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This is why compound words are especially employed by dithyrambic poets, who are full of noise; strange words by epic poets, for they imply dignity and self-assertion; metaphor to writers of iambics, who now employ them, as we have stated.

[4] The fourth cause of frigidity of style is to be found in metaphors; for metaphors also are inappropriate, some because they are ridiculous—for the comic poets also employ them—others because they are too dignified and somewhat tragic; and if they are farfetched, they are obscure, as when Gorgias says: “Affairs pale and bloodless”1; “you have sown shame and reaped misfortune”; for this is too much like poetry. And as Alcidamas calls philosophy “a bulwark of the laws,”2 and the Odyssey “a beautiful mirror of human life,” and “introducing no such plaything in poetry.” All these expressions fail to produce persuasion, for the reasons stated. As for what Gorgias said to the swallow which, flying over his head, let fall her droppings upon him, it was in the best tragic style. He exclaimed, “Fie, for shame, Philomela!”; for there would have been nothing in this act disgraceful for a bird, whereas it would have been for a young lady. The reproach therefore was appropriate, addressing her as she was, not as she is.

4. The simile also is a metaphor; for there is very little difference. When the poet says of Achilles,3 “ he rushed on like a lion,

” it is a simile; if he says, “a lion, he rushed on,” it is a metaphor; for because both are courageous, he transfers the sense and calls Achilles a lion. [2] The simile is also useful in prose, but should be less frequently used, for there is something poetical about it. Similes must be used like metaphors, which only differ in the manner stated. [3] The following are examples of similes. Androtion4 said of Idrieus that he was like curs just unchained; for as they attack and bite, so he when loosed from his bonds was dangerous. Again, Theodamas likened Archidamus to a Euxenus ignorant of geometry, by proportion;5 for Euxenus “will be Archidamus acquainted with geometry.” Again, Plato in the Republic6 compares those who strip the dead to curs, which bite stones, but do not touch those who throw them; he also says that the people is like a ship's captain who is vigorous, but rather deaf;7 that poets' verses resemble those who are in the bloom of youth but lack beauty;8 for neither the one after they have lost their bloom, nor the others after they have been broken up,9

1 On this passage Thompson (Gorgias, p. 179) says: “The metaphor of reaping and sowing is a mere commonplace . . . but ‘pallid and bloodless affairs’ is a phrase which would need apology even from a modern.” On the other hand, it is difficult to see what objection there is to calling the Odyssey “a beautiful mirror of human life.” Another reading is ἔναιμα, which Cope translates “events fresh with the blood in them.” If the two extracts are taken together, it is suggested (apparently by the editor of Cope's notes) that the sense may be: “things green and unripe (flushed with sap), and this was the crop which you . . .,” the adjectives referring to green and unripe stalks of corn.

2 Or, “a barrier against the laws.” This is the general meaning of ἐπιτείχισμα, a border fortress commanding an enemy's country.

3 Compare Hom. Il. 22.164 ἐνάντιον ὦρτο λεὼν ὥς.

4 Pupil of Isocrates and historical writer. Idrieus was a prince of Caria, who had been imprisoned.

5 Meaning that there was no difference between Euxenus without a knowledge of geometry and Archidamus with a knowledge of geometry. The proportion of geometrical knowledge will remain the same, so that Archidamus can be called an ungeometrical Euxenus, and Euxenus a geometrical Archidamus (see 4.4, note for “by proportion”).

6 Plat. Rep. 469d.

7 Plat. Rep. 488a.

8 Plat. Rep. 601b.

9 If metrical restrictions have been removed and they are read as prose.

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