Definitions for allegoryˈæl əˌgɔr i, -ˌgoʊr i
Random House Webster's College Dictionary
al•le•go•ryˈæl əˌgɔr i, -ˌgoʊr i(n.)(pl.)-ries.
the representation of spiritual, moral, or other abstract meanings through the actions of fictional characters that serve as symbols.
an allegorical or figurative narrative, poem, or the like: the allegory of Piers Plowman.
Ref: emblem (def. 3). 3
Origin of allegory:
1350–1400; ME < L allēgoria < Gk allēgoría, der. of allēgoreîn to speak so as to imply something other = all- all - + -ēgorein to speak (see category )
fable, parable, allegory, apologue(noun)
a short moral story (often with animal characters)
a visible symbol representing an abstract idea
an expressive style that uses fictional characters and events to describe some subject by suggestive resemblances; an extended metaphor
The representation of abstract principles by characters or figures.
A picture, book, or other form of communication using such representation.
A symbolic representation.
Origin: From allegorie, from allegorie, from allegoria, from ἀλληγορία, from ἄλλος + ἀγορεύω
a figurative sentence or discourse, in which the principal subject is described by another subject resembling it in its properties and circumstances. The real subject is thus kept out of view, and we are left to collect the intentions of the writer or speaker by the resemblance of the secondary to the primary subject
anything which represents by suggestive resemblance; an emblem
a figure representation which has a meaning beyond notion directly conveyed by the object painted or sculptured
Allegory is a literary device in which characters or events in a literary, visual, or musical art form represent or symbolize ideas and concepts. Allegory has been used widely throughout the histories of all forms of art; a major reason for this is its immense power to illustrate complex ideas and concepts in ways that are easily digestible and tangible to its viewers, readers, or listeners. An allegory conveys its hidden message through symbolic figures, actions, imagery, and/or events. Allegory is generally treated as a figure of rhetoric; a rhetorical allegory is a demonstrative form of representation conveying meaning other than the words that are spoken. As a literary device, an allegory in its most general sense is an extended metaphor. One of the best known examples is Plato's "Allegory of the Cave." In this allegory, there are a group of people who have lived chained to the wall of a cave all of their lives, facing a blank wall. The people watch shadows projected on the wall by things passing in front of a fire behind them and begin to ascribe forms to these shadows. According to the allegory, the shadows are as close as the prisoners get to viewing reality.
The Nuttall Encyclopedia
a figurative mode of representation, in which a subject of a higher spiritual order is described in terms of that of a lower which resembles it in properties and circumstances, the principal subject being so kept out of view that we are left to construe the drift of it from the resemblance of the secondary to the primary subject.
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