Metaphor

metaphor

The application of a concept to which it is not literally applicable but which suggests a resemblance and invites comparison. Metaphors as figures of speech are a common literary device but in the history of medicine, metaphors lend a philosophical aura. Medical metaphors were widespread in ancient literature; the description of a sick body was often used by ancient writers to define a critical condition of the state, in which one corrupt part can ruin the entire system.

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