February 11, 2012
- allegory (noun)
- What does it mean?
- : a story in which the characters and events are symbols that stand for truths about human life
- How do you use it?
- The medieval play "Everyman" is an allegory that has characters with names like Knowledge, Beauty, Strength, and Death.
- Are you a word wiz?
"Allegory" comes from the Greek word "allegorein," meaning "to speak figuratively." This word traces back to the root "egorein." What do you think "egorein" means?The truth is that D is the answer. "Egorein" means "to speak publicly." Added to "allos," meaning "other," the resulting word, "allegorein," means "to speak figuratively" -- that is, to talk about something using words that usually are used to refer to something else. "Allegory" is a broad term that includes some other kinds of stories you've probably heard of. Fables are allegories intended to teach a lesson and involving animals that talk and act like people. Parables are also allegories. They're short and simple stories that illustrate a moral or spiritual truth.