The Definition And Examples of Hyperbole (Eduvocabulary Explains)

Hyperbole is one of the figures of speech that you need when you either want to be creative or decipher a poem, play, or novel. It is an intriguing literary figure of speech that writers love to use in their works to express themselves and connect a little humor to the readers in the shortest amount of time.

What is the meaning of hyperbole in literature?

Hyperbole is used when something is exaggerated in words. That is why it is called an exaggeration in the language and a figurative statement in poetry.

Hyperbole can simply be defined as a way of expressing the truth with overstatement. It is often used in poetry to convey a message to the reader or the writer. A sentence or poem can be funny, but it needs hyperbole to make it funnier. In other words, writers use hyperbole for reasons of style, entertainment, and to make something exciting to read.

However, the best way to understand hyperbole is to study the examples and how it is used in a piece of writing. Getting the sense of this will not be difficult for you again since we have provided below: 

Examples of Hyperbole According to Popular Poems 

Examples of Hyperbole in "To His Coy Mistress" (by Andrew Marvell)—an exaggerated love poem. 

The writer exaggerated all of his sentences here and at the same time was trying to pass information to the lady. 

  1. "I would love you ten years before the flood" 
  2. "A hundred years should go to praise Thine eyes and on thy forehead gaze"
  3. "Two Hundred Years to adore each breast" 

He wants the lady to know how much he loves her but never wants to say it in the simple form of "I deeply love you." To pique the lady's interest, the writer exaggerated his words by declaring things he couldn't do but would love to do. For instance, there is no way he could actually adore the breast of this lady for two hundred years or praise her eyes and forehead for a hundred years as he said, which means he exaggerated. Whereas, all of these are just to pass information to the lady. 

Examples of Hyperbole in William Wordsworth's "I Wandered Lonely as a Cloud"

Wordsworth did not use much hyperbole in this poem. The main figure of speech in the poem "I Wander Lonely as a Cloud" is personification. However, the only hyperbole there is:

  1. "Ten thousand saw I at a glance."
The writer is talking about daffodils here. A kind of flower that is common in the springtime. He is not only talking about it but sweet talking about it. To describe the beauty of the flower, the writer explains that he looked at the flower ten thousand times at a glance. This is an exaggeration because no one can truly stare at a particular thing for as long as that when the person is not a magician (smile). But the writer intentionally describes the daffodils in this way to portray their beauty and the solace he found within them. 

Hyperbole Examples in "Sonnet 130: My Mistress eyes are nothing like the sun" by William Shakespeare

In this poem, Shakespeare turned everything around and ended up exaggerating just to praise the beauty of a lady. The whole of the poem sounds hyperbolic, but a few lines will be justified below.  

  1. "I have seen roses damasked, red and white, / But no such roses see I in her cheeks;" 
  2. “I love to hear her speak, yet well I know, / That music hath a far more pleasing sound" 
Even though everyone knows roses are beautiful, and music is sweet, the writer still goes ahead to proudly declare that the lady's beauty surpassed roses and music. How on earth could this be possible? No way! And this is how you confirm that the writer used hyperbole. 

More hyperbole examples in conversations

  1. She disappears whenever she wants. (The recipient may be like, "How possible?") 
  2. I will turn your head to a book as I did to Joyce (the recipient may look at the speaker with a funny or amazing countenance).
  3. Even in her death, she was smiling (sounds like an overstatement).

In hyperbole, there is always an iota of truth, but literarily, it sounds like a lie.  

Thank you for reading!

Do you need any academic assistance? Contact us! 

Post a Comment

Previous Post Next Post