The Queen of Spades

The Queen of Spades Metaphors and Similes

Trembled Like a Tiger (Simile)

Before entering the Countess's empty house, Hermann stands on the cold street and "trembles like a tiger" as he waits. Pushkin emphasizes Hermann's calculating nature by likening him to a highly intelligent predatory animal known for its ability to stalk prey for long periods of time before it chooses the perfect time to pounce.

Dreaded Her Like Fire (Simile)

When telling the story of how the Countess brought news of her gambling loss to her husband, Tomsky remarks that his grandfather "dreaded her like fire." In this simile, Pushkin emphasizes Tomsky's grandfather's fear of his grandmother by likening her aura of authority to destructive and unstoppable flames.

Like a Hideous But Indispensable Ballroom Ornament (Simile)

When describing how the Countess continues to attend balls despite having lost her former vigor and beauty, Pushkin compares the way she installs herself in the room to a "hideous but indispensable ballroom ornament." The comparison suggests the Countess has become like a piece of furniture or decoration that is not appealing to look at but cannot be discarded.