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Alchemy discussion forum > Request for information > Help required > “mountain sublime” and “open sea” epithets or metaphors?

“mountain sublime” and “open sea” epithets or metaphors?
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Alexandra Dumitrescu
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 Posted: Thu Nov 18th, 2010 01:03 am
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Hi
 The “Stone” is described in the Rosary of Philosophers in oppositional terms : it “is miraculous and animated, splendid in colour, a Mountain sublime, and an open sea.” Would  it be incorrect to consider “mountain sublime” and “open sea” epithetes? Are they metaphors, rather? I'd say they are epithets, but I've heard someone say they are metaphors instead. Apologies: this is not exactly an alchemy question, but your help would be very gratefully received.
Thank you,
Alex

Paul Ferguson
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 Posted: Thu Nov 18th, 2010 05:48 am
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I would say they are both, and that it depends on how the phrases are used:

If I say 'The Stone is a Mountain Sublime' I am speaking metaphorically (i.e. I am saying that the Stone is like a Mountain Sublime)

If I say 'The Philosophers sought to ascend the Mountain Sublime' then I am using an epithet (i.e. I am referring to the Stone as a Mountain Sublime because this phrase is generally understood to mean 'the Stone').

As far as I can tell, all epithets are metaphors, but not all metaphors are epithets.

Alexandra Dumitrescu
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 Posted: Thu Nov 18th, 2010 06:03 am
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Thank you, Paul. That's what I thought (that all epithets are metaphors).

So,  I suppose that in the context above "epithetes" should be replaced with "metaphors."

Last edited on Thu Nov 18th, 2010 06:15 am by Alexandra Dumitrescu

Paul Ferguson
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 Posted: Thu Nov 18th, 2010 06:22 am
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Yes, I think 'metaphors' would be better there.

Alexandra Dumitrescu
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 Posted: Thu Nov 18th, 2010 08:56 pm
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Thank you, Paul.


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