(also called ‘conceit’)

Extended and imaginative metaphors

As with similes, skilled speakers and writers can produce long and interesting metaphors.

Examples of extended metaphors

– Truth is a hurricane, and no matter how strong we build our shelters it shall always break them down and leave us exposed.
(comparing the truth to an unstoppable hurricane)

– I graduated from the University of Life, and have a degree from The School of Hard Knocks. My mentor was Professor Knuckle Sandwich, and my textbook ‘How to Take a Beating’ by I.L.Breakyourface
(comparing growing up to a fight)

– ‘All the world’s a stage
And men and women merely players;
They have their exits and their entrances,
And one man in his time plays many parts
His acts being seven ages’
(from William Shakespeare’s ‘As You Like It’)
(comparing life to a play at the theatre)

Examples of imaginative metaphors

– America is an enormous frosted cupcake in the middle of millions of starving people (George Jean Nathan)

– The world is a book, and those who do not travel read only one page (St. Augustine)

– Medicine is my lawful wife and literature my mistress; when I tire of one I spend the night with the other (Anton Chekhov)

– Happiness is a butterfly which, when pursued, is always beyond our grasp; but if you sit down quietly, may alight upon you (Nathaniel Hawthorne)

– Life is a dream for the wise, a game for the fool, a comedy for the rich, a tragedy for the poor (Sholom Aleic Hem)

– Life is a journey. But don’t worry, you’ll get a parking spot at the end (Isaac Asimov)


Try to think of extended or imaginative metaphors for:
a) marriage
b) homework
c) being born
d) work