What is Comparison?
Comparison is the action and effect of comparing, that is, of observing the differences and similarities between two elements, be they people, objects, places or things.
It comes from the Latin comparare, formed in turn by the particles with , which means ‘to gather’, and parare, which means ‘to stop’. Thus, to compare means to analyze one thing side by side for.
Making a comparison involves establishing a common element from which to do the exercise, since it makes no sense to compare things of a different nature.
Thus, a comparison can be established from the observation of physical or visual characteristics. For example, comparing the differences and similarities between two different breeds of canines.
Two elements can also be compared, based on psychological or subjective characteristics. For example, the comparison of the temperament of two people.
You can also compare problem solving or topics. For example, how two artists solve representation the theme of love or death in a pictorial work.
Comparisons are made through language intermediation. From the point of view of grammar, there are different degrees of comparison: the positive (example: “Juan is tired”), the comparative (“Juan is more tired than Maria”) and the superlative (“Juan is very tired”).
Comparison in rhetoric
Comparison is also a matter of rhetoric, as they help to enrich the discourse both in terms of content and in aesthetic terms.
Thus, there are figures like the simile. In the simile, a meaning is reinforced through comparison with a similar element. The terms which and how are an invariable part of the simile. For example: “The child runs like an escaping gazelle.” “His heart is hard as a rock.”
At the end of the 19th century, thanks to the birth of the discipline of cultural history, the first comparative studies began to be carried out. These are types of research, study and analysis of cultural phenomena based on comparison.
Thus, by capturing the cultural differences between the West and other cultures, disciplines such as comparative mythology, comparative religion, and comparative literature emerged, the approaches of which have varied over time.