The Metaphor, a comparison between two things has evolved through stages. There are two aspects of the metaphor, one being the tenor and the other the vehicle. He is a thin stick is a metaphor. In it, he is is a tenor and thin stick is the vehicle.
The Metaphor has come a long way in its evolution to the present. Here, in this essay, I would like to describe the functions of the metaphor and the categories to which they belong. Metaphors can be classified into Spiritual or transcendental metaphors, literary or aesthetic metaphors, political metaphors, psychological metaphors, and cultural metaphors.
Spiritual or transcendental metaphors focus on the divine as a celebrity of thought. I would like to invoke an Egyptian scribe who said: my writing resembles the sun God. Jesus said: I am the way: the truth and the life. Father give us this day out daily bread. The seed of life is the fruit of God. God is the wind of a transcendental spirit. God echoes mercy from the heart. Heaven is God’s throne and the earth God’s footstool. God’s love is never-ending, like a deep ocean. In the beginning was the Word: the Word was with God: the Word was God. I am the Alpha and the Omega: the beginning and the end. These are examples of a spiritual metaphor and they focus on the transcendental spirit that is God.
As time developed, metaphors became literary and aesthetic. Here are some examples. The bed is the passion of poetry. Shakespeare said: all the world is a stage and all men merely actors. The stars are twinkling buttons in the night sky. Angst is a corpse of darkness. A dream is an echo of the subconscious. The sky is a veil of grey. Lovers kiss like poems. The sunset is an architecture of prose. Life is a joyful stream flowing to a destiny. The gloom of the night is replaced by the cheer of dawn. Literary or aesthetic metaphors are a cosmetic of words and then indulge in beautifying life.
The next domain of the metaphor is the political one. Here are some examples. Oh, liberty, what price has though paid in blood. The rhetoric of democracy is the free will to cast a vote. Palestine is freedom bound in chains. Socrates is a martyr of democracy. We need more ballots than guns to attain freedom. Mahatma Gandhi liberated India through the metaphors of non-violence. Communism is dead and extinct.
The next functional area of the metaphor is a cultural one. Let me highlight it with a few examples. America is the melting pot of cultures. Every nation sings anthems in praise of the God of culture. Writing is a bourgeoisie enterprise. Language is the culture of music. Rock music is a culture that rebelled against the politicization of capitalism. The Beatnik revolution expressed solidarity for peace. Cultural Metaphors speak the language and history of culture.
The next area of the metaphor is rooted in psychology. Here are some examples. Religion is the opium of the masses. The hill is a masculine dream symbol and the valley a feminine dream symbol. Joyssance is a metaphor for a psychological orgasm. The mind is a universe of books. The brain is a liberty of thoughts.
To conclude, I would like to say, metaphors have evolved through the passage of time. At first, they were spiritual, and gradually they developed into other organic forms like political, literary, psychological, and cultural ones.