Semiotics 1980 pp 143-153 | Cite as

The Structure of Metaphor

  • J. Norris Frederick


One notable attempt to define metaphor has been made by Monroe Beardsley (1958, 1962). In this paper I wish to indicate one flaw of Beardsley’s theory, and then to argue that C. S. Peirce’s theory of signs, taken together with his categories, can be utilized to present an account of the structure of metaphor that accounts for everything for which Beardsley accounts, and has the advantage of explaining why Beardsley was forced to re-admit a portion of the Comparison theory. As put forth by Michael and Marianne Shapiro (1976), this structural theory of metaphor views reference as an essential phase in the life cycle of a trope. In addition, this theory of linguistics as put forth by Roman Jakobson, Michael Shapiro, and others, in which the Peircean semiotic is synthesized with a structural account of language such that all signs (from the phoneme to the morpheme, to words, to sentences, to discourse) share the same structure.


Comparison Theory Real Relation Pure Index Genuine Sign Semiotic Approach 
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Copyright information

© Plenum Press, New York 1982

Authors and Affiliations

  • J. Norris Frederick
    • 1
  1. 1.Philosophy DepartmentUniversity of North Carolina at CharlotteCharlotteUSA

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