The Difference Between Metaphors and Symbols

The Sceptical Prophet

These two are easily confused with each other, and it’s no wonder why! The two are related to each other, blurring the line between. I was guilty of using the two almost interchangeably in my early years of high school, until I read this:

“A metaphor is not language, it is an idea expressed by language, an idea that in its turn functions as a symbol to express something.” – Susanne Langer

Let’s go through a quick definition. A metaphor is a rhetorical device in which the traits of something are attributed to something else, but not in a literal sense. It helps to understand that a simile is a type of metaphor, so let’s take a look at an example:

“But look, the morn, in russet mantle clad, Walk o’er the dew of yon high eastern hill” – Hamlet, William Shakespeare.

The coming of morning is likened to being…

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52 Weeks of Inspiring Illustrations, Week 3: An Evolutionary History of Photography

Echoes from the Vault

As part of our 52 Weeks of Inspiring Illustrations we will explore the Photographic Collection by examining the evolution of photographic processes as they are represented by our holdings. The aim is to underline the physical qualities of different photographic media and the cultural and commercial implications of advancements to these processes.  The reader will be introduced to a medium first driven by the curiosity of science and then very quickly taken over by commercial imperatives. Although much attention in specialist texts about photography emphasise the “art” of photography and the aesthetics of unique prints, the creation of photographs, proportionally speaking, takes place far from artists, museums or art historians. Photography, for the most part, is a commercially driven medium. Although our Photographic Collection features fine examples of rare vintage material which has been identified as art, it is rather the scope and multiplicity of the subjects represented and how…

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