However, it is difficult to point out a separate allegorical school. It is not surprising that theological allegory is to be found more in the homiletical and exegetical works of medieval Hebrew philosophers and mystics than in the "straight" theological works. Allegory was used mainly to reconcile ancient lore with contemporary theology, and homiletics and exegetical literature are usually the meeting place of the old and the new.
However, some use of allegory is to be found in stories and fables incorporated in theological works, e. The philosophers used allegory not only to explain away the physical attributes of God in the Bible and the talmudic literature. They interpreted whole biblical stories as allegory. This tendency is less evident in the early development of Jewish medieval philosophy; it came into its own only in the 13 th century, in the writings of Maimonists like R. In works like these, one plot is substituted for another: the story of Abraham and Sarah, for example, becomes a parable of the relationship between matter and form, and Noah's three sons represent the three Platonic social classes.
Allegory does not occupy a prominent place in kabbalistic thought and insofar as kabbalists used it, they were influenced by philosophical exegesis. The specific domain of kabbalistic thought is the aspect of sod "mystery" , that is, viewing the processes of the world or interpreting the Scriptures in a manner which refers them to the mystery of the Godhead and its hidden life. However, opposed to sod is remez "allusion" , which is allegory. Philosophical commentaries did not talk of processes within the divine world revealing themselves through symbols; but of parallelism between biblical data, e.
Such commentaries recur in certain parts of the Zohar, especially in the Midrash ha-Ne'lam concerning the stories of the patriarchs and Ruth, where these stories were interpreted as allegories of the fate of the soul in its descent from above into the human body, its vicissitudes inside the body, and the future allotted to it after death and in the world to come.
Here and there such commentaries are also found in the main body of the Zohar. Asher the allegorical parts "rational exegesis" were separated from the kabbalistic parts "exegesis in the manner of the Kabbalah". Moreover, unlike most of the other kabbalists and philosophers who allegorized the sacred scriptures, Abulafia composed some of his prophetic writings as allegories, inventing dramas whose specific meaning he himself interpreted by resorting to Maimonidean psychology or metaphysics.
As to prose writings, while it is probable that the stories of R. Also some of the writings of I. Further examples may be found in the early stories of Abraham B. The allegorical names given to some opf the characters are interwoven with realistic features e.
Biblical Allusion and Allegory in The Merchant of Venice_图文_百度文库
In his novella Nemalim "Ants," , Orpaz describes how a horde of mysterious, demonic ants invade an apartment, threatening to destroy the home of a couple on the verge of a divorce. The menace of the ants has been interpreted as an allegorical story about the horror of the modern family as well as the destructive forces among the Arabs. Lagrange, in: rb, 6 , —, —67 esp. Eissfeldt, Der Maschal im Alten Testament , esp.
Gunkel and H. Gressmann, in rgg 2 , 1 , —20; A. Bentzen, Introduction to the Old Testament , 1 , —80; F. Hauck, in: G. Friedrich ed. Fraenkel, Darkhei ha-Aggadah ve-ha-Midrash Heb.
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Kallus Most often, it consists of an image that develops within a coherent narrative context, referring systematically—often metaphorically—to a referential universe of a different nature e. As a figure of speech , it is commonly distinguished from a metaphor or a comparison by the number of its elements.
Because an allegory is characterized by the systematically maintained coexistence of a double meaning, literal and symbolic, literal and figurative, it is a complex figurative system whose interpretation is difficult. An allegory is thus always at risk of remaining enigmatic or undecipherable. However, its obscure character, its sometimes sinuous or elliptical logic, also gives it its strength and permanence: an allegory is always rich with meaning, versatile, polysemic.
Resorting to a personifying allegory has often been a defense against this possible confusion or incomprehension. Personifying involves ascribing human traits, feelings, and behaviors to inanimate beings or abstractions. The readability of the personifying allegory thus prevents misinterpretations: virtues e. All these allegories are predominantly feminine, as if this gender facilitates comprehension of the figure of speech. Several explanations can be offered for this feminization of the allegory.
