Allegory: “a narrative in which the agents (characters) and actions are contrived by the author to make coherent sense within the “literal” level of the narrative’s plot but also signify a second, correlated order of signification….

[There are two main types of allegory]: 1) Historical political allegory, in which the characters and actions that are signified literally also represent historical personages or events…. 2) The allegory of ideas, in which the literal characters represent concepts and the plot allegorizes an abstract doctrine or thesis. In the second type…the central device is the personification of abstract entities such as virtues, vice, states of mind, modes of life, and types of character” (Abrams 5).

Abrams, M.H. A Glossary of Literary Terms. 7th ed. Fort Worth: Harcourt Brace, 1999. Print.
ENG 104 Midterm Examples

Correct Example

Victorianism is a critical term used to define a wide range of art and ideas created and shared during the reign of Queen Victoria (1837-1901). This time period saw a rapid expansion of England’s power and influence across the globe. Many artists celebrated the growth of England and viewed the nation’s expansion as good for England and the rest of the world. However, some were also critical of the nation’s treatment of their colonies and the conditions of the urban poor in England. A similar contradiction or even paradox can be seen in Alfred Tennyson’s “Ulysses.” Like the Victorians that viewed British imperialism in more positive terms, Tennyson’s Ulysses wants to seek adventure and explore the world. However, the poem also suggests that Ulysses is avoiding his kingly duties by leaving his throne to his son. Tennyson’s poem reveals two main ideas of the Victorian Era: the celebrating of exploration and industrial advancement, while also suggesting a criticism of imperialism.

Flawed Examples

A persona is the first-person speaker who tells the story in a narrative poem or novel, or whose voice...

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