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The World on a Stage

100 Famous Metaphors You Should Know and Remember

The World on a Stage

Metaphors have a way of holding the most truth in the least space. Orson Scott Card

Welcome to the wonderful world of metaphors! If you want to write like a pro, then learning how to use metaphors is an essential skill. Writing with metaphors can make your writing more vivid, more powerful, and more interesting – and that’s nothing to laugh at!

But let’s be honest, metaphors can also be incredibly fun to play around with! Metaphors are like little puzzles that can be used to express a concept in a fresh and exciting way. They can also be used to make powerful statements that cut right to the heart of the matter. So if you want to be a master of the written word, then you’d better get ready to start crafting some metaphors!

To help you get started, this article lists 100 famous examples of metaphors from around the world and throughout time. To begin though, let’s take a quick look at just what a metaphor is.

What is a metaphor?

A metaphor is like a magical cake – it looks like one thing, but it’s actually something else entirely! Metaphors are a fun way to express ideas and emotions by comparing two seemingly unrelated things. They help us to see the world in a new light and find deeper meaning in the things around us.

A metaphor is a figure of speech that compares two things to give the reader a vivid image in their mind. For instance, someone might compare a person to a flower, saying they were “as gentle as a rose”. This metaphor conveys the idea that the person is gentle, without having to explicitly say it.

Metaphors can also be used to make abstract concepts easier to understand. For example, someone might say that “time is a thief” to describe how quickly it passes by. By comparing time to a thief, it helps the reader to understand how fleeting and precious it is.

It’s important to remember that metaphors as rhetorical devices are never to be taken literally. Think of Drax the Destroyer
(Dave Bautista) in the Guardians of the Galaxy movies. When his co-pilots make fun of him, one mentions how every joke or comment goes over his head.

His response: “Nothing goes over my head! My reflexes are too fast, I would catch it.”

Drax the Destroyer took everything literally. He wasn’t very good at metaphors, to say the least. So, next time you’re feeling stuck, try using a metaphor to help express your ideas!

How does a metaphor differ from a simile?

A metaphor is a figure of speech that makes a comparison between two different things without using words such as “like” or “as.” For example, “Her eyes were the stars in the night sky.” This metaphor means her eyes were very bright and beautiful, like stars in the night sky.

A simile is a figure of speech that makes a comparison between two different things using words such as “like” or “as.” For example, “Her eyes were like stars in the night sky.” This simile means her eyes were very bright and beautiful, just like stars in the night sky.

The main difference is the use of “like” or “as” in similes and not using them in metaphors. That tends to make writing metaphors from scratch a bit more difficult, but, some of the most famous lines ever written were in this exact format! Luckily, the following huge list of metaphor examples will surely get your creative juices flowing.

Giant List of 100 Metaphor Examples

Every great writer, speaker, and podcaster knows how to use amazing metaphors in their dialogue. It’s what makes the reader or listener truly tune into the message at hand, and more importantly, remember what was said. Adding emotion and vivid imagery to your writing simply helps improve the impact of your writing on the audience.

1. “Life is a journey, not a destination” – Ralph Waldo Emerson
2. “Time is a dressmaker specializing in alterations” – Faith Baldwin
3. “His words were like a curtain of silk” – Virginia Woolf
4. “Life is a tapestry; we are the threads” – Jessica Guinn
5. “The world is a stage” – William Shakespeare
6. “The future is a blank canvas” – Thomas Edison
7. “The night was as dark as a wolf’s fur” – Maya Angelou
8. “He was a fortress of strength” – Ernest Hemingway
9. “Heaven is a place on earth” – Belinda Carlisle
10. “He was like a maelstrom of energy” – Stephen King
11. “My heart was an open book” – John Green
12. “The wind was a lion roaring its song” – Sylvia Plath
13. “Love is a rose that blooms in the heart” – J.K. Rowling
14. “Life is a wheel of fortune” – John Dryden
15. “The path of love is a winding road” – Robert Frost
16. “The sunset was a blazing inferno” – Edgar Allan Poe
17. “Her voice was like a gentle waterfall” – William Wordsworth
18. “The sea is a mirror reflecting the sky” – Emily Dickinson
19. “The moon was a ghostly galleon” – Samuel Taylor Coleridge
20. “Ideas are the seeds of the future” – Mahatma Gandhi