From antiquity, poets have personified all these beings of reason, these abstract notions, these techniques, these eminently human feelings and desires, so as to transform them into divinities of flesh and blood, animated characters, or the familiar figures of the Greek mythology best known from the writings of Homer in Iliad or the Odyssey. One of the first explanations given concerning allegory's gender is that the gender of the word, notion, or concept determined the gender of the personification: Because numerous terms were grammatically feminine in ancient and some modern languages, they were depicted as feminine.
This philological explanation, although perhaps less than satisfying, is nonetheless heuristically sound. Through direct usage of allegorical personification, she reduced the figurative to the literal, the symbolic to the domestic. She thus transcribed her feminine characters into reality. She gave them a historical and proclamatory density, as shown by the positions she took in her Querelle de la Rose Quilligan Women are not authority, women have authority.
However, in doing so, Christine de Pisan purely and simply sacrificed allegory. Angus Fletcher defines allegory as a technique to encode a text: Allegory says one thing and means another Fletcher The feminine gender of personifications and other allegorical figures thus necessarily refers to something else: it appears to show itself, to unveil itself, but it always has to fade away to serve a coded, hidden meaning. The gendered incarnation of allegory may be defined as a "power transfer game": The feminine body of the allegorical figure serves a world that is in fact dominated by men.
This kind of cartographical allegory had been present since ancient times and was commonly used by Christian thinkers. It allowed the representation of complex relationships as well as the visualization of metaphysical, moral, social, and political values as they related to one another; by definition, a map has coordinates and is thus symbolically hierarchical, whereas benefiting from a panoptical and thus immediately inclusive acquisition mode. The seventeenth century saw the development of what is called "gallant geography," first in the Parisian salons, then in England. In this representation of the meanderings of the heart, feelings are likened to so many rivers, mountains, lakes, seas, forests, boroughs, or towns.
This de-gendering of allegory allowed courtesans to reinvent the norms of gallant friendship. Given that love's passions and virtues were no longer fixed allegorically in female or male characters, they could be truly incarnated by women and men meeting freely: thus testifying to the strength of the societal trend that was critical of inequality between the sexes, which developed during the classical age. At the end of the eighteenth century, allegory became one of the favorite forms of expression of political power.
In Europe, as in America, a profusion of female allegorical characters arose in the texts of neoclassicism and, later on, romanticism. Just when new nations were born and old nations called for their own "regeneration," allegory contributed to the great fabric of founding narratives. Allegory then becomes "a kind of physiognomy of history" De Baecque , p. The allegorical female characters of modern nations almost systematically contradict dominant norms of femininity. The characters Marianne, Britannia , and Germania are inspired by the warrior goddess Athena: These secularized guardian divinities; these female armed authorities the bayonet of the French republic, the trident of Britannia , and the sword of Germania appeared just when the separation between the public sphere and the private sphere—to which most women were assigned—was confirmed.
But more fundamentally, just when the modern, exclusively male citizen thought of himself as a free Subject, liberated from any material and social determination, masculinity could no longer be an efficient signifier, because it was confounded with the neutral, the undetermined, and the universal. The allegorical character could consequently be only female, because its gender is by definition a matter of determination and concrete characterization. Only the feminine can thus signify the most abstract notions, embody a concept, and give it meaning and reality e.
However, as soon as nations were transformed into colonial empires, the allegory not only served to represent national values, it also became a real discursive and political matrix Dorlin The allegorical femininity of the nation was entirely confounded with motherhood: she simultaneously generated and represented her people. The metaphor thus acquired a performative dimension: The nation was represented as an agricultural divinity.
Marianne was, for example, represented as the maternal, nurturing, and white goddess Ceres, whereas the colonies and other overseas possessions were represented as both hyper-eroticized and grotesque bodies.
The indigenous, hyper-eroticized, almost systematically naked bodies represented a wildness to be civilized, an eternal childhood of peoples allegedly devoid of history, as well as the erotic object par excellence, on which the colonizers' desire could licitly focus. Just when European nationalisms arose at the end of the nineteenth century and allegorical female characters repeatedly represented an excessive and virilized motherhood, those colonized incarnated all sexual fantasies.
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This allegory was made of all sexual desires: The exoticism of the colonies was the signifier of sexuality.