Hyperbole is a figure of speech that elicits a strong emotional response by making an exaggerated or extravagant statement. It is not implied to be taken literally as a figure of speech. Humour frequently employs hyperbole.
Figures of speech enhance the expressiveness and creativity of communication. These have always been an important part of the English language, and more are being added today. Let’s look at the various types of figures of speech and their meanings.
Hyperbole Figure of Speech
Hyperbole is a rhetorical and literary technique in which an author or speaker purposefully overstates and exaggerates for emphasis and effect. It comes from the Greek word ‘huperbole,’ which means “to throw above.” It’s also known as ‘auxesis’ in rhetoric, which comes from the Greek word for “growth.”
It is a common literary device, but it can also be found in everyday storytelling and speech patterns.
Hyperbole Meaning and Definition
Exaggeration is used as a rhetorical device or figure of speech in hyperbole. It’s meant to elicit strong emotions or make a strong impression, but it’s not meant to be taken literally. Exaggerations for emphasis or effect are known as hyperboles.
It is frequently used to emphasise or create an effect. It serves as an intensifier in everyday speech: To say “the bag weighed a tonne” simply means “the bag was very heavy.” The rhetorical device can be used to achieve serious, ironic, or humorous effects.
Understanding this figure of speech and how it’s used in context can help you better understand what the speaker is saying. It is used to convey feelings or emotions from the speaker or those he or she is speaking about. It can convey humour, excitement, distress, and a variety of other emotions, depending on the context in which it is used.
In Popular Culture
In everyday life, this figure of speech is one of the most widely recognised and used forms of figurative language. It’s widely used in both advertising and entertainment.
Hyperbole is used by advertisers to exaggerate the benefits of products in order to increase sales. In public relations, repetitive hyperbole is used to boost a person’s or a product’s popularity. It’s also used in hype, which has damaged its image.
The word literally is one of the most commonly used hyperboles in English. When people began to use literally to mean figuratively, it became a contentious issue (the exact opposite)”To acknowledge that something is not literally true but is used for emphasis or to express strong feeling,” according to many dictionaries.
As a result, one of the most common ways to exaggerate and hyperbolize a statement is to use the word literally.
For centuries, it has been used in literature. Heroic dramas, which focus on grandeur and excess, frequently employ hyperbole to heighten the impact and epic nature of the genre. It is also used in modern tall tales to exaggerate the protagonists’ feats and characteristics.
Hyperbole Figure of Speech- Examples
#He’s outrunning even the wind.
#This bag is extremely heavy.
#That man is the height of a house.
#This has been the most difficult day of my life.
#I spent a million dollars on shopping.
#When my father gets home, he’ll kill me.
#Your skin is silky smooth.
#She has the shape of a toothpick.
#Her smile was a mile wide because she was so happy.
#The footballer is unquestionably the greatest player of all time.
#I’m hungry enough to eat a horse.
#This puzzle is impossible to finish.
#The following Friday will never come.
#This is the hundredth time I’ve read this book.
#My hand is in such excruciating pain that it is about to fall off.
#My brother is a force to be reckoned with.
#She is my personal guardian angel.
#The size of your brain is about the same as a pea.
#I’m in tears because I’m so depressed.
#In the breeze, the leaves are swaying.
Examples of Hyperbole in Literature and Poetry
This figure of speech is frequently used in poems and books to emphasise a particular aspect of the story and elicit a response from the reader. It can aid the writer in conveying their message so that you understand the situation’s emotion, seriousness, or humour.
For example, in Shakespeare’s Macbeth he writes:
“Will all great Neptune’s ocean wash this blood
Clean from my hand? No.”
In this case, Macbeth is exaggerating when he says that not even an entire ocean could clean his hands. Macbeth is exaggerating the situation with hyperbole.
In her book ‘To Kill a Mockingbird’, the author Harper Lee writes:
“A day was twenty-four hours long but seemed longer. There was no hurry, for there was nowhere to go, nothing to buy and no money to buy it with, nothing to see outside the boundaries of Maycomb County.”
The author is using figure of speech in this example to emphasise how slow and boring the town is. The hyperbolic phrases in this sentence help the reader understand the situation because the sentence would be less emotive without them. Try rewriting Harper Lee’s sentence above without the hyperbole and see what you come up with!
The following poem, titled “Rain,” by Shel Silverstein, contains some excellent examples of hyperbole. Are you able to recognise them?
I opened my eyes
And looked up at the rain,
And it dripped in my head
And flowed into my brain,
And all that I hear as I lie in my bed
Is the slishity-slosh of the rain in my head.
I step very softly,
I walk very slow,
I can’t do a handstand–
I might overflow,
So pardon the wild crazy thing I just said–
I’m just not the same since there’s rain in my head.
Hopefully, this article has clarified the hyperbole concept for you. When you have a good understanding of the concept and can identify which figures of speech are called what, try marking them out whenever you come across them.
Continue to read books and novels, and keep an eye on this page for more information that will undoubtedly assist you in improving your English.
You can also comment on this article and tell us where and how you have used hyperbole and where you use the most in your everyday conversations. Simply leave a comment in the box below to share with us.