The Phantom of the Opera

The Phantom of the Opera Metaphors and Similes

The Phantom's mask (Metaphor)

The Phantom’s mask is a metaphor for false appearance and deception. While the mask is associated primarily with the Phantom, every character in the novel hides behind a metaphorical mask and pretends to be someone in order to be accepted by the society they live in.

The labyrinth (Metaphor)

The labyrinth beneath the theater can be considered a metaphor for self-discovery. The labyrinth is a common motif in literature signifying the process through which someone learns more about himself or herself. In this case, the characters who go through the labyrinth and learn who they are on the inside are Christine, Raoul, and Erik.

Eyes (Simile)

The narrator compares the Phantom's shining yellow eyes to candles, adding to the haunting otherworldly aura that surrounds him has a larger-than-life character.

The cave (Metaphor)

There are many similarities between the cave where the Phantom lives and the way the underworld is described in mythology. Because of this, one can assume that the cave is a metaphor for death.

The theater (Metaphor)

The theater is the place where everything is possible. Illusions are brought to life inside the theater building and for some characters, the theaters building is a place where reality and illusion clash, mingle, and go unnoticed. The theater is thus a metaphor linked with the idea of illusion and communication between reality and irrationality, a pathway between dreams and reality.