An allegory is a fantastic tool that helps exemplify the beauty of literature. Take a look at few genuine examples of allegories in this article.

Allegory Examples

To make a baked dish taste better, we add pepper or oregano or a dash of olive oil. To make a social gathering livelier, we blast the stereo to a rhythmic and groovy song or double the stock of alcohol. To improve our child’s school grades, we hire a tutor or find creative ways to make them understand the basics of geometry or chemistry more effectively. Similarly, to spice up English literature, prose writers, authors and poets employ significant literary techniques and figure of speeches to their masterpieces. Some use imagery, others binge on metaphors and the literary geniuses occasionally take advantage of allegory. The term allegory has been derived from the Greek word “allos” which means “to speak”. It is the rhetoric and art of signifying meanings in non-literal ways. Allegories places more emphasis on the underlying message behind a story rather than the narrative details. Examples of allegory typically fall under the categories of abstract themes or political and historical allegories. Dig into this article for appropriate allegory examples and get the hang of this popularly used figure of speech.

Examples Of Allegories
  • Does Plato's allegory of the cave ring a bell? One of the most well know citations of allegory, humans are herein depicted to be imprisoned in cave; their bodies are chained and they can only see the shadows of living things. They are thus tricked into believing that these shadows are the real deal and perceive them to be the right sight. Plato hence plays with the notion that if these people had to be freed loose, they could perceived “true” reality and encounter the divine light of the sun. What Plato is actually trying to imply is that what if these people suddenly embrace philosophy and become enlightened by it?
  • The Holy Bible, especially the Old Testament and The Book of Revelation in the New Testament ooze out examples with intriguing allegory. 'The Prodigal Son' narrated by Jesus Christ speaks about the younger of two sons grabbing his share of his father’s estate and flees the city to have a ball! He eventually blows up all his money and arrives at the brink of starvation and rushes to his father for forgiveness. His father was moved by compassion and ordered for a goat to be slaughtered for his son had returned! Hence, this parable uses the father’s generous joy as an allegory to convey the theological point that God showers us with infinite mercy!
  • Animal Farm by George Orwell epitomizes allegory and has used it to its best potential. Orwell demonstrates the psychological foundation of revolution. His characters are essentially pigs masquerading as political figures of the Russian revolution. Old Major the ruler and white boar is an allegory of Karl Marx and Lenin, the founders of communism. Napoleon, the ferocious Berkshire Boar and the main villain of Animal Farm reminds readers of Stalin’s brutal traits. Observe the menagerie of diverse characters and notice how the sheep can be compared to the gullible masses. The allegory in this novel blends satire and subtle symbolism to a highly remarkable peak. If you haven’t read it yet, get moving to the closest bookstore and have a splendid laugh!
  • Don’t you love Aesop’s Fables? Moreover, the Boy who Cried Wolf? The prankster of a boy learns his lesson as he fooled his neighbours not once but twice that a wolf had threatened to attack him and his flock of sheep. The Concerned neighbourhood stormed out of their respective dwellings to bail the boy out of trouble only to realize they have been bamboozled! Alas! When the wolf in actuality comes to attack, the boy’s cries for help are rendered futile and the people feign deafness. Hence, the allegory insinuates the danger of lies!
  • Titian's ‘Allegory of Age Governed by Prudence’, with three human heads symbolising age and the triple-headed beast (dog, lion, wolf) standing for prudence.
  • Boetheus’ ‘Consolation’ becomes the inspiration for the allegory used by Dante, Boccaccio, and Chaucer, and as well inspires the Arthurian myths. Dante, a master of allegory has used extended allegory to symbolize sins. Wherever he has described the levels of Hell or Purgatory, he matches it with a punishment that represents and fits the crimes committed.
  • In poetry, Edmund Spenser's ‘The Faerie Queene’ is a classic example of allegory. Written in praise of Queen Elizabeth I, the poem is greatly symbolic where several knights stand for virtues like friendship, truth and justice, all represented allegorically and beautifully.

How to Cite

Related Articles

More from