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A figure of speech is a departure from normal discourse for the purpose of emphasizing something. For example, I might say "The ground is dry," and that would be a literal statement. Or I could say "The ground is thirsty," which is not literally true but it emphasizes the experience of the drought.
The basic figure is SIMILE. A simile emphasizes a resemblance between two things by simply saying it: "You are like a dog." The figure rests on one word.
A METAPHOR emphasizes a resemblance by saying they are the same: "You are a dog."
Then we have a big word: HYPOCATASTASIS. That is Greek for name calling. The hypocatastasis just says to the fellow "Dog!"
A PARABLE is an extended figure of speech: a story based on a simile, metaphor or hypocatastasis. If the story is possible it is a MYTH. If it is impossible it is a FABLE. If a fable includes an explanation of the meaning then it is an ALLEGORY. An unverified history is a LEGEND.
Most people have no clue about any of these things, but all were carefully studied and catalogued by ancient Greek scholars. There has been no significant work in the field in the last two thousand years. E. W. Bullinger (1837 - 1913) compiled a list of figures in the bible, about 900 different kinds, with a brief description of each. He published it as "Figures Of Speech In The Bible" and you can buy a copy at amazon.com or any book store.