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Analogy: Definition & Examples of Analogy

Muhammad Rafiq is a freelance writer, blogger, and translator with a master's degree in English literature from the University of Malakand.

Analogy: Definition & Examples

Analogy: Definition & Examples

Definition of Analogy

The word analogy derives from the Greek word analogos, which means proportionate. Analogy is a comparison between persons, places, objects or idea for the purpose of explanation. It is just like a relationship between two or more things. Analogy can be distinguished by its fourfold structure or its proportionate ratio. Whenever there are four terms so related that the second term is related to the first, while the fourth is related to the third, then such a relationship is called analogy.

Example # 1

Look at the following lines taken from Ezra Pound’s poem In a Station of the Metro, wherein the faces of people in a subway station have been compared to the petals of flowers in a wet, black bough:

The apparition of these faces in the crowd,
Petals on a wet, black bough.

Analogy Example

Analogy Example

Example # 2

Amy Lowell’s poem, Night Clouds, also offers an example of analogy:

The white mares of the moon rush along the sky
Beating their golden hoofs upon the glass Heavens.

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In these lines, the poetess compares the flying clouds in the sky with the running white mares on the ground.

Example # 3

In Henry Wadsworth Longfellow's poem,The Day Is Done, offers an example of analogy. Look at the following lines taken from his poem, The Day Is Done, wherein the poet compares the spontaneous nature of writing songs to the showers of rain and tears of human being:

Read from some humbler poet,
Whose songs gushed from his heart,
As showers from the clouds of summer,
Or tears from the eyelids start.

Example # 4

William Shakespeare's play, As You Like It, also contains an analogy, wherein the dramatist, Shakespeare, has compared human life to a play. The world has been described as a stage, while the men are just like players acting out their parts on the stage. Look at the following lines taken from As You Like It:

All the world’s a stage,
And all the 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.

© 2015 Muhammad Rafiq

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