by liberal japonicus
Or maybe a metaphor[ical] question. I was recently working through a book on metaphor with a student, and the author asserted that Shakespeare's metaphor, 'all the world's a stage, and all the men and women merely players', from As You Like It that the metaphor had a much longer history before Shakespeare used it, but provided no references or examples. Knowing the depth and breadth of knowledge around these parts, is anyone aware of this kind of metaphor pre-Shakespeare? I suppose that Plato's the parable of the cave is in some sense similar, and maybe the problems Jesus had with the Pharisees could be placed in that notion of private behaviour not matching up with public presentation. but other than that, I'm coming up blank.
Any comments drawing a linkage between this metaphor and the current budget impasse will be hunted down like a rabid dog and shot. Smileys all around.
note: and as soon as I hit post, I was cleaning up and clicked on the Wikipedia link for hypocrisy and found this
Whereas hypokrisis applied to any sort of public performance (including the art of rhetoric), hypokrites was a technical term for a stage actor and was not considered an appropriate role for a public figure. In Athens in the 4th century BC, for example, the great orator Demosthenes ridiculed his rival Aeschines, who had been a successful actor before taking up politics, as a hypocrites whose skill at impersonating characters on stage made him an untrustworthy politician. This negative view of the hypokrites, perhaps combined with the Roman disdain for actors, later shaded into the originally neutral hypokrisis. It is this later sense ofhypokrisis as "play-acting", i.e., the assumption of a counterfeit persona, that gives the modern word hypocrisy its negative connotation.