Indispensable to an understanding of Medieval and Renaissance texts and a topic of controversy for the Romantic poets, allegory remains a site for debate and controversy in the twenty-first-century.
In this useful guide, Jeremy Tambling:
presents a concise history of allegory, providing numerous examples from Medieval forms to the present day
considers the relationship between allegory and symbolism
analyses the use of allegory in modernist debate and deconstruction, looking at critics such as Walter Benjamin and Paul de Man
provides a full glossary of technical terms and suggestions for further reading.
Allegory offers an accessible, clear introduction to the history and use of this complex literary device. It is the ideal tool for all those seeking a greater understanding of texts that make use of allegory and of the significance of allegorical thinking to literature.
Jeremy Tambling is Professor of Literature at the University of Manchester, and author of several books on literature and literary and cultural theory. His most recent books include RE:Verse: Turning towards Poetry (2007) and Going Astray: Dickens and London (2008).
1. Allegory: An Introduction 2. Classical and Medieval Allegory 3. Medieval and Renaissance Personification 4. From Allegory to Symbolism 5. Allegory in the Age of Realism 6. Walter Benjamin: Allegory versus Symbolism 7. Allegory, Irony, Deconstruction 8. Modern Allegory Glossary of Terms Bibliography