30) It is against this background of a heightened awareness of the contingency of meaning on the levels both of scholarship and of everyday grammar school teaching that both linguists and allegorists were confronted with the question of how language might work.
Language itself must be felt to have a potency as solidly meaningful as physical fact before the allegorist can begin.
meaning, the melancholic gaze of the allegorist
, Benjamin writes,
Shylock, a Jew, corresponds to the elder brother of the parable, who, according to most medieval allegorists, represents the Jews.
The allegorists saw the parable not as an ethical pattern but as a historical pattern.
The other thing that is unusual about this passage is that Langland retains the materiality of the body in his metaphor in a way that other allegorists
But his canonization of Sidney and Milton as "major allegorists of English literature" may unsettle readers who associate allegory with extended passages of prosopopoeia or with a text's location of meaning beyond the terms of its immediate fiction.
Borris' two chapters on The Faerie Queene center on Book VI's Legend of Courtesy, the section of the poem that critics have sometimes cited as evidence that Spenser himself, the English allegorist par excellence, abandoned allegory before he could finish his great national epic.
The volume's dual concern with poetics and with cultural theory derives from the editors' conception of Spenser as poet, allegorist, and proto-anthropologist: "Spenser is not only a powerful theorist of allegory and poetics more generally, he is also a profound and subtle ethnographer of both England and Ireland" (4).
Subsequent allegorists of the Song similarly whisk us away like nervous nannies every time the bride and groom look like they are about to engage in a clinch--though with the passage of time allegorical expositors also developed more subtle strategies for sanitizing the salacious Song.
Yet these twentieth-century allegorists tend to be worlds apart from Bernard of Clairvaux or Saint John of the Cross.
For Teskey, violence is not simply one topic among many others that allegorists
have dealt with.
, intent on delivering a spiritual equivalent for every last physical detail, read the Song as if they were decoding a cryptogram.
In fact, the author reflects little awareness of the body of evidence which points towards the fundamental differences in exegetical styles not only between early Jewish scribes and later rabbis (Instone-Brewer 1992), but also between contemporaries like the Pharisees and Alexandrian allegorists
(Lowy 1969), or even the copyist traditions of Qumran and the pre-70 C.
Just as in Homeric studies, so among subsequent Christian scholars there were two schools of interpretation, the literalists and the allegorists
, and from the time of Augustine onward the allegorists