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[13] But they are excellent when there is a proportional metaphor; for it is possible to liken a shield to the goblet of Ares and a ruin to the rag of a house; to say that Niceratus is a Philoctetes bitten by Pratys, to use the simile of Thrasymachus, when he saw Niceratus, defeated by Pratys in a rhapsodic competition, still dirty with his hair uncut.1 It is herein that poets are especially condemned if they fail, but applauded if they succeed. I mean, for instance, when they introduce an answering clause:2 “ He carries his legs twisted like parsley,

” or again, “ Like Philammon punching the leather sack.

” All such expressions are similes, and similes, as has been often said, are metaphors of a kind.

1 Like Philoctetes on Lemnos after he had been bitten by the snake.

2 When the concluding corresponds with the introductory expression. This “answering clause” is called apodosis (5.2), not restricted, as in modern usage, to the conclusion of a conditional sentence.

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