e.g. "Ignorance is like a delicate exotic fruit; touch it and the bloom
is gone."(p. 296)
In this example of a simile the object characterised is seen in a quite new and unexpected meaning. This simile is also may be considered as a half metaphor. The author confers to ignorance a new sense and the qualities of an exotic fruit. That is why this simile has a metaphoric character. And all the above-mentioned formal elements make the simile of easily recognisable unit of poetic speech.
e.g. " You are like a pink rose, cousin Cecily."(p.311)
This is the real simile. This simile is used for purposes of expressive evaluation, emotive explanation, and highly individual description. In a simile two objects are compared on the ground of similarity of some quality. So "a pink rose" of this case allows to simultaneously foreground such features as "fresh, beautiful, fragrant, attractive", etc.
So, we can see that simile is another interesting stylistic device used by OscarWilde in his plays. It shows the individual viewpoint of the author on different objects, actions, and phenomena. Everybody uses the similes in his everyday speech. But the literary similes gain especially wonderful character. They make our speech more expressive and our world more interesting.
Frankly speaking, every person sometimes uses hyperbole and exaggeration in his speech for more expressiveness.
According to Professor Galperin I.R., another stylistic device which also has the function of intensifying one certain property of the object described is hyperbole. It can be defined as a deliberate overstatement or exaggeration of a feature essential to the object or phenomenon. In its extreme form this exaggeration is carried to an illogical degree. 20
According to Professor Kukharenko V.A., hyperbole is a stylistic device in which emphasis is achieved through deliberate exaggeration. The feelings and emotions of the speaker are so ruffled that he resorts in his speech to intensifying the quantitative or the qualitative aspects of the mentioned object.21
According to Prof. Sosnovskaya V.B., hyperbole (overstatement) as the word itself suggests is an expression of an idea in an exceedingly exaggerate language. The supra-average cases of overstatement are characteristic of an obviously emotional, if not altogether impassioned, manner of representation.22
V.V.Vinogradov, developing Gorki's statement that "Geniune art enjoys the right to exaggerate", state that hyperbole is the law of art which brings the existing phenomena of life, diffused as they are, to the point of maximum clarity and conciseness.23
So, hyperbole is aimed at exaggerating quantity or quality. It is a deliberate exaggeration. In hyperbole there is transference of meaning as there is discrepancy with objective reality. The words are no used in their direct sense.
e.g. "I wish I had known it was your birthday, Lady
Windermere, I would have covered the whole street in
front of your house with flowers for you to walk". (p.
"I have never loved anyone in the world but you".
In order to depict the degree of the love of his character Wilde resorts to the use of these hyperboles. I think that the most important function of hyperbole is the emotional expressiveness.
e.g. "I have met hundreds of good women". (p.71)
"You have seen me with it a hundred times". (p.303)
In these hyperboles Wilde uses the exaggeration of the quantitative aspect. They make their way not on the direct meaning, but on the great emotional influence. But literary hyperbole is not the simple speech figure. It is one of the most important means of building up the plot of the text, the imagery and expressiveness. It is the transmission of the author's thought.
e.g. "I never can believe a word you say!." (p.49)
"He talks the whole time". (p.115)
"Well, you have been eating them all the time". (p.284)
In the literary sense hyperbole is the important means of expressive speech. Sometimes they are not perceived in their direct meaning, but they at once create the pathetic and comic effect, as in the above-mentioned examples. In general, literature has a constant necessity in the artistic exaggeration of reflection of the world.
e.g. "I would do anything in the world to ensure
Gwendolen's happiness". (p.284)
"But now that I see you, I feel that nothing in the
whole world would induce me to live under the same
roof as Lord Windermere". (p.61)
Hyperbole may be also called the means of artistic characterisation. Hyperbole is a device which sharpens the reader's ability to make a logical assessment of the utterance. In order to create his hyperboles Wilde uses such words as "hundreds", "thousands", "all the time", "nothing in the world", etc. Wilde's hyperboles bring the brightness, expressiveness and the emotional colour of the language. Hyperbole is like a magnifying glass; it helps to observe in details the phenomena of life, in its realities and contradictions.
In these four plays we can also observe some metonymies.
According to Prof. Galperin I.R., metonymy is based on a different type of relation between the dictionary and contextual meanings, a relation based not on identification, but on some kind of association connecting the two concepts which these meanings represent.24
According to Prof. Sosnovskaya V.B., units of poetic speech called metonymy are also based upon analogy. But in them there is an objectively existing relationship between the object named and the object implied.25
According to Prof. Kukharenko V.A., metonymy also becomes instrumental in enriching the vocabulary of the language and it is based on contiguity (nearness) of objects or phenomena.26
So, according to these three definitions, we can say that metonymy is a transference of meaning based on a logical or physical connection between things. In metonymy a thing is described by its action, its function or by some significant features. It is one of the means of forming the new meanings of words in the language.
e.g. "…a thing more tragic than all the tears the world has
ever shed". (p. 65)
"She was stern to me, but she taught me what the
world is forgetting, the difference that there is between
what is right and what is wrong". (p. 26)
"Do you think seriously that women who have
committed what the world calls a fault should never be
In these three examples we can see the same metonymy, that is used by the same word "world". Here the author means