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date: 28 February 2020

Abstract and Keywords

This chapter examines three figurative modes Romantic authors used to represent the ineffable: allegory, symbol, and myth. In literary studies, these terms identify verbal structures which are usually evaluated in linguistic or semantic terms, although visual expression also has a ‘language’. The chapter emphasizes the linguistic context while also exploring analogies with visual art, explaining how allegory, symbol, and myth provide familiar reference systems both for the verbal and visual artists who employed them and for the audiences who perceived them. All three modes offered ways of encoding, communicating, and interpreting human experience through semantically organized data whose complex referentiality seeks both to reconcile the differences and to reveal the continuities characteristic of a culture of shared experience during the Romantic era.

Keywords: allegory, symbol, myth, image, artist, audience, history, language, representation

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