Metaphor (1490 words)

Literary/ Cultural Context Essay

David Punter (University of Bristol)
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Context

We can begin to consider the study of metaphor by considering the nature of text, and of the word “text” itself. If we were to be asked for a definition of “text”, our first recourse might be to a dictionary, and here we would find what at first glance appears to be precisely the definition we need: “The wording of anything written or printed; the structure formed by the words in their order; the very words, phrases, and sentences as written” (OED).

This may seem as though it is a clear, “literal” meaning, and certainly it absolutely summarises some of the everyday uses of the word that we might make when contemplating the study of literature – although even here we may suspect that the dictionary …

Citation: Punter, David. "Metaphor". The Literary Encyclopedia. First published 19 January 2008 [https://www.litencyc.com/php/stopics.php?rec=true&UID=718, accessed 17 September 2021.]

718 Metaphor 2 Historical context notes are intended to give basic and preliminary information on a topic. In some cases they will be expanded into longer entries as the Literary Encyclopedia evolves.

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