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Written by Micola Magdalena
The cost of knowledge
The play begins with the men talking about the things they will give up in order to gain more knowledge. Among these things are women and sleep, elements that are seen as being distractions and as having the power to make a man think more about himself and to spend less time and energy on cultivating himself. In this sense, the elements mentioned above are used here as a metaphor for the things that may have a great importance in someone’s life but are in reality useless and a distraction from the things that really matter.
Metaphor for power
Power is hard to define in this play, since power is not associated with physical strength or with authority but rather with language and the power of persuasion through words. In the play, the most powerful man is the one who is able to convince those around him to do what he or she wants by persuading them through words.
Metaphor for danger
The most dangerous people in the world are depicted in the play as being women. The reason why they are dangerous is because they make man behave irrationally after they fall in love and thus they stop focusing and trying to gain more knowledge. Because of this, women are not even allowed in the King’s castle and are forced instead to remain outside.
Love and sickness
Love is described as being a sickness that stops a person from thinking clearly. The King is described as being infected by love and being in love presents certain symptoms just like any other illness. This similarity has the role to emphasize the idea that love is not really seen as a positive emotion in the play but rather something that a person must be cured of.
Metaphor for submission
Towards the end of the play, when the men agree that trying to stay separated from women is pointless, they try to woo them by bringing them jewelry. The pieces of jewelry the men gift to the women can be seen as being a metaphor for their submission and willingness to accept love as a positive feeling.
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