JC Figurative Language

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Examples of figurative language in Shakespeare's Julius Caesar.

Simile

CAESAR:
If I could be moved by this, were I like you.
If I could beg others, begging would move me.
But I am as constant as the Northern Star.

Simile

CASSIUS:
Why, man, he does bestride the narrow world
Like a Colossus, and we petty men
Walk under his huge legs, and peep about

Pun

CASSIUS:
Listen to me Brutus. Since you know
You cannot see yourself but by reflection,
I will be your mirror. I am no false friend.

Foreshadow

CINNA:
I dreamed tonight that I did feast with Caesar.
What evil can this mean?

Foreshadow

CASCA:
When wonders such as these come all at once,
Men cannot speak of them as natural things.
I do believe they carry signs and warnings.

Foreshadow

CASCA:
But never til tonight, never till now,
Did I go through a fire-dropping storm.
Either there is a civil war in heaven,
Or else the world, insulting to the gods,
Angers them so that they send destruction.

Hyperbole

ANTONY:
...But if I were Brutus
And Brutus Antony, then there would be an
Antony
Who'd stir your anger, He would put a tongue
In every wound of Caesar that would move
The very stones of Rome to rise in rage!

Hyperbole

ANTONY:
For when the noble Caesar saw him stab
Ingratitude, stronger than a traitor's arms
Did conquer him. Then burst his mighty heart.

Hyperbole

ANTONY:
Then you and I and all of us fell down,
While bloody treason rose up over us.

Personification

CAESAR:
No, Caesar shall not. Danger knows full well
That Caesar is more dangerous than he.

Personification

CALPURNIA: Oh, my lord,
Your confidence eats up your wisdom.

Personification

ANTONY:
Through this hole his best friend Brutus stabbed.
And, as he pulled his cursed steel away,
See how the blood of Caesar followed it,
As if it rushed outside to see for sure
If Brutus so unkindly knocked or not.

Idiom

CASCA: ...those that understood him smiled at one
Another and shook their heads, but it was Greek to
Me...

Idiom

ANTONY: I'm not here, friends, to steal away your hearts.

Metaphor

MARULLUS: You blocks, you stones, you worse than senseless
Things!

Metaphor

CASSIUS:
And why should Caesar be a tyrant, then?
I know he only makes himself a wolf
Because he knows the Romans to be sheep.

Metaphor

CASSIUS:
Those who would quickly build a mighty fire
Begin it with weak straws. What trash is Rome,
What garbage, when it lets itself be fuel
To light up so vile a thing as Caesar?

Metaphor

CAESAR:
No, Caesar shall not. Danger knows full well
That Caesar is more dangerous than he.
We are two lions littered in one day,
And I the elder and more terrible.

Metaphor

ANTONY:
I tell you that which you yourselves do know.
I must ask these wounds, poor, poor dumb mouths,
To speak for me.

Metaphor

ANTONY:
Oh, pardon me, you bleeding piece of earth,
That I am meek and gentle with these butchers.

Flashback

CASSIUS:
Once, on a cold and windy day,
He challenged me to swim across the river Tiber.
Dressed as I was, I jumped right in,
And then he followed. The raging river roared.

Flashback

A scene that interrupts the normal sequence of events in a story to depict what happened earlier in time.

Foreshadow

The use of hints and clues to suggest what will happen later in a plot.

Hyperbole

An overstatement or exaggerated language that distorts facts by making them much bigger than they are if looked at objectively

Idiom

An expression of two or more words that means something other than the literal meanings of its individual words.

Personification

Giving living or human characteristics to non-sentient objects

Pun

A play on the multiple meanings of a word or on two words that sound alike but have different meanings."

Simile

A comparison between two seemingly unlike things using the words 'like' or 'as'.

Metaphor

A figure of speech that makes a comparison between two seemingly unlike things.

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