Symbolism, Metaphor, Allegory

Symbolism, Metaphor, Allegory - secondary or...

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From Cuddon, J.A. The Penguin Dictionary of Literary Terms and Literary Theory . London: Penguin, 1998. Symbol: The word symbol derives from the Greek verb symballein, “to throw together,” and its noun symbolon, “mark,” “emblem,” “token” or “sign.” It is an object, animate or inanimate, which represents or “stands for” something else. [. .] A symbol differs from an allegorical sign in that it has a real existence, whereas an allegorical sign is arbitrary. Metaphor: The term derives from the Greek word that means “carrying from one place to another.” A figure of speech in which one thing is described in terms of another. The basic figure in poetry. A comparison is usually implicit; whereas in simile it is explicit. Allegory: The term derives from Greek allēgoria , “speaking otherwise.” As a rule, an allegory is a story in verse or prose with a double meaning: a primary or surface meaning; and a
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Unformatted text preview: secondary or under-the-surface meaning. It is a story, therefore, that can be read, understood and interpreted at two levels (and in some cases at three or four levels). It is thus closely related to the fable and parable. The form may be literary or pictorial (or both, as in emblem-books). An allegory has no determinate length. A Famous Old Arab Fable: The Frog and the Scorpion They met one day on the bank of the River Nile, which they both wanted to cross. The frog offered to ferry the scorpion over on his back provided the scorpion promised not to sting him. The scorpion agreed so long as the frog would promise not to drown him. The mutual promises exchanged, they crossed the river. On the far bank the scorpion stung the frog mortally. ‘Why did you do that?’ croaked the frog, as it lay dying. ‘Why?’ replied the scorpion. ‘We’re both Arabs, aren’t we?’...
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