21. “Life’s but a walking shadow” – William Shakespeare
22. “The snow was a white blanket” – Washington Irving
23. “The night was a black velvet curtain” – Stephen King
24. “Life is a preparation for the future” – Ralph Waldo Emerson
25. “The clouds were like cotton candy” – Sylvia Plath
26. “The autumn leaves were a bright collage of colors” – Robert Frost
27. “Hope is a flame that never dies” – George Eliot
28. “The truth is a bright beacon” – William Wordsworth
29. “Grief is a heavy load to bear” – J.R.R. Tolkien
30. “Love is an ocean of emotions” – Rabindranath Tagore
31. “Death is a part of life” – Ernest Hemingway
32. “The stars are like diamonds in the night sky” – Maya Angelou
33. “My heart was a raging storm” – Emily Bronte
34. “Knowledge is a flickering candle” – Charles Dickens
35. “The night was a deep dark abyss” – Nathaniel Hawthorne
36. “The moon was a silver sliver” – Edgar Allan Poe
37. “Youth is a fleeting thing” – Homer
38. “Faith is a bridge over troubled waters” – Bob Dylan
39. “Politics is a battleground” – Winston Churchill
40. “The garden was a verdant paradise” – Anne Rice
41. “Science is a candle in the darkness” – Carl Sagan
42. “The sky was a tapestry of stars” – J.K. Rowling
43. “The summer breeze was like a whisper” – John Steinbeck
44. “Knowledge is a shield against danger” – Agatha Christie
45. “God is a sovereign ruler” – C.S. Lewis
46. “Music is a magical language” – Mozart
47. “Money is the root of all evil” -The Bible
48. “Life is a roller coaster ride” – E.L. Doctorow
49. “The sun was a golden god” – Homer
50. “Love is like a river, always changing” – Maya Angelou
51. “Life is a precious gift” – Anne Frank
52. “Friendship is a bond that cannot be broken” – William Shakespeare
53. “Life is a puzzle with many pieces” – Walt Disney
54. “The wind was a haunting lullaby” – Stephenie Meyer
55. “A dream is a wish your heart makes” – Cinderella
56. “Life is a box of chocolates” – Forrest Gump
57. “Words are like a river of thoughts” – Mark Twain
58. “The clouds were like a blanket of white” – Charles Bukowski
59. “Life is a game of chess” – Henry Wadsworth Longfellow
60. “The future is an unpredictable road” – Robert Frost
61. “The night was like a black velvet curtain” – Sylvia Plath
62. “The stars were like sparkling gems in the night sky” – Johannes Brahms
63. “The waves were a lullaby of the sea” – Ernest Hemingway
64. “The sun was a blazing ball of fire” – William Wordsworth
65. “Life is a winding road” – John Lennon
66. “Hope is a beacon in the night” – Herman Melville
67. “Humor is a balm for the soul” – Oscar Wilde
68. “The sea was a simmering beast” – Mary Shelley
69. “Time is a thief that steals our youth” – Mark Twain
70. “The snow was a feathery blanket” – Washington Irving
71. “The moon was a glowing crescent” – John Keats
72. “Writing is a journey into the unknown” – Jules Verne
73. “The sun was a blazing inferno” – Dan Brown
74. “Knowledge is a potent weapon” – Sun Tzu
75. “The night was like a mysterious river” – Louisa May Alcott
76. “Writing is a voyage of discovery” – James Joyce
77. “The autumn leaves were like a carpet of color” – Emily Bronte
78. “The sky was a deep blue sea” – William Blake
79. “The world is a stage” – William Shakespeare
80. “The storm was a wild beast” – Stephen King
81. “Friends are like stars in the night sky” – Unknown
82. “Nature is a wild and untamed beast” – Henry David Thoreau
83. “The wind was a gentle caress” – Virginia Woolf
84. “The snow was a blanket of white” – Robert Frost
85. “The fire was an open mouth” – Emily Dickinson
86. “The stars were a diamond-studded sky” – Victor Hugo
87. “The morning was a symphony of color” – Walt Whitman
88. “Life is a canvas of beauty” – Maya Angelou
89. “Life is like a book; each day is a new page” – Unknown
90. “Success is a journey, not a destination” – Ben Sweetland
91. “Love is like a river, it flows with its own destiny” – Unknown
92. “The sky was a sea of twinkling stars” – J.R.R. Tolkien
93. “Life is a balance of holding on and letting go” – Rumi
94. “Life is an adventure, not a package tour” – Unknown
95. “The night was like a star-studded blanket” – Anne Rice
96. “The morning was a symphony of birdsong” – John Steinbeck
97. “Life is a song, make it a great one” – Unknown
98. “Life is a journey, each step is a lesson” – Unknown
99. “The sky was a vast ocean of stars” – Virginia Woolf
100. “Life is like a peanut butter tuna sandwich, messed up, but delicious.” – J.J. Pryor


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