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Alankar – definition, types, examples and its types

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Alankar is a unique aspect of aesthetics and grammar of language in Hindi literature. It serves to decorate particular words, sentences, or lines with beauty, variety, and effectiveness. Figures of speech are used in poems, songs, stories, and plays to make the language rich and colorful. In this article, we will understand the different types of figures of speech, their examples, and their literary significance.

meaning of figure of speech

Alankar means “to decorate” or “to enhance the beauty of language”. This is considered a unique aspect of the aesthetics and grammar of the language in Hindi literature. Figure of speech serves to decorate particular words, sentences, or lines with beauty, variety, and effectiveness. Ornaments are made of beautiful letters and enhance the beauty of poetry. Acharya Bhamah has described it in detail in 'Alankar Shastra'. Its main objective is to make the language more effective, so that the reader or listener gets attracted to it and understands its importance.

differences of ornamentation

According to grammarians, there are mainly three types of figures of speech.

Shabdalankar is an important type of figures of speech in Hindi literature, which embellishes and illustrates the language through the play of words. The use of diction increases variety, beauty, and effectiveness by making good use of different words and their forms. These are alphabetic, syntactic or lexical; Like alliteration, pun, pun etc.

The dependence of metonymy is not on the word but on the meaning of the word. Mainly the main figures of speech are simile, metaphor, allusion, exaggeration, illustration, personification etc.

double entendre
“Ubhayalankar” is a special type of figure of speech in which words are used so that they are correct in both meanings. While using it, the double meaning of the words is mentioned, so that the readers can understand the meaning of the sentence as per their choice. Where miracle or beauty is reflected in both the words and meaning of the poetry, there is double meaning.

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Major differences in figure of speech

Following are the main types of figures of speech:

Alliteration: There is similarity in the use of voice in a sentence, like “Sunil delivers the message beautifully.”

In the sentence “Sunil delivers a beautifully decorated message” there is alliteration of “s” sound, which is an example of simile ornamentation. In this, the sound “s” has been used in the words “Sunil”, “Beauty”, “Punishment”, and “Sandesh”, which makes the sentence attractive and beautiful.

Pun: Yamak means 'pair'. In a pun, one word is repeated two or more times and has different meanings; As-

  • There is hundred times more intoxication than Kanak Kanak.
    Either the male eats the wild bird or gets the wild bird.
  • That flute's tune is beyond my ears, my ears are full of it.

In the first example the word 'Kanak' is repeated twice. 'Kanak' has two meanings – Dhatura and gold, hence there is pun here. In the second example the word 'Kani' is repeated twice. The first 'Kani' means 'ear' and the second 'Kani' means 'limit', hence it is a pun.

pun: In pun, a word has a double meaning. This figure of speech helps in making the sentence more profound and makes it attractive. Punctuation is used in the following examples:

  • “This time, no, iron is iron” – Here the meaning of the words “this time” is the opposite.
  • “Chale Chale Chale, Chale Chale Chale” – Here the word “Chale” has a double meaning.
  • “I miss you, I miss you” – Here the word “remember” has a double meaning.

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Main types of metonymy

The main types of metaphors are as follows:

Simile: In this one object is said to be similar to another object. Upma Alankar is used in the following examples:

    • He writes poetry like Uttam Tulsidas.
    • His smile was shining like the sun.
    • He protects the earth like the best Sudarshan.

In these examples, “Tulsidas”, “Suraj”, and “Sudarshan” are presented as a person or thing whose characteristics or qualities create a particular image in our mind.

Metaphor: In this, one thing is joined with another thing, like “That is a lion.” Metaphor is used in the following examples:

    • The moonlight shimmers from the confluence of the night on the woman's face.
    • The beauty of her eyes is captivating.
    • His face was shining like the sun.

In these examples, the “confluence of the night”, the “glory of the eyes”, and the “mouth” are presented as moonlight, wanderlust of the mind and the sun, thereby highlighting their characteristics and qualities.

Expectation: “Utpreksha” in Alankar, is used to explain the meaning with reference to a particular place or direction. In this figure of speech the meaning is explained by referring to the distance or direction of a person, place, or object. Utpreksha alankar is used in the following examples:

  • “In the gaze of his eyes I saw a landscape.”
  • “He saw birds flying in the sky in response to the bright sun.”
  • “It was now his last moment in terms of his hair.”
  • Sohat odhai peet pat syam salone gaat.
    Mano aatap paryo morning on sapphire cell.

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That is, the yellow color on the dark body of Shri Krishna looks as if the sunlight of the Prabhav period is shining on the Neelam mountain.

Hyperbola: In “superlative” figure of speech, excellence is described in the qualities, characteristics, or purposes of a thing or person. In this Alankar, the qualities are described more significantly and effectively. When someone is praised and talked about in great exaggeration, then exaggeration is a figure of speech. Hyperbolic figure of speech is used in the following examples:

  • “His smile was like the sun, which lit up the entire room.”
  • “He was a fountain of mercy, who drenched everyone with his love.”
  • “His intellect was like a book of letters, unique in its diversity.”
  • There was no fire in Hanuman's tail due to his dedication.
    The sea of ​​Lanka has gone, the night has gone away.

In the fourth stanza, the burning of entire Lanka and the fleeing of the demons has been described in an exaggerated manner even before Hanuman's tail catches fire, hence the exaggeration is a figure of speech.

Humanization: In figure of speech, “personification” is used to greatly reduce the meaning of a sentence based on a person, thing, or event. Where the poet humanizes the emotion or nature in the poem, there is personification as a figure of speech.

An example: “Her tear-stained face told the story of her sorrow.”

Here the tear-stained face has been personified as a person singing praises, hence personification is a figure of speech.

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