An extended metaphor is a metaphor that continues throughout the entire piece of writing, instead of being just a comparison or personification.

The key to an extended metaphor is that it’s not only present in the first and last parts of the work, but also woven into the main body of the writing as well.

Extended metaphors can be found in poetry, speeches, novels, or any type of fiction.

For example, in Tolkien’s The Lord of the Rings series, Gollum is often compared to a spider throughout the books. In one of his famous riddles, he says: “Lissome and slim as a spider’s daughter.”

That comparison to a spider comes back again and again throughout the story until we find out that Gollum is actually related to an ancient race of creatures called “spiders.”

It’s at this point that Gollum reveals that he has been captured by Frodo and Sam, who have tied him up with “strong cords.”

It’s because Gollum is tied up like a spider that he cannot escape from them.In this way, the extended metaphor becomes more than just an analogy for Gollum.

It describes his life story as a character in Tolkien’s world.

What Is an extended metaphor

What Is an extended metaphor?

An extended metaphor is a larger metaphor that lasts throughout the length of a movie, poem, book, or other creative work.

Extended metaphors are often used in literature and film to help establish a character’s perspective on the world.

An extended metaphor is a comparison between two dissimilar things — for example, “magazine headlines” and “a boring lecture” or “an airplane ride” and a “road trip.”

It’s a technique used to make people feel more compelled to read on, because they’re interested in the topic.

Extended metaphors work best when they connect two ideas that are closely related. There’s no need to force the metaphor if it doesn’t fit, but be sure it flows naturally and doesn’t feel forced.

A good metaphor should also be interesting enough that people don’t realize it’s a metaphor, which means it shouldn’t sound too much like creative writing.



Extended metaphors are a part of literary techniques such as personification and hyperbole.

For example, in “The Raven” by Edgar Allan Poe, the narrator is trying to convince the listener that he has lost something important (his love).

The speaker uses extended metaphors to describe his state of being: He is sick, crazy, and haunted by what he has lost.

The speaker also personifies his thoughts and feelings to make them sound more like living creatures: “I was wretched, — hopeless — breaking my heart for the lost Lenore” (Poe).


In this case, Poe is using extended metaphors to help develop the narrator’s personality and to strengthen the themes of loss and death.

In another example, in “The Little Mermaid” by Hans Christian Andersen, the character of the Little Mermaid uses extended metaphors to express her desire to become human.

She falls in love with a prince whom she can only see when she becomes human.

What Is An Extended Metaphor?

Extended metaphors are a great way to communicate complex ideas in an entertaining and interesting way, whereas a simple metaphor is limited in its scope.

Extended metaphors work by comparison and contrast.

An extended metaphor can be used to explain how two (or more) seemingly unrelated objects or ideas are actually very similar and work together. 

Not only does this make it easier to understand complicated ideas, but it also makes them fun to think about!

Have you ever read something so original, so creative and so intriguing that you thought to yourself, “Wow! That’s amazing! I never would have thought of that!”

Well, if you’ve ever felt this way after reading a piece of literature or poetry, then you’ve experienced the magic of an extended metaphor.

A metaphor is a comparison that uses like or as to make a point about two dissimilar things.

A metaphor is a perfect way for writers to compare the unfamiliar to something more easily understood.

For example, when we say, “She has a heart of gold,” we are comparing someone’s kindness to a metal.

Using this type of comparison helps readers better understand something they may have found confusing.

Extended metaphors take this concept one step further. They compare one unfamiliar thing with another unfamiliar thing using a series of comparisons, creating a complex and unique picture in the mind of the reader.

Extended metaphors can be found in literature ranging from Shakespeare to modern novels and poems.

Extended Metaphor Examples

Extended metaphor examples can be used to help someone realize what they have in common with a person or object. 

It is an extended metaphor because the author takes a single subject and compares it to multiple examples.

This is also known as an allegory which is a narrative that uses symbolic characters, actions, and events to communicate a hidden meaning. 

They are often used by people who are trying to make a point or get across a feeling that they desire. 

Extended metaphor examples include comparisons made between physical objects and abstract concepts. 

For example, an author may refer to the “hills and valleys” of life when describing how difficult it can be for people to cope with the ups and downs of everyday life.

The hills represent the hard times and the valleys represent the good times or breaks from stress. 

Extended metaphors are frequently used in songs, poetry, and speeches because they provide an excellent way of getting across one’s intended message while appealing to the imagination.

Extended metaphor examples usually depend on the audience’s ability to associate one thing with another.

Therefore, these types of metaphors work best when used in situations where everyone has similar experiences or backgrounds.

Extended metaphors are a literary device that compares two seemingly unrelated things by comparing their characteristics or the way they affect the world. The comparisons are described in detail, explaining how one thing is similar to the other.

