What are some good examples of pataphors

Extended metaphor - Extended metaphor

A extended metaphor Also known as an imaginary or persistent metaphor, is the extensive use of a single metaphor or analogy through multiple linked tenors, vehicles, and reasons in a poem or story by an author. The tenor is the subject of the metaphor, the vehicle is the image or subject that bears the weight of the comparison, and the reason is the common properties of the two compared subjects. Another way to think of expanded metaphors is through the implications of a basic metaphor. These implications are repeatedly emphasized, discovered, rediscovered, and developed in new ways.


William Shakespeare

Symbolism is a common subject of extended metaphors. This is often seen in William Shakespeare's work. For example, in Sonnet 18, the speaker offers an expanded metaphor that compares his love to summer. Shakespeare also uses expanded metaphors in Romeo and Juliet, particularly in the balcony scene where Romeo offers an expanded metaphor comparing Juliet to the sun.

It's the east and Julia is the sun.
Get up, beautiful sun, and kill the envious moon.
Who is sick and pale with grief
That you are her maid much fairer than she is:
Do not be her maid, for she is jealous;
Their vestal color is just sick and green
And nobody but fools wears it; throw it off.

TS Eliot

In the following passage from "The Love Song of J. Alfred Prufrock" TS Eliot provides another example of an expanded metaphor:

The yellow mist that rubs its back on the window panes
The yellow smoke that rubs its snout against the window panes
Licked his tongue in the corners of the evening
Lingers on the pools that are in drains
Let the soot falling from the chimneys fall on his back.
Slid off the terrace, made a sudden leap,
And to see that it was a soft October night
Once wrapped around the house and fell asleep.

Characteristics (reasons) that we associate with cats (vehicle), color, rubbing, muzzle, licking, slipping, jumping, curling, sleeping, are used to describe fog (tenor).

Robert Frost

The frequently used metaphor "Life is a journey", designed by Lakoff and Johnson (1980 and 1989), is expanded upon in Robert Frost's "The Road Not Taken". An extract is given below:

I'll tell you with a sigh
Somewhere age and age therefore:
Two roads diverged in a forest and I
I took the less traveled
And that made the difference.

This poem can be understood if the reader is aware of the metaphor "life is a journey". This knowledge includes understanding other reasons between tenor (life) and vehicle (travel) that are not as transparent in this poem. Holyoak (2005) gives examples of these reasons: "Person is a traveler, purposes are goals, actions are routes, difficulties in life are obstacles to travel, advisors are guides, and progress is the distance traveled".

Walt Whitman

Whitman's O Captain! My captain! uses the expanded metaphor of Abraham Lincoln as the captain of the "ship" of the United States of America.


The Pataphor ( Spanish : Patáfora , French : Pataphore ) is a term coined by the writer and musician Pablo Lopez ("Paul Avion") for an unusually expanded metaphor based on Alfred Jarry's "science" of pataphysics. When Jarry asserted that pataphysics existed "as far from metaphysics as metaphysics extends from regular reality," a pataphysics seeks to create a phrase that is as far from metaphysics as the metaphor does not -figurative language exists. While a metaphor is the comparison of a real object or event with a seemingly unrelated subject to highlight the similarities between the two, the pataphor uses the newly created metaphorical similarity as a reality to rely on. The Pataphor goes beyond the mere ornamentation of the original idea and tries to describe a new and separate world in which an idea or aspect has taken on a life of its own.

Like pataphysics itself, pataphors essentially describe two degrees of separation from reality (and not just one degree of separation, the world of metaphors and metaphysics). The pataphor can also be said to act as a critical tool, describing the world of "assumption-based assumptions," such as belief systems or rhetoric that run amok. The following is an example.

"Not figurative:

Tom and Alice stood next to each other on lunch break.


Tom and Alice stood next to each other on lunch break; two pieces positioned on a chess board.


Tom took a step closer to Alice and arranged to meet with Checkmate on Friday night. Furious at losing to Margaret so easily, Rudy tossed the board on the pink ceiling and stomped down the stairs. "

In this way, the Pataphor has created a world in which the chessboard exists, including the characters who live in that world, completely abandoning the original context.

The pataphor has been interpreted commercially, used in speculative computer applications, applied to inventive problem-solving methods, and even to international politics or to The Firesign Theater (a comedy troupe whose jokes are often based on pataphors). There is a band called Pataphor and an interactive fiction in the Interactive Fiction Database called "PataNoir" that is based on pataphors.

Pataphors have been the subject of art exhibitions, such as Tara Strickstein's "Pataphor" exhibition at the 2010 Next Art Fair / Art Chicago.

There is also a book of pataphorical art called Pataphor by the Dutch artist Hidde van Schie.

It is worth noting that a pataphor is not the traditional metaphorical imagination, but rather a set of metaphors built on an initial metaphor, obscuring its own origins rather than revisiting the same analogy in multiple ways.

See also