In contemporary studies, some scholars have postulated that the medieval and Renaissance periods can theoretically be described as allegorical and metaphorical respectively. The medieval era, also known as the middle ages, represents the medieval thinking and is termed as allegorical thinking.
The Renaissance age, which brought about scientific and artistic revolution, is termed as metaphorical thinking. This paper discusses how, in relation to medieval and Renaissance ages being termed as allegorical and metaphorical respectively, enlightenment can be described as metonymy.
The Medieval Period
The medieval age lasted between the fifth and the fifteenth century in Europe and it started with the collapse of the Roman Empire. Allegory, from a literary perspective, means drawing ideas from the past to shape the present. During this age, the church was ruling the world, and allegory was an imperative tool in the production of biblical and classical traditions into what would become identifiable as medieval culture.
The people of the middle Ages deliberately referred from traditional legacies of the past to shape their present, implying an allegorical characteristic. The allegory used in this period ensured transformational continuity between the ancient world and the new era of the church.
Modern scholars clearly distinguish the classical era from the medieval time, but people in the era had different views. Using allegory, they were able to associate themselves with the past and, therefore, did not view classical people as different from them, but a connection between them and the ancient world.
The Renaissance Period
Renaissance thinking in the Renaissance period is characterized by some modern scholars as being metaphorical. The Renaissance, meaning rebirth, is an era that was marked by scientific and artistic revolutions. A metaphor in literature means using something to stand for another, which is entirely unrelated to it.
During this period, people could use art to communicate ideas and views that could be difficult in the normal situations. The use of art, including pictures, poetry, and songs, to represent different ideas in the society leaves no questions that the thinking of the period is metaphorical.
Western philosophy, logic and intelligence characterize the age of enlightenment. The age is also referred to as the age of thinking and, unlike the previous age, it focused on reason as its core value, without which nothing significant would happen. The period has ten assumptions about education that clearly stress the need of reason to acquire knowledge. When these assumptions are compared with the common hypotheses of education, there is a clear-cut difference.
Some of the ideas include the existence of a stable, coherent, and self-importance of reason in acquiring knowledge. Apart from the two, the thinking in the period assumes that when knowledge is obtained through the use of reason, it would last long and bring changes to society. In short, the enlightenment thinking can be described as a metonymy for the reason it has been used to represent thinking and, hence, enlightenment.
Everything that will lead to enlightenment, including science, has to do with proper reasoning in the age. All these assumptions contradict the conventional assumptions of education, which focus on the authority.
Regarding the common assumptions of education, learning has no social values. Therefore, it is just a supplement to life and is not life itself. In this context, the idea of reason has also been emphasized, making the argument in the age effective. In fact, the supposition of education in the era is that, for any right thing to happen, the reason must be made clear.