A Probe Into the Metaphors in English Poetry

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ABSTRACT

The painters keep the scenery on the drawing board via pigment while the poets create the feeling of grace and depth via metaphors. Metaphor is a commonly-used figure of speech both in English and Chinese poems. With metaphor, poems become vivid, colourful, artistic and moving. The use of metaphors in English poems shows the nature and culture factors are quite influential in literature works. Nowadays, metaphor is more and more being concerned as an important subject of cognitive science. The thesis analyzes the usage of metaphor in English poems through many aspects, concerns about how the poets express their feelings and thoughts with metaphor, and talks about some theory of cognitive science through the study of metaphor, showing the importance of English poetic metaphors.

Keywords: metaphor; figure of speech; English poem; nature and culture; cognitive science; feelings and thoughts

CONTENTS

Introduction1
Chapter One A Brief Review of Metaphor2
1.1. The Definition of Metaphor2
1.2. Theoretical Study of Metaphor2
1.2.1 The Comparison Theory……………………………………………………….3 1.2.2 The Substitution Theory……………………………………………………….4 1.2.3 The Interaction Theory………………………………………………………...4 1.2.4 The Cognitive Theory.

Chapter Two Metaphor in English Poetry5
2.1. The Importance of Metaphor in English Poetry5
2.2. The Use of Metaphor in English Poems5
2.2.1 The Metaphor of Death in English Poems…………………………………….5 2.2.2 The Basic Factors of Metaphors in English Poems are Shaped………..……7 Chapter Three Different Types of Metaphor in English Poetry9 3.1. Object-Only Metaphor9

3.2. Image-only Metaphor9
3.3 Object, Image and Sense Metaphor……………………………………9 3.4 Object and Image Metaphor…………………………………………..10 Conclusion11
Works Cited12
Acknowledgements13

Introduction

The research on metaphor has a long history which could be traced to the classics Poetics and Rhetoric of Aristotle. In poetics he said: “metaphor is the application to the thing of name belonging to another”. Actually this research process is sustained till today without interruption. In the classics of ancient Chinese the book of poetry, metaphor is one of the three essential elements (Fu, Bi and Xing) with simile. The philosophers and scholars of different dynasties also proposed many remarkable opinions about metaphor while discussing the literature and poems. They treat metaphor as the smartest way in express the emotion and feeling of themselves. In western countries, from Aristotle’s traditional study of metaphor, the study of metaphor has experienced Richard’s interaction theory study, Lakoff and Johnson’s modern study of metaphor, and today the this subject has been risen up to the cognitive level. The continuity of the study of metaphor shows the important status of metaphor in the development of human literature. Metaphor is a good way of providing brilliant perspectives which could inspire readers to resonate with the poet. It can make the poems more gracious and more interesting to attract readers Metaphor is not only about linguistics but also concerned with culture. When someone from other culture, for instance, a Chinese reader, is trying to read an English poem, it may be a little difficult for him to understand the true meaning that the poet really wants to express mainly because of the use of metaphor. This is also the charm of metaphor. It is diverse because of the diversity of culture. Different things could refer to completely different things in different cultures. For example in Shelley’s poem Ode to the West Wind the west wind refers to hope and strength while in most Chinese poems the west wind is used to build a sense of desolateness. As the students who want to study the English literature and poems all find this disturbing barrier, we need to know what cause this phenomenon....