Figurativni se jezik koristi u književnosti i poeziji kako bi se stvorio slojevi značenja koje čitatelj pristupa kroz osjetila, simboliku i zvukovne uređaje. Figurativni jezik donosi čitatelja dublje u temu rada, bez da autor mora izričito postaviti temu čitatelju. To je način da čitatelj uđe sa svojim umovima i emocijama, umjesto da jednostavno shvati priču ili pjesmu. Figurativni jezik potiče čitatelja da stvori veze s likovima, zapletom i dubljom porukom posla koji stvara nezaboravan doživljaj čitatelju.
Examples of Figurative Language in Literature, from personification to onomatopoeia.
“O, she doth teach the torches to burn bright! / Her beauty hangs upon the cheek of night, / Like a rich jewel in an Ethiop’s ear.”
“And each separate dying ember wrought its ghost upon the floor.”
“He gives his harness bells a shake / To ask if there is some mistake.”
"Even death did not mar its grace, for it lay on the earth like a broken vase of red flowers, and we stood around it, awed by its exotic beauty."
“Neptune’s ocean wash this blood / Clean from my hand? No. This my hand will rather / The multitudinous seas incarnadine, marking the green one red.”
“It was a rimy morning, and very dam. I had seen the damp lying on the outside of my little window, as if some goblin had been crying there all night, and using the window for a pocket-handkerchief. Now, I saw the damp lying on the bare hedges and spare grass, like a coarser sort of spiders’ webs: hanging itself from twig to twig and blade to blade.”
“Beautiful tyrant! Fiend angelical! / Dove-feathered raven, wolvish-ravening lamb! / Despised substance of divinest show / Just opposite to what thou justly seem’st.”
“Hear the loud alarum bells, / Brazen bells! / What a tale of terror, now, their turbulency tells! / In the startled ear of night / How they scream out their affright! / Too much horrified to speak, / They can only shriek, shriek, / Out of tune… / How they clang, and clash, and roar!”
“Is this a dagger which I see before me / The dagger toward my hand? Come, let me clutch thee! / I have thee not, and yet I see thee still.”
“War is Peace”; “Freedom is Slavery”; “Ignorance is Strength.”