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Allegory Examples

An allegory is a piece of art or literature, like a poem or story, in which people, things or happenings have a hidden or symbolic meaning.

Allegory Examples

Here are some examples of allegory in literature:

  • The Lion, the Witch, and the Wardrobe by C.S. Lewis is a religious allegory with Aslan as Christ and Edmund as Judas.
  • Faerie Queene by Edmund Spenser is a religious or moral allegory where characters represent virtues and vices.
  • Pilgrim’s Progress by John Bunyan is a spiritual allegory about a spiritual journey.
  • The Lord of the Flies by William Golding has many allegories about society, morality and religion, to name a few.
  • The Masque of the Red Death by Edgar Allan Poe shows no one escapes death.
  • Young Goodman Brown by Nathaniel Hawthorne is showing the Devil’s staff being used to defy God and eat the forbidden fruit.
  • Animal Farm by George Orwell is a political allegory of events in Russia and Communism.

Allegory in Animal Farm

Here are some specific examples:

  • All animals are equal but a few are more equal than others. (society)
  • Pigs represent people in power.
  • Mr. Jones is symbolic of Tsar Nicholas II, who was overthrown.
  • Boxer represents the working class.
  • Old Major’s dream symbolizes the Communist Manifesto.
  • Squealer represents Propaganda.
  • Moses stands for the Russian Orthodox Church.
  • Mollie represents the bourgeoisie.
  • Benjamin stands for intellectuals.

Allegory in Faerie Queene

Here are some specific examples:

  • The Red-Cross Knight represents holiness.
  • Lady Una stands for the one true faith and goodness.
  • Una’s parents symbolize the human race.
  • The dragon represents evil.
  • Speranza stands for hope.
  • Sans foy represents being without faith.
  • Duessa stands for the false religion.

Allegory in Lord of the Flies

Here are some specific examples:

  • The island represents the whole world.
  • The conch stands for law and order.
  • The fire represents hope and destruction.
  • Piggy’s glasses symbolize knowledge.
  • The beast stands for evil and darkness.
  • Ralph’s hair represents savagery.

Allegory in Art

Here are some examples:

  • Albrecht Dürer’s Melencolia I has the hourglass and empty scale showing the woman’s sad emotional state.
  • Allegory of Queen Elizabeth (English School) shows death, Father Time, and two cherubs taking the crown off of her head.
  • Bronzino’s Venus, Cupid, Folly and Time shows time and folly surrounding love.
  • Titian’s Allegory of Prudence represents the past, present and future with three human heads and a beast with three heads.
  • The Feast of Herod with the Beheading of St John the Baptist by Bartholomeus Strobel stands for the time of the Thirty Years War.

Allegory in Movies

Here are some examples:

  • The Seventh Seal – Shows the relationship between man and religion.
  • Avatar – Pandora Woods represent the Amazon rainforest.
  • The Wizard of Oz – The lion represents cowardice. The scarecrow stands for the agrarian past and the tin man the technological future.
  • Blade Runner – Represents the relationship between mankind and technology.
  • Fight Club – Deals with consumerism, conformity and nonconformity.
  • Network – Represents mass media controlling people.
  • Wall-E – An allegory to save the Earth.

Now you have seen what allegory means in lots of different contexts. Looking for more examples? Check out examples of books in allegory.


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