"Cloven Elders," metaphorical or literal meaning? Good day, In a fantasy novel I was reading, I came across this: "the Council of Cloven Elders." Now, the members of this council are: a horse and three goats, all of which are old. My question is, when thinking about the name of the council metaphorically what meaning comes to mind? Or do you think the author wanted the meaning to be literal? And if so, what word can replace "cloven"? Thank you!
Sep 2, 2018 3:22 AM
Answers · 2
Interesting question. My first reaction is that “cloven” is meant literally. However, goats have cloven hooves (hooves divided into two separate halves), but horses don’t have cloven hooves (each horse hoof is one, solid piece). So, it does not make a lot of sense to include horses in a counsel of “cloven” elders. Maybe the author was using “cloven” loosely simply to mean “having hooves.” The usual metaphorical meaning of “cloven” would be satanic, because Satan is imagined to have cloven hooves. That metaphorical meaning probably would not make sense in your novel.
September 2, 2018
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