Imagery vs. Metaphor - What's the difference?

Main Difference

The main difference between Imagery and Metaphor is that the Imagery is a an author's use of vivid and descriptive language to add depth to their work and Metaphor is a figure of speech.

Wikipedia

  • Imagery

    Imagery, in a literary text, is an author's use of vivid and descriptive language to add depth to their work. It appeals to human senses to deepen the reader's understanding of the work. Powerful forms of imagery engage all of the senses.

  • Metaphor

    A metaphor is a figure of speech that directly refers to one thing by mentioning another for rhetorical effect. It may provide clarity or identify hidden similarities between two ideas. Antithesis, hyperbole, metonymy and simile are all types of metaphor. One of the most commonly cited examples of a metaphor in English literature is the "All the world's a stage" monologue from As You Like It: This quotation expresses a metaphor because the world is not literally a stage. By asserting that the world is a stage, Shakespeare uses points of comparison between the world and a stage to convey an understanding about the mechanics of the world and the behavior of the people within it. The Philosophy of Rhetoric (1937) by rhetorician I. A. Richards describes a metaphor as having two parts: the tenor and the vehicle. The tenor is the subject to which attributes are ascribed. The vehicle is the object whose attributes are borrowed. In the previous example, "the world" is compared to a stage, describing it with the attributes of "the stage"; "the world" is the tenor, and "a stage" is the vehicle; "men and women" is the secondary tenor, and "players" is the secondary vehicle. Other writers employ the general terms ground and figure to denote the tenor and the vehicle. Cognitive linguistics uses the terms target and source, respectively.

Wiktionary

  • Imagery (noun)

    The work of one who makes images or visible representation of objects.

  • Imagery (noun)

    Imitation work.

  • Imagery (noun)

    Images in general, or en masse.

  • Imagery (noun)

    Unreal show; imitation; appearance.

  • Imagery (noun)

    The work of the imagination or fancy; false ideas; imaginary phantasms.

  • Imagery (noun)

    Rhetorical decoration in writing or speaking; vivid descriptions presenting or suggesting images of sensible objects; figures in discourse.

  • Metaphor (noun)

    The use of a word or phrase to refer to something that it is not, invoking a direct similarity between the word or phrase used and the thing described (but in the case of English without the words like or as, which would imply a simile); the word or phrase used in this way; an implied comparison.

  • Metaphor (noun)

    The use of an everyday object or concept to represent an underlying facet of the computer and thus aid users in performing tasks.

    "desktop metaphor; wastebasket metaphor"

  • Metaphor (verb)

    To use a metaphor.

  • Metaphor (verb)

    To describe by means of a metaphor.

Oxford Dictionary

  • Imagery (noun)

    visually descriptive or figurative language, especially in a literary work

    "Tennyson uses imagery to create a lyrical emotion"

  • Imagery (noun)

    visual symbolism

    "the film's religious imagery"

  • Imagery (noun)

    visual images collectively

    "the impact of computer-generated imagery on contemporary art"

  • Metaphor (noun)

    a figure of speech in which a word or phrase is applied to an object or action to which it is not literally applicable

    "her poetry depends on suggestion and metaphor"

    "when we speak of gene maps and gene mapping, we use a cartographic metaphor"

  • Metaphor (noun)

    a thing regarded as representative or symbolic of something else

    "the amounts of money being lost by the company were enough to make it a metaphor for an industry that was teetering"

Webster Dictionary

  • Imagery (noun)

    The work of one who makes images or visible representation of objects; imitation work; images in general, or in mass.

  • Imagery (noun)

    Fig.: Unreal show; imitation; appearance.

  • Imagery (noun)

    The work of the imagination or fancy; false ideas; imaginary phantasms.

  • Imagery (noun)

    Rhetorical decoration in writing or speaking; vivid descriptions presenting or suggesting images of sensible objects; figures in discourse.

  • Metaphor (noun)

    The transference of the relation between one set of objects to another set for the purpose of brief explanation; a compressed simile; e. g., the ship plows the sea.

Princeton's WordNet

  • Imagery (noun)

    the ability to form mental images of things or events;

    "he could still hear her in his imagination"

  • Metaphor (noun)

    a figure of speech in which an expression is used to refer to something that it does not literally denote in order to suggest a similarity

Illustrations

Metaphor

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