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System of Literary Images


1. Definition of literary image.

2. Sources of literary images.

3. Protagonist.

4. Antagonist.

5. Hero.

6. Anti-hero.


In common usage, an image (from Latin imago) is an artifact that reproduces the likeness of some subject – usually a physical object or a person

A mental image exists in someone’s mind: something one remembers or imagines. The subject of an image need not be real; it may be an abstract concept, such as graph or function – or an imaginary entity or being.

The image is often seen, after it has been written, as being one of two things. It is either something that represents a thing in the “real” world, or it is seen as its own thing, divorced from the burden of representing anything other than itself. Again, it is the latter definition that has come into more common use. As many philosophers have recently shown, written language is more than simply representational. This means that the image, rather than being something that stands in for something else, is seen as something in and of itself; tied to the things of the world, but not burdened by “representing them directly”.

So, what is an image? This is a question that philosophers and poets have asked themselves for thousands of years and have yet definitively to answer. Ezra Pound made perhaps the most widely used definition of image in the 20th century: “An image is that which presents an intellectual and emotional complex in an instant of time”. In Pound’s definition, the image is not just a stand in for something else; it is a putting-into-words of the emotional, intellectual and concrete stuff that we experience in any given moment. It is also important to note that an image in poetry, contrary to popular belief, is not simply visual. It can engage any of the senses. And, in fact, for it to be an image, it must engage at least one of the senses by using sensory detail.

Take, for example, the following image:

Date: 2015-01-02; view: 1136

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Plot structure | Forms of imagery
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