In “The Cask of Amontillado,” Poe creates an extended metaphor to explore the themes of revenge and hatred. 

He compares a person who has been wronged by another person to a cask of Amontillado wine slowly aging in a cellar.

As the wine is buried deeper and deeper, it becomes more and more angry and vengeful until it comes alive and moves toward the person who buried it. 

This is an extended metaphor because the wine is not actually sentient but the comparison between it and the character allows him to show how a person who has been wronged can be consumed by hate and become filled with insatiable revenge even after death.

When used properly, an extended metaphor can be a powerful literary device for deepening a piece of writing. 

It can take readers on an emotional journey that would not have been possible otherwise, allowing them to experience feelings that could never have been conveyed through words alone.

Extended Metaphor Examples In Literature

In literature, extended metaphors are most often used as a way for authors to hide their true intentions or to develop multiple themes and concepts within a single story. 

For example, in William Shakespeare’s “A Midsummer Night’s Dream”, the character Puck describes love as being a kind of magic spell.

This is an extended metaphor because it links the idea of love to that of magic. 

In this case, Shakespeare uses the extended metaphor to describe how love can be both wonderful and terrible at the same time, in much the same way that magic can be both beautiful and dangerous at once.

Dante Gabriel Rossetti was a famous artist in Victorian England who used extended metaphors in his paintings. 

Rossetti was well known for using pictures with hidden meanings behind them, so people would have to look closely at each picture to understand what it meant. 

An extended metaphor is a type of extended analogy in which the author uses an image or metaphor to illustrate an idea. Metaphors are typically used in writing to help establish a tone.

They are also used to develop ideas and create imagery in the mind of the reader. A writer can use extended metaphors in a variety of different ways to achieve these ends.

Extended metaphors have been used throughout history. Many famous writers and poets have used extended metaphors in their writings, including Homer and William Shakespeare.

Here is an example of an extended metaphor taken from Shakespeare’s Romeo and Juliet:

Two households, both alike in dignity,

In fair Verona, where we lay our scene,

From ancient grudge break to new mutiny; 

Where civil blood makes civil hands unclean;

And friends, to enemies, in unkindness yield: 

Where fury, like a dog that once has tasted blood,

Cannot satisfy his biting appetite; 

But, growlingly does bite again, till slain 

The one a lion, proud as Hector, who not only defends his own rights but will protect the rights of others even when it means fighting against those he loves;

The other side two constant cats that hiss and scratch at each other from morning.

Extended Metaphor Examples In Film

Here are some examples of extended metaphors in film.

In the movie Excalibur, when Arthur is crowned the king, he sits in a chair that has been placed on top of a block of stone. The stone represents the foundation upon which his reign will be built.

When Arthur is carried away by the sorceress Morgana, the chair is flung off the stone and Arthur’s rule comes tumbling down.

In the movie “Star Wars,” Darth Vader’s helmet represents his control over Anakin Skywalker. It covers his entire face, representing his total dominance over him.

When Vader is finally revealed without his mask, he loses all control over Anakin and must cast him aside to save himself from death.

In “The Hobbit”, when Bilbo Baggins is captured by the elves, he is forced to wear an Elvenking’s crown and is placed on a throne -the Throne of Power- at the center of their kingdom to mock him.

Bilbo was not allowed to remove it for any reason until he chose to leave it behind as a parting gift when he left with Gandalf and Thorin on their quest. After this, Finrod Felagund made him a white circlet that matched his new elven clothes. 

Extended metaphors are used to develop a theme or character.

Extended metaphors are often used to create an image in the audience’s mind.

Writers use them to help explain themes, get their point across and develop characters in books, poetry, and movies. Although this device was born in literature, it has found its way into other forms of media as well because it creates powerful images and insights that stick with people long after they read or watch something.

Extended metaphors appear most often in poetry and literature. Examples of extended metaphors include “The Ship of Death” by John Donne, “Sound and the Fury” by William Faulkner, “Colors” by Charles Bukowski, and “Ode on a Grecian Urn” by John Keats.

The concept of an extended metaphor was introduced by the Roman poet Horace. Metaphorical thinking isn’t limited to poetry or literature, however.

It can be found in everyday language as well as scientific or mathematical writings. 

For example, scientists have discovered several galaxies that are named after animals such as penguins and ants because they resemble those animals when observed through a telescope.

Extended metaphors have been studied extensively both by English scholars and psycholinguists who try to understand how the human mind processes them. 

One theory is that the mind recognizes the metaphorical meaning through comparison with another object or idea that has previously been associated with it; therefore, an extended metaphor often evokes a strong emotional response.

What Is An Extended Metaphor Used For?

Extended metaphors are used for the same reason that metaphors are used. They make ideas easier to grasp.

