Meaning of Symbolism

What is Symbolism:

The different forms of expression that use symbols to represent ideas and facts are known as symbolism. In this sense, it is extremely important to relate the reality of the symbol, that is, to clearly relate a signifier and a determined meaning.

An example to understand the definition given above is: the cross is part of Christian symbolism.

On the other hand, symbolism was the name given to the artistic movement that was born in France at the end of the 19th century, and is characterized by suggesting ideas or evoking objects without naming them directly, through symbols and images.

Symbolism in literature

In literature, symbolism was a poetic movement that had its origin in France at the end of the 19th century. It developed under four great French poets: Baudelaire, Mallarmé, Verlaine, Rimbaud.

Symbolism as the first objective was to relate the sensible world with the spiritual world, through images that expressed emotions. In addition, they wrote in a metaphorical and suggestive style, using synesthesia as an expressive resource, as well as a musicality in their rhymes.

As for the theater and the novel, it was not so influential, but it was still used in the novel "A Contrapelo", by Joris-Karl Huysmans. On the other hand, in the theater the work of Axel, by Villiers, was the theatrical work most influenced by symbolism.

Symbolism in art

In art, symbolism devalued the realistic vision of impressionism and represented the idea through symbols and ideas. With this idea, the artists did not paint by looking at the objects but rather used their memory.

The main themes represented by art were the fruit of imagination and dream assumptions. Artistically, the symbolism was continued by surrealism.

In the field of painting there are exponents such as: Gustave Moreau, Odilon Redon, Féliz Valloton, Edouard Vuillard, among others. In sculpture, Aristide Maillol, AdolF von Hildebrand, etcetera stand out.

Characteristic of symbolism

  • It is related to mysticism and religiosity.
  • Interest in the unconscious and subconscious.
  • Subjectivism.
  • Attraction to the decaying elements of the human condition.
  • Emphasis on imagination and fantasy.

Parnasianism and symbolism

Parnassianism is a literary movement that emerged in the nineteenth century that aimed to create "perfect poetry", valuing the form, language and criticizing the sentimentality of Romanticism.

As such, this style is characterized by the creation of a perfect rhyme, using a cultured vocabulary and complex textual constructions. While the symbolism used metaphors and expressive figures, such as alliteration and assonance.

Symbolism in the Bible

The Bible is full of symbolism in which the reader of the Sacred book must know or know how to interpret the different symbols that may be present in the text.

For example: the lamb represents the submissive sacrifice; lion, symbolizes majesty, power, sovereignty; the horse represents power, conquest, victory. As for the numbers, one represents the unit; two, figure the number of the communion and testimony, and so on.

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