Hyperbole, the Easiest Literary Term Ever!

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One thing that jumped out at me as I was reading Life is a Dream by Pedro Calderon de la Barca was the constant use of expressions exaggerated to extremes.  For example, Clotaldo states, “…your mind and reason/will suffer a thousand doubts/…it was in obedience to the severity of fate,/which promises a thousand disasters…” (73). This excessive use of “a thousand” is repeated throughout the play.  Therefore, I decided to choose hyperbole as my literary term of the week.

Hamilton explains that, “Hyperbole (hi-Per-boh-lee, from the Greek word for ‘to exceed’) is a trope in which a point is stated in a way that is greatly exaggerated.  The effect of hyperbole is often to imply the intensity of a speaker’s feelings or convictions by putting them in uncompromising or absolute terms” (54).

Besides the example I gave from Life is a Dream, some other examples would be:

  • The line outside the cafeteria stretched for miles!
  • Penny, my dog, is the cutest beagle ever!
  • I have about a thousand pages of reading to do for Monday!
  • The mid-term will be impossible!

Coming up with examples of hyperbole is very easy.  So you’re welcome to leave a comment with your own example(s).

Click here to learn more literary terms. 


Derek Tickle said:

Nice Work Greta!

I really understand what a hyperbole is now!

Your examples put it into prespective for me.

So how about, My car is the fastest car ever!

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