The Phantom of the Opera Metaphors and Similes

The Phantom of the Opera Metaphors and Similes


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.

Metaphor for self- discovery

The labyrinth beneath the theater can be considered as 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.


A simile appears when the narrator describes the Phantom’s eyes and compares them with candles by saying "'I saw the two yellow eyes shining like candles and soon the boat touched shore.'"

The underworld

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


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 and 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.

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