Definitions for: Allegory

[n] an expressive style that uses fictional characters and events to describe some subject by suggestive resemblances; an extended metaphor
[n] a short moral story (often with animal characters)
[n] a visible symbol representing an abstract idea

Webster (1913) Definition: Al"le*go*ry, n.; pl. Allegories. [L. allegoria, Gr.
?, description of one thing under the image of another; ?
other + ? to speak in the assembly, harangue, ? place of
assembly, fr. ? to assemble: cf. F. all['e]gorie.]
1. 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.

2. Anything which represents by suggestive resemblance; an

3. (Paint. & Sculpt.) A figure representation which has a
meaning beyond notion directly conveyed by the object
painted or sculptured.

Syn: Metaphor; fable.

Usage: Allegory, Parable. ``An allegory differs both from
fable and parable, in that the properties of persons
are fictitiously represented as attached to things, to
which they are as it were transferred. . . . A figure
of Peace and Victory crowning some historical
personage is an allegory. ``I am the Vine, ye are the
branches'' [--John xv. 1-6] is a spoken allegory. In
the parable there is no transference of properties.
The parable of the sower [--Matt. xiii. 3-23]
represents all things as according to their proper
nature. In the allegory quoted above the properties of
the vine and the relation of the branches are
transferred to the person of Christ and His apostles
and disciples.'' --C. J. Smith.

Note: An allegory is a prolonged metaphor. Bunyan's
``Pilgrim's Progress'' and Spenser's ``Fa["e]rie
Queene'' are celebrated examples of the allegory.

Synonyms: apologue, emblem, fable, parable

See Also: Aesop's fables, Agnus Dei, badge, donkey, dove, eagle, elephant, ensign, expressive style, fasces, Hakenkreuz, hammer and sickle, Magen David, maple-leaf, medallion, Mogen David, national flag, Paschal Lamb, red flag, scarlet letter, spread eagle, Star of David, story, style, swastika, symbol, symbolic representation, symbolisation, symbolization

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