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Different Literary Devices Used in Content with Examples

Grade 5
Aug 4, 2023

Personification, by giving human attributes to nonhuman objects, is a powerful way to create empathy in your readers.

Personification is when a speaker gives an object or idea -human characteristics, abilities, or qualities.

Example of metaphor: “The frost paints the pines in the wintertime”

In this example, the writer gives Frost the ability to paint. Frost can’t paint. People paint. Since the writer gives Frost this human ability, the writer personifies it. This is more poetic than saying that the pine trees were frosty.

  • Personification (using sight): The bike ran a marathon down the highway.
  • Personification (using sound): The bike coughed, hacked, and spluttered.
  • Personification (using touch): The bike was smooth as a baby’s bottom.
  • Personification (using taste): The bike tasted the bitter asphalt.
  • Personification (using smell): The bike needed a cold shower.
  • Personification (using mental events): The bike remembers its first owner fondly.


Hyperbole is a technique where exaggeration is used to create a strong effect.


The word hyperbole is composed of two root words: hyper which means “over,” and bole which means “to throw.”

So, hyperbole translates roughly to “overthrow” or “to throw over.”

Examples of Hyperbole:

I’ve been waiting a million years for this

I’m so hungry I could eat a cow


I feel like a million bucks

You are the queen of the kitchen


The irony is a figure of speech and is the most widely used literary device, which is used to express a strong emotion or raise a point.

As defined, Irony is the use of words to convey a meaning that is opposite of what is actually said.

For example:

A person whose license was confiscated by a traffic officer may say,

“Thank you, sir, now that you have my license I can’t drive”

In this situation, the driver is mad and irritated at what happened. But instead of directly expressing his frustration, the driver used Irony, i.e., thanking the officer for getting his license.

Types of Irony

  • Verbal
  • Situational
  • Dramatic

Verbal Irony

The person says one thing but means the opposite.

Also called ‘sarcasm’ or ‘being sarcastic’


After looking at a student’s weak test score, the professor says,

“You will surely finish the year with the highest grades”.

A man tastes his wife’s delicious meal and exclaims,

“I will never eat this food that you cooked ever again”.

Situational Irony

Situational Irony happens when what is intended to happen doesn’t happen. Instead, the exact opposite occurs.


A woman whose house was in the hills put a bear trap to protect her from wild animals. One night, while walking, the woman didn’t see the trap. She injured herself.

The bear trap was intended to protect the woman, but it wounded her instead.

Dramatic Irony

Dramatic Irony happens when the audience or readers are aware of something, while the character of a movie or story doesn’t know.


In a horror movie, the character enters a scary dark room while hearing a woman’s voice. The viewers don’t get scared because they know beforehand that the woman’s voice is just that of the character’s wife.

literary devices


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