Riddle Examples


A riddle can be a question or a statement that solicits clever or unique answers to "solve" it. In a literary sense, riddles are considered to be part of the folklore genre, as entire works of folklore can sometimes be riddles. Riddles are also considered to be rhetorical devices, as they use figurative language (i.e. pun, euphemism, metaphor).

Examples of Riddle:

Examples of Riddles:

How many months have 28 days? Answer: All of them.

What is so delicate that just saying its name causes it to break? Answer: Silence

Examples of Riddles in Literature:

In Oedipus Rex, Oedipus solves this riddle from the sphinx:

What walks on four legs in the morning, two legs at noon, and three legs in the evening? Answer: "Man, who as a baby crawls on four legs, then walks on two legs as an adult and in old age walks with a cane as his third leg."

In The Goblet of Fire, Harry Potter also has to face a sphinx in the tri-wizard tournament. He has to solve this riddle of the sphinx:

'First think of the person who lives in disguise,
Who deals in secrets and tells naught but lies.
Next, tell me what's always the last thing to mend,
The middle of middle and end of the end?
And finally give me the sound often heard
During the search for a hard-to-find word.
Now string them together, and answer me this,
Which creature would you be unwilling to kiss?'
Answer: Spider

In The Hobbit, Bilbo Baggins and Gollum have a game of riddles. These are two examples of riddles posed to Bilbo by Gollum:

"This thing all things devours;
Birds, beasts, trees, flowers;
Gnaws iron, bites steel;
Grinds hard stones to meal;
Slays king, ruins town,
And beats mountain down." Answer: Time

It cannot be seen, cannot be felt,
Cannot be heard, cannot be smelt.
It lies behind stars and under hills,
And empty holes it fills.
It comes first and follows after,
Ends life, kills laughter. Answer: Darkness

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Literary Terms Examples