As a literary device, an allegory is a narrative, whether in prose or verse, in which a character, place or event is used to deliver a broader message about real-world issues and occurrences. Allegory has occurred throughout history in all forms of art because it can illustrate or convey complex ideas and concepts in ways that are comprehensible or striking to its viewers, readers, or listeners. Writers or speakers use allegories as literary devices or as rhetorical devices that convey hidden or complex meanings through symbolic figures, imagery, or events, which together create the moral, spiritual, or political meaning the author wishes to convey. Many allegories use personifications of abstract concepts. First attested in English in 1382, the word allegory comes from Latin allegoria, the latinisation of the Greek ἀλληγορία, "veiled language, figurative", which in turn comes from both ἄλλος, "another, different" and ἀγορεύω, "to harangue, to speak in the assembly", which originates from ἀγορά, "assembly".

Northrop Frye discussed what he termed a "continuum of allegory", a spectrum that ranges from what he termed the "naive allegory" of The Faerie Queene, to the more private allegories of modern paradox literature. In this perspective, the characters in a "naive" allegory are not three-dimensional, for each aspect of their individual personalities and the events that befall them embodies some moral quality or other abstraction; the origins of allegory can be traced at least back to Homer in his "quasi-allegorical" use of personifications of, e.g. Terror and Fear at Il. 115 f. The title of "first allegorist," however, is awarded to whoever was the earliest to put forth allegorical interpretations of Homer; this approach leads to two possible answers: Theagenes of Rhegium or Pherecydes of Syros, both of whom are presumed to be active in the 6th century B. C. E. Though Pherecydes is earlier and as he is presumed to be the first writer of prose; the debate is complex, since it demands we observe the distinction between two conflated uses of the Greek verb "allēgoreīn," which can mean both "to speak allegorically" and "to interpret allegorically."

In the case of "interpreting allegorically," Theagenes appears to be our earliest example. In response to proto-philosophical moral critiques of Homer, Theagenes proposed symbolic interpretations whereby the Gods of the Iliad stood for physical elements. So, Hephestus represents Fire, for instance; some scholars, argue that Pherecydes cosmogonic writings anticipated Theagenes allegorical work, illustrated by his early placement of Time in his genealogy of the gods, thought to be a reinterpretation of the titan Kronos, from more traditional genealogies. In classical literature two of the best-known allegories are the Cave in Plato's Republic and the story of the stomach and its members in the speech of Menenius Agrippa. Among the best-known examples of allegory, Plato's Allegory of the Cave, forms a part of his larger work The Republic. In this allegory, Plato describes a group of people who have lived chained in a cave all of their lives, facing a blank wall; the people watch shadows projected on the wall by things passing in front of a fire behind them and begin to ascribe forms to these shadows, using language to identify their world.

According to the allegory, the shadows are as close as the prisoners get to viewing reality, until one of them finds his way into the outside world where he sees the actual objects that produced the shadows. He tries to tell the people in the cave of his discovery, but they do not believe him and vehemently resist his efforts to free them so they can see for themselves; this allegory is, on a basic level, about a philosopher who upon finding greater knowledge outside the cave of human understanding, seeks to share it as is his duty, the foolishness of those who would ignore him because they think themselves educated enough. In Late Antiquity Martianus Capella organized all the information a fifth-century upper-class male needed to know into an allegory of the wedding of Mercury and Philologia, with the seven liberal arts the young man needed to know as guests; the Neoplatonic philosophy developed a type of allegorical reading of Homer and Plato. Other early allegories are found in the Hebrew Bible, such as the extended metaphor in Psalm 80 of the Vine and its impressive spread and growth, representing Israel's conquest and peopling of the Promised Land.

Allegorical is Ezekiel 16 and 17, wherein the capture of that same vine by the mighty Eagle represents Israel's exile to Babylon. Allegorical interpretation of the Bible continues. For example, the re-discovered IVth Commentary on the Gospels by Fortunatianus of Aquileia has a comment by its English translator: "The principal characteristic of Fortunatianus’ exegesis is a figurative approach, relying on a set of concepts associated with key terms in order to create an allegorical decoding of the text." Allegory has an ability to freeze the temporality of a story, while infusing it with a spiritual context. Mediaeval thinking accepted allegory as having a reality underlying any rhetorical or fictional uses; the allegory was as true as the facts of surface appearances. Thus, the Papal Bull Unam Sanctam presents themes of the unity


