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Religious Allegory. And Allegory Throughout History. What Is Allegory?. 1. Description of a subject under the guise of some other subject of aptly suggestive resemblance.

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religious allegory

Religious Allegory

And Allegory Throughout History

what is allegory
What Is Allegory?
  • 1. Description of a subject under the guise of some other subject of aptly suggestive resemblance.
  • 2. An instance of such description; a figurative sentence, discourse, or narrative, in which properties and circumstances attributed to the apparent subject really refer to the subject they are meant to suggest; an extended or continued metaphor.
uses of allegory
Uses of Allegory
  • To allow a message to reach a broader audience (such as commoners outside of the clergy)
  • To make otherwise complex concepts palatable
dante
Dante
  • The Divine Comedy details the three levels of the afterlife in an allegorical manner.
dante1
Dante
  • “Well, if the subject of the whole work, taken literally, is this subject: The status of souls after death, taken simply and not limited, it is obvious that in this part such a status is the subject, but restricted, that is, the status of the blessed souls after death. And if the subject of the whole work, taken allegorically, is man, as he gains or loses merit by the exercise of his freedom of will, being subject to the justice of punishment or reward, it is obvious that in this part the subject is restricted, namely, man, to the extent that he is subject by merits to the justice of punishment.”
pearl
“Pearl”
  • “I never found her precious equal”
  • Fusing substantive allegory with a stylistic metaphor the poem in its formatting is itself an allegory.
book of the city of ladies
“Book of the City of Ladies”
  • Using allegory to make a case for women.
plato
Plato

Allegory of the Cave

The prisoners are chained to a wall in a cave and can only see the shadows of things outside. The philosopher is the one who can see that the shadows are more than just shadows.

ship of fools
“Ship of Fools”
  • Fools on a ship without a captain.
aristotle
Aristotle
  • Words spoken are symbols or signs (symbola) of affections or impressions (pathemata) of the soul (psyche); written words are the signs of words spoken.
  • As writing, so also is speech not the same for all races of men.
  • But the mental affections themselves, of which these words are primarily signs (semeia), are the same for the whole of mankind, as are also the objects (pragmata) of which those affections are representations or likenesses, images, copies (homoiomata).
the modern allegory
The Modern Allegory
  • C.S. Lewis’ “The Chronicles of Narnia” (1950-1956)
  • George Orwell’s “Animal Farm” (1945)
  • Cormac McCarthy’s “The Road” (2006)
  • J.K. Rowling’s “Harry Potter” (1997-2007)
in film
In Film
  • Metropolis (1927)
  • Casablanca (1942)
  • 2001: A Space odyssey (1968)
  • The Matrix (1999)