An allegory is a literary device, which is extensively used in all forms of arts so as to convey the ideas and concepts to readers, viewers and listeners in a comprehensive manner. In simple words, an allegory refers to a piece of literature or art, including poems and stories that contain hidden or symbolic meaning, which is represented by people, things or events. When an author uses his or her characters, setting and plot not only to entertain, but also to convey a lesson or moral to the readers or audience is known as allegory. Allegories are extended metaphors that give a deeper understanding of the big concepts. An allegory can be a comparison between two different things. 

The word ‘allegory’ is derived from the Greek word ‘allos’, which means to speak. However, as per another theory, the word was first coined in the year 1382 and taken from Latin word ‘allegoria’, which means veiled language. The purpose of an allegory is to describe a story or a plot in detail and concentrates more on the moral of the story rather than just focusing on narrative details of the story. This literary device is used in myriads of narrative works, including prose, poetry, drama, etc. 

Allegory Definition 

An allegory is defined as a figure of speech and a symbolic fictional story that explains the abstract ideas and principles with the help of characters, things and events. It is used in prose and poetry to convey a story, which contains a purpose of teaching a moral or a lesson to the reader. The main aim of an allegory is to teach or preach a specific moral or lesson to the reader or audience. It is an extended metaphor that makes use of different characters, locations, objects and various other components of a story so as to give deeper meaning instead of superficial words. 

An allegory has various forms such as fable, apologue or parable, which have hidden or symbolic meaning. The literary allegories usually explain situations, concepts, ideas or events through persons, objects or actions. In other words, the authors use allegories as literary devices or as rhetorical devices to communicate the hidden meaning (moral, spiritual or political meaning) with the help of symbolic figures, imagery, actions or events. 

Allegory Ideas 

An allegory is a literary work that contains an entertaining story, which provides a moral or lesson to the readers. The authors use allegories so as to draw the attention of readers on important issues in the form of storytelling. Here, some important tips are discussed that will help you to structure an allegory. 
Allegory Ideas

  1. Select an allegory that you want to write. An allegory can be a short story, poem or novel, fable, drama, etc. 
  2. Before writing a story or a poem, keep in mind what moral, principle or lesson you want to convey to your readers. It is an important part of your story. 
  3. Whether you are writing a novel, story or a poem, it should contain a moral lesson. The moral of the story represents the viewpoint of a writer. Hence, the writer should tell a story that describes how his character faces the consequences for his or her deeds. 

By adhering to above mentioned steps, you can frame an allegory in an organized manner.

Allegory Examples 

An allegory can be described as a poem, play or a story in which the characters, objects or events symbolize a moral lesson or a spiritual meaning. Some popular allegories are mentioned below:  

  1. The Chronicles of Narnia – C.S Lewis
  2. The Pearl – John Steinbeck
  3. The Lord of the Flies – William Golding
  4. Black Beauty – Anna Sewell
  5. The Masque of the Red Death – Edgar Allan Poe
  6. Pilgrim’s Progress – John Bunyan
  7. Animal Farm – George Orwell 
  8. Encountering Trouble – Qu Yuan
  9. The Trojan Women – Euripides
  10. The Divine Comedy – Dante Alighieri 
  11. A Christmas Carol – Charles Dickens 
  12. Animal Farm – George Orwell
  13. The Book of the City of Ladies – Christine de Pizan
  14. Moby Dick – Herman Melville
  15. A Tale of A Tub – Jonathan Swift
  16. Faerie Queene – Edmund Spenser
  17. Psychomachia – Prudentius 
  18. Young Goodman Brown – Nathaniel Hawthorne 
  19. Phaedrus (Chariot Allegory) – Plato
  20. Piers Plowman – William Langland