephant!
I'm dying of shame.
I'm trying to solve a million problems these days
It is important not to confuse hyperbole with simile and metaphor. It does make a comparison, like the simile and the metaphor. Rather, the hyperbole has a humorous effect created by exaggeration. Let's look at some examples from classical English literature where hyperbole was used successfully.
Brief examples of hyperbole
A ton of worry was released from the beggar's back when he received the alms.
Saw a man as tall as a power poll.
He saw his childhood friend after the ages. The weather was so hot that literally everything was on fire.
The boy was dying to get a new school bag.
The teacher told his students not to repeat that mistake for the umpteenth time, but to no avail.
he was in such a hurry that he was driving his car at a million miles per hour.
The minister told the guests that the couple's friendship was deeper than the sea, and sweeter than honey.
The blacksmith's hand was harder than stone.
His director was omnipresent, as he seemed to be around the clock. time around school
The businessman was so busy that he was taking a million calls simultaneously.
The old man was older than the Himalayas.
The mule is capable of lifting tons of weight uphill.
His companions laughed at him, saying he had a brain the size of a pea.
John was called the elephant of the class for his clumsiness .
Hyperbole Examples in Literature
Example # 1: Babe the Blue Ox (American Folklore)
In American folklore, the stories of Paul Bunyan are full of hyperbole. In one case, he exaggerates the winter by saying:
“Well one winter it was so cold that All the geese flew backwards and all the fish moved south and even the snow turned blue. Late at night, it became so icy that all spoken words froze before they could be heard. People had to wait until dawn to find out which people were talking about the night before ”.
Freezing spoken words at night in winter and then heating them in the hot sun during the day are examples of hyperbole, which has been used effectively in this short excerpt from an American folk tale.
Example # 2: Macbeth (By William Shakespeare)
From William Shakespeare's Macbeth, Act II, Scene II:
“Neptune's ocean washes this blood
Cleanse from my hand? No, this my hand will prefer
The multitudinous seas incarnate,
Making red to green. "
Macbeth, the tragic hero, feels the unbearable prick of his conscience after killing the king. He repents of his sin and believes that even the oceans of the greatest magnitude cannot wash the king's blood from his hands. . We can see the effective use of hyperbole in the given lines.
Example # 3: While walking one night (by W. Auden)
“I will love you, dear, I will love you
Until China and Africa meet,
And the river jumps over the mountain
And the salmon sings in the street,
I will love you until the ocean
Bends and hangs to dry ”.
The use of hyperbole can be seen in the previous lines at the meeting of China and Africa, the river on the mountain, the song of the salmon in the street and the ocean being folded and hung to dry are exaggerations, not possible in real life.
Example # 4: The Adventures of Pinocchio (by C. Colloid)
“He cried all night, and dawn found him still there, though his tears had dried and only a few hard, dry sobs shook his wooden structure. But these were so loud that they could be heard from the distant hills ... ”
Her tears dried up is an example of hyperbole.
Example # 5: The Heart of Darkne ss (By Joseph Conrad)
“ I had to wait at the station for ten days, an eternity ”.
The act of waiting ten days seemed to last forever and never end.
Example # 6: Two sunflowers move in the yellow room (By William Blake)
“Ah, William, we are tired of the weather,”
, the sunflowers said, glistening with dew.
“Our travel habits have tired us .
A room with a view? "
They settled in the window
And they counted the steps of the sun,
And they both took root in the carpet
Where topaz turtles run.
This is a poem by William Blake in which he uses an exaggerated personification of sunflowers, which is similar to a hyperbole.
# 7: A Red, Red Rose (By Robert Burns)
“You are so beautiful, my bonnie girl,
So deeply in love am I;
And I will love you still, my dear,
Until 'the seas run dry
Until the seas run dry, my dear,
And the rocks melt with the sun:
O I will still love you, dear,
As long as the sands of life run.'
gives many examples of hyperbole in this piece. The poet says that he would love his beloved until the seas run dry and the rocks melt.
Function of hyperbole
The above arguments clarify the use of hyperbole. In our daily conversation we use hyperbole to create a funny effect or to emphasize our meaning, however, in literature it has very serious implications, by using hyperbole, a writer or a poet makes ordinary human feelings noticeable and intense until such a point. In literature, the use of hyperbole develops contrasts. When one thing is described with an exaggeration and the other is presented normally, a striking contrast develops. This technique is used to capture the attention of the reader. .
Popular Literary Devices
- Ad Hominem
- Deus Ex Machina
- Double Entendre
- Flash Forward
- Half Rhyme
- Internal Rhyme
- Line Break
- Non Sequitur
- Pathetic Fallacy
- Poetic Justice
- Point of View
- Red Herring
- Tragic Flaw