"The only pleasure the melancholic permits himself, and it is a powerful one, is allegory." (Walter Benjamin, Origins, p. 185)
For Northrop Frye, "a writer is being allegorical whenever it is clear that he is saying 'by this I also (allos ) mean that.' If this seems to be done continuously, we may say, cautiously, that what he is writing 'is' an allegory." (Anatomy of Criticism, p. 90) Frye points out that all commentary is allegorical interpretation, an attaching of ideas to poetic structure. It thus should come as no surprise that the commenting critic is often prejudiced against allegory without knowing the real reason, which is that continuous allegory prescribes the direction of his commentary, and so restricts its freedom.