Literary Devices Practice Exercises (page 2)
Read the following study guide for a concept review:
Create similes and metaphors for the following sentences.
- He has a violent temper.
- She was running around crazily.
Now that you've seen how to work through the first half of the poem, it's your turn to try.
Reread the entire poem from beginning to end and circle the letter of the correct answer.
- In the third stanza, the foe
- grows his own apple tree.
- shines the speaker's apple.
- sees the speaker's apple.
- In the fourth stanza, the foe
- sneaks into the speaker's garden at night.
- invites the speaker into his garden.
- attacks the speaker at night.
- At the end of the poem, the foe
- is waiting to kill the speaker with an apple.
- has been killed by the poisonous apple.
- has been killed by the speaker.
Remember that this poem is not a literal description of events, but a drawn-out metaphor that creates the poem's meaning. Is it a good thing that the speaker helped his anger grow into a tree? Look again at the action. What does the speaker do? He tells his friend about his anger, and it goes away. What doesn't the speaker do? He doesn't tell his enemy about his anger. What happens to his anger, then? It grows and grows and it offers fruit that tempts his enemy. And what happens to his enemy? He steals the apple, but it is the fruit of anger. It is poisonous and it kills him. Thus, the author uses the tree metaphor to show that anger kept a secret grows out of control and eventually becomes poisonous. This is the poem's theme.
- clasp = grab; crag = steep, rugged rock
You've learned about several important poetic tools, including similes, metaphors, personification, and alliteration.
Now, reread "The Eagle" carefully and actively. For each question, circle the answer you think is correct.
- Line 1 of the poem uses alliteration. Which other line uses alliteration?
- line 2
- line 3
- line 6
- Line 1 also uses personification. Which other line uses personification?
- line 2
- line 4
- line 6
- The last line of the poem reads, "And like a thunderbolt he falls." Which tool does this line use?
- The poem compares the eagle to a thunderbolt. How do you think the speaker feels about eagles?
- They are weak, shy animals.
- They are fast, powerful animals.
- They are unpredictable, wild animals.
- By the end of the poem, readers should feel a certain way about eagles. They should
- have great respect for eagles.
- be glad there aren't any eagles around.
- feel sorry for eagles.
Read the scenarios below and circle the ones that are ironic.
- Kevin really hated writing. He hated it so much that he finally decided to write a book about it.
- Liam woke up late, missed the bus, and failed his spelling test.
- Meg wanted to go to a concert, but her parents said she was grounded for the weekend. She secretly bought the ticket anyway, and as she was preparing to sneak out of the house, her parents knocked on her door. "Surprise!" they said. "You've been so good all week that we decided to buy you a ticket to that concert."
Answers will vary. Here are some possibilities:
- Simile: He has a temper like a tornado.
- Simile: She was running around like the Mad Hatter.
Metaphor: His temper is a tornado.
Metaphor: She was the Mad Hatter.
You might have been tempted to say "She was running around like a chicken with its head cut off." True, this is a simile, but it's also a cliché—an overused phrase. Try to avoid clichés in your writing. Instead, come up with a fresh image.
- c. See lines 10 and 11: "it bore an apple bright" / "my foe beheld it shine."
- a. See line 13: "And into my garden stole."
- b. You know the speaker's garden had a tree, and you know that this tree is a metaphor for the speaker's anger. You know that this tree had an apple, and you know that the poem is called "A Poison Tree." Finally, at the end of the poem, the foe is "outstretch'd beneath the tree." What do all of these clues add up to? The foe sneaked into the garden and ate the apple, but the apple was poisonous.
- a. Line 2 repeats the /l/ sound in "lonely lands."
- b. The sea "crawls" like a baby or a turtle.
- c. Remember, a simile is a comparison using like or as. Here, the eagle is compared to a thunderbolt. This helps readers picture the eagle's flight. It also tells you something about the eagle—it's like an incredible force of nature.
- b. Tennyson compares the eagle to a thunderbolt to show how powerful and fast eagles are.
- a. People should feel great respect for eagles. This feeling is what the poem is all about.
- Ironic. The character did the very opposite of what we (and he) expected him to do.
- Not ironic. The character had bad luck, but nothing happened that was the opposite of the reader's or the character's expectation.
- Ironic. The outcome of the situation was the opposite of what the character expected to happen.
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