previous next

Apparent Exception.--The only case where a simile is involved and an expansion is possible is where a person, as for instance Mars, the God of War, is represented as doing something which he is not imagined to do literally. Thus the phrase "Mars mows down his foes" is not literally true. No painter would represent Mars (though he would Time) with a scythe. It is therefore a metaphor and, as such, capable of expansion thus :--

"As easily as a haymaker mows down the grass, so easily does Mars cut down his foes with his sword."

But the phrase "Mars slays his foes" is, from a poet's or painter's point of view, literally true. It is therefore no metaphor, and cannot be expanded.

Creative Commons License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 3.0 United States License.

An XML version of this text is available for download, with the additional restriction that you offer Perseus any modifications you make. Perseus provides credit for all accepted changes, storing new additions in a versioning system.

hide Display Preferences
Greek Display:
Arabic Display:
View by Default:
Browse Bar: