Hyperbole is a literary device that involves using exaggerated statements or claims to emphasize a point or create a dramatic effect. It is an intentional exaggeration that is not meant to be taken literally, but rather used to make a point or create a vivid image in the reader’s mind. Hyperbole can be used to express strong emotions, create humor, or to emphasize a particular point in a text.
Examples of hyperbole:
In “The Odyssey” by Homer, the protagonist Odysseus is described as having “a heart as hard as iron.” This hyperbole emphasizes the character’s resilience and toughness.
In “The Great Gatsby” by F. Scott Fitzgerald, the narrator Nick Carraway describes the mansion of the title character as having “a tower on one side, spanking new under a thin beard of raw ivy.” This hyperbole creates an image of opulence and grandeur.
In “A Tale of Two Cities” by Charles Dickens, the character Madame Defarge is described as having “a countenance as fierce as a tiger.” This hyperbole emphasizes the character’s brutality and intensity.
In “The Raven” by Edgar Allan Poe, the narrator describes the tapping on his chamber door as “a rapping and a tapping like someone gently rapping.” This hyperbole creates an eerie and unsettling mood.