Beowulf Figurative Language

The wind in the grasses…held its breath. Personification – It is giving the wind the human-like quality of being able to breathe and/or hold its breath.
The dragon roared with anger. Onomatopoeia – roar is a sound word
Unferth gnawed at his knuckles like an animal trying to rid itself of a wounded and unwanted limb. Simile – comparing Unferth to an animal
Her arms winding and unwinding about him like sinewy, swollen snakes. (Hint – It’s two different types!) Simile – comparing her arms to snakes andAlliteration – repetition of the “s” – sinewy, swollen snakes
He crept inside a narrow crack in the rock…Teeth tore at him as he wriggled along. Metaphor – comparing the cave walls to teeth without using the words like or as
Men said that Fitela would run away from him own shadow if Sigemund was not with him. Hyperbole – Fitela may have been scared without his uncle, but it’s an exaggeration to say he would run away from his own shadow.
The sun seemed to dance over the land of the Danes. Personification – giving the sun the human-like ability to dance
Then there was a hissing, gasping, panting sound outside the door… Onomatopoeia – hissing, gasping,etc. are sound words
His golden breastplate shone like a holy light in all that dark. Simile – comparing the reflection of the light off of Hrothgar’s breastplate to that of something holy
You sound like my toothache… Simile – Beowulf comparing the raven’s singing to his own toothache, meaning it was painful 🙂
…its golden roofs can be seen a day’s march away, brighter than the sun itself. Hyperbole – the roofs can be seen from far away because they are bright, but it is an exaggeration that they are brighter than the sun
The eagle was the king of the air. Metaphor – comparing the eagle to a king without using like or as
…the monster managed only the merest tiny little cough. Alliteration – repetition of the “m”
Light has you in its power. (Hint – It’s two different types!) Metaphor – Light holding Grendel is being used a metaphor for good overcoming evilPersonification – giving light the human-like ability to hold something
Rain poured from a surly sky. Personification – giving the sky the human-like ability to experience emotion

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