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Metaphor Worksheet

Learning about Metaphors


Similes and metaphors are very common in both everyday speech and works of fiction and nonfiction. Both similes and metaphors are similar in that they both involve comparing unlike items. However, the difference between similes and metaphors is that while similes use words such as "like" and "as," metaphors do not use such words.

Examples of similes and metaphors: Simile: "O, my luve's like a red, red rose, That's newly sprung in June. O, my Luve's like the melodie, That's sweetly play'd in tune." (Robert Burns)
Metaphor: "All the world's a stage, And all the men and women merely players: They have their exits and their entrances; And one man in his time plays many parts,..." (William Shakespeare)

Instructions: The following worksheet focuses on metaphors. Read each question carefully and answer each one completely.

______ 1. Which of the following metaphors best completes this sentence?

She is so messy, her room is a:
A. trampoline.
B. pigsty.
C. kitchen sink.
D. pink chair.

______ 2. Which of the following metaphors best completes this sentence?

His anger is a
A. moonlit night.
B. rose bush.
C. raging tide.
D. sleeping dog.

3. Write a sentence that identifies the two items being compared and tells how they are alike.

Our love of basketball is the glue that holds us together.


4. Choose which of the following two metaphors you agree with and write a paragraph defending your answer:

A. America is a melting pot.
B. America is a salad bowl.


5. Read the following excerpt and answer the question that follows:

O Captain! my Captain! our fearful trip is done;
The ship has weathered every rack, the prize we sought is won;
The port is near, the bells I hear, the people all exulting,
While follow eyes the steady keel, the vessel grim and daring:
But O heart! heart! heart!
O the bleeding drops of red,
Where on the deck my Captain lies,
Fallen cold and dead.

Excerpt from O Captain! My Captain! by Walt Whitman

Knowing that Whitman's poem was written about the assassination of Abraham Lincoln at the end of the Civil War, what do you think "the ship" is that is referred to in the second line?


6. Read the following excerpt and answer the question that follows:

"A man may break a word with you, sir, and words are but wind."
William Shakespeare, The Comedy of Errors

Why in this line from "The Comedy of Errors" does Shakespeare say that words are wind?


7. Do not go gentle into that good night,
Old age should burn and rage at close of day;
Rage, rage against the dying of the light.

Though wise men at their end know dark is right,
Because their words had forked no lightning they
Do not go gentle into that good night.

Excerpt from "Do Not Go Gentle Into That Good Night" by Dylan Thomas

What is the "good night" that Dylan Thomas speaks of in this excerpt from his poem?


8. Referring to the poem "Do Not GO Gentle Into That Good Night" by Dylan Thomas from question 7, explain in a sentence what Thomas means by not going "gentle" into that good night.


9. Write your own metaphor by completing the following sentence. Explain in a sentence your reasoning for the metaphor.

Happiness is ________________.


10. A metaphor poem is a poem that serves as a metaphor it its entirety. For example, Sonnet 18 by William Shakespeare is a metaphor where Shakespeare compares his love to a summer's day. For your last question, write a metaphor poem of at least ten lines on one of the following topics: summer, love, books, baseball.

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