Neuville-au-Plain is a commune in the Manche department in Normandy in north-western France. On June 6, 1944, Neuville-au-Plain was one objective of the 505th Infantry Regiment, 82nd Airborne Division of the United States Army in the invasion of Normandy. After capturing the commune early in the day, just 42 men of Company D/505 PIR, led by Lt. Turner B. Turnbull, were left to defend it. A much larger German force, consisting of the 1058th Grenadier Regiment of the 91st Infantry Division and half of the defenders were killed or wounded in a heavy 8 hour battle. Two of the American defenders, Sergeant Robert Niland and Corporal James Kelly, volunteered to remain behind, they were among wounded members of the 3rd platoon who held the German force off long enough for the rest to escape. Sergeant Niland was killed during this action Communes of the Manche department

Hayti, Missouri

Hayti is a city in eastern Pemiscot County, United States. The population was 2,939 at the 2010 census. Hayti was platted in 1894. According to one tradition, the name honors an original owner of the site, it is claimed the name is derived from the country of Haiti. A post office called Hayti has been in operation since 1895; the city lies in eastern Pemiscot County, just west of the Mississippi River. Interstate 55 passes through the eastern half of Hayti, connecting the city with the Sikeston area to the north and Blytheville, Arkansas, to the south. Interstate 155 intersects I-55 near Hayti's southern border, continues southeastward across the river into Tennessee. U. S. Route 412 connects Hayti to Kennett to the west, Route 84 connects the city with Caruthersville to the east; the city of Hayti Heights borders Hayti to the west. According to the United States Census Bureau, the city has a total area of 2.31 square miles, of which 2.30 square miles is land and 0.01 square miles is water. As of the census of 2010, there were 2,939 people, 1,258 households, 739 families living in the city.

The population density was 1,277.8 inhabitants per square mile. There were 1,376 housing units at an average density of 598.3 per square mile. The racial makeup of the city was 52.23% White, 45.12% Black or African American, 0.31% Native American, 0.31% Asian, 0.51% from other races, 1.53% from two or more races. Hispanic or Latino of any race were 0.99% of the population. There were 1,258 households of which 31.2% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 28.1% were married couples living together, 25.4% had a female householder with no husband present, 5.3% had a male householder with no wife present, 41.3% were non-families. 36.6% of all households were made up of individuals and 15.7% had someone living alone, 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 2.30 and the average family size was 3.01. The median age in the city was 38.2 years. 26.9% of residents were under the age of 18. The gender makeup of the city was 45.8% male and 54.2% female. As of the census of 2000, there were 3,207 people, 1,318 households, 809 families living in the city.

The population density was 1,450.1 people per square mile. There were 1,436 housing units at an average density of 649.3 per square mile. The racial makeup of the city was 54.66% White, 43.75% African American, 0.44% Native American, 0.19% Asian, 0.12% from other races, 0.84% from two or more races. Hispanic or Latino of any race were 1.31% of the population. There were 1,318 households out of which 30.1% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 33.8% were married couples living together, 23.9% had a female householder with no husband present, 38.6% were non-families. 36.1% of all households were made up of individuals and 19.2% had someone living alone, 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 2.33 and the average family size was 3.06. In the city, the population was spread out with 30.1% under the age of 18, 8.0% from 18 to 24, 23.3% from 25 to 44, 19.4% from 45 to 64, 19.3% who were 65 years of age or older. The median age was 35 years. For every 100 females, there were 79.9 males.

For every 100 females age 18 and over, there were 73.0 males. The median income for a household in the city was $15,384, the median income for a family was $23,720. Males had a median income of $24,028 versus $15,486 for females; the per capita income for the city was $13,265. About 35.7% of families and 38.3% of the population were below the poverty line, including 54.7% of those under age 18 and 29.5% of those age 65 or over. Public education in Hayti is administered by Hayti R-II School District, which operates two elementary schools and Hayti High School. Hayti has the Conran Memorial Library. Veda Brown, singer Lew Carpenter, NFL running back and coach, was born in Hayti Preston Carpenter, University of Arkansas and NFL running back, was born in Hayti Wendell Mayes, Oscar-nominated Hollywood writer was born in Hayti William Moore, former Missouri Tiger and NFL Atlanta Falcons safety Keith Palmer, country musician Bob Stroger, blues musician Media related to Hayti, Missouri at Wikimedia Commons