Analogy vs allegory

  • Analogy and allegory are two types of figures of speech that are often confused. The term figure of speech came into use at the turn of the eighteenth century. Figures of speech are rhetorical constructions in English grammar that are to be taken figuratively or non-literally. These literary devices are used to make a point in an emotional fashion or to make a point in a more vivid fashion in figurative language. Analogy and allegory are often used in poetry, poetic rhetoric, and other narrative writings to illustrate abstract ideas and abstract concepts to make them more comprehensible. We will examine the meanings of the words analogy and allegory, where they came from, and some examples of their use in sentences.


    An analogy is a similarity between two things that are otherwise dissimilar, and the comparison based on such a similarity. When two items correspond in some fashion, an analogy draws the comparison between those two items, though they may be dissimilar in other ways. For example, comparing a knight’s sword to a writer’s pen is an analogy, as they are both weapons wielded by their owners. Many students in the English-speaking world are familiar with analogies because they can be a major part of standardized testing. An example of such an analogy: “Cat is to kitten as dog is to puppy.” The word analogy is derived from the Greek word analogia, which means proportion. Related words are analogies, analogous, analogic, analogical, analogically, analogist.


    An allegory is an image, story or poem that illustrates an abstract idea. Rather than a illustrating a literal meaning, an allegory is emblematic, demonstrating a hidden meaning through imagery and symbolism. For instance, the Narnia series of books written by C.S. Lewis, which begins with the novel The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe, is a Christian allegory. Aesop’s Fables are allegories. The word allegory is derived from
    the Greek word allegoria, which means symbolic language. Related words are allegories, allegoric, allegorical, allegorically, allegorist.

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