What symbols are used in literature?
Gawain, Chaucer, poetry
It all depends on the author/poet. Usually symbols are based on general and common human sense of connection (for example, the cross as the symbol of Christ, the dove as a symbol of peace, water as symbol of life and so on.) Symbolism is also dependant on a particular set of belief or idea that a tribe/civilization/cult/human society believe in. For instance, the snake, which is a nasty symbol in Biblical theology, is a symbol of fertility and divinity in Indian culture. So, symbols can be anything, so long they are understood by at least a large chunk of people who share the author's cultural roots.
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