allegory allegoria
 al'-le-go-ry from Gk. eirein, “to speak”
the figure of false semblant, continued metaphor

A sustained metaphor continued through whole sentences or even through a whole discourse.
The most obvious use of allegory is work-length narratives such as the medieval Everyman or Bunyan's Pilgrim's Progress.

Quintilian labels allegory what is elsewhere called a "conceit": an extended metaphor:
The ship of state has sailed through rougher storms than the tempest of these lobbyists.

Allegory also occurs when an allusion is made with no introductory explanation and the speaker trusts the audience to make the connection, as in the following example, where reference is made to the historic landing of a craft on the moon, but no direct connection is made to the more mundane application of this allusion:
Well, the Eagle has landed. I thought you'd never make partner in the firm.

Related Figures

Related Topics of Invention

See Also
  Sources: Ad Herennium 4.34.46 ("permutatio"); Quintilian 8.6.44-58; Bede 615-618; Susenbrotus (1540) 12-14 ("allegoria," "inversio," "permutatio"); Sherry (1550) 45; Peacham (1577) D1r; Putt. (1589) 197 ("allegoria," "the figure of false semblant"); Day 1599 79; Hoskins 1599 9.

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Gideon O. Burton, Brigham Young University
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