Metaphors, similes, and extended metaphors all help people connect to new information. An extended metaphor is a metaphor that has been stretched out to include many more details than would normally be included in a regular metaphor.

They can be used in speeches, poems, novels, songs, and movies. The purpose of an extended metaphor is the same as any other metaphor: it makes an abstract concept easy to comprehend by comparing it to something concrete. For example, a writer might use an extended metaphor to compare love to a rose:

“Her kiss was like a rose / That bloomed then faded.” This extended metaphor compares the experience of kissing someone to the experience of watching a rose bloom and then wither away.

Extended metaphors are common in poetry because they can make abstract ideas easier for readers to grasp. 

A poet might take this idea one step further by extending this particular rose metaphor into a full-blown poem about love and loss: “And so I died as every man dies / Before his life has even begun / But with my death there came a change / And I was born again.”

The extended metaphor is a literary device that has been used to describe many different aspects of the world. It is essentially a metaphor that has been taken to an extreme, usually with the intent of making a specific point.

To be sure, there are many different types of extended metaphors, but they all have several common elements. Describing an object or situation with an extended metaphor is a very common practice in literature and other writing forms.

The extended metaphor often relies upon the original meaning of the metaphor, as well as its subsequent uses. The goal is to create a new and more inclusive meaning for the original metaphor. 

In this new context, the original metaphor can be used as a comparison or example that supports or illuminates whatever point is being made.

An author may elaborate on their original point through the use of several metaphors that are then linked together by a specific theme or topic. Extended metaphors are often described as poetic because they rely so heavily upon language and description. 

The writer must appeal to many of the five senses in order to fully develop his or her ideas and feelings about whatever subject matter is being discussed.

This allows those who read or hear about the extended metaphor to experience it in a way that is much more personal than simply reading facts in a textbook

Types Of Metaphors

There are different types of extended metaphors, and all of them can be used in a variety of ways. Here are the three primary types of extended metaphors.

Type 1: One Object or Action Used As a Metaphor for Another Object or Action 

Example: “I’m like a deer in headlights.” In this case, one object or action is used to represent another object or action.

The reader can interpret the statement as meaning that he’s scared out of his mind. It can also mean that he’s not moving because he’s confused (as in, “I’m like a deer caught in the headlights”).

Type 2: Two Objects Used as a Metaphor for Each Other

Example: “Life is a game.” In this case, one object or action represents another.

In this example, life acts like a game. Again, it could be interpreted as being either positive or negative (for example: “Life is hard work” or “Life is unfair”).

The metaphor only works if the two objects have something in common. For example, life and games both have winners and losers.

When it comes to writing a good metaphor, extended metaphors are the best choice.

An extended metaphor is a metaphor that is extended to more than one sentence. The extended metaphor is nothing but a regular metaphor that is carried through for more than one sentence.

Extended metaphors give you an opportunity to be really creative with your writing. They also take practice to write well.

Here are a few methods for creating extended metaphors: Use opposites as a comparison. By using an opposite for something, you can create a strong image in your reader’s mind to show how one thing is like another.

For example, if you’re talking about a professional athlete who is tall, muscular, and physically fit, you might use the opposite of those descriptions to describe a couch potato who is short, thin, and out-of-shape: “He was as tall as a tree, but he was as thin as a twig.” 

Sometimes you don’t need opposites to form an extended metaphor — words that are similar will do just fine to compare two different things. 

What Is A Metaphor In A Film?

A metaphor is a symbol that means something different than what it appears to be. A red rose can represent love, for example.

Metaphors are used often in filmmaking because they can make a movie more interesting and memorable. Trying to explain what a metaphor is in a film can be challenging since metaphors are usually visual symbols and images.

You may think of a metaphor as an image that stands in for something else but is not the actual thing represented. Examples include rain representing sadness or a sunset representing peacefulness.

The difference between a symbol and a metaphor is that symbols are more direct, while metaphors are more indirect. The word “sunset” stands for peace while the image of the sun disappearing behind the horizon is a symbol of peace because it directly represents it.

Metaphors can also be used in literature by using comparisons to show an effect, cause, or relationship between two unlike items. For example, calling your friend an onion because he cries easily shows how you feel about him.

Metaphors aren’t always straightforward and sometimes do not have one clear meaning. When you hear one, try to figure out what it could mean instead of assuming you know exactly what someone means when they use one.

What Is An Example Of A Literary Metaphor?

A metaphor is a statement that compares two seemingly unrelated subjects. This can be done in both poetry and prose.

Metaphors are very common in literature, and they have the power to help us think about one thing in terms of something else or give us an understanding of the world that we wouldn’t have had otherwise.

For this reason, metaphors are popular literary devices used by authors to help convey their message. Telling a story through the use of metaphors is just one way to make a point. Whether it’s a short story or a novel, metaphors can be used to make characters more interesting and complex.