Student or Learner
Would you be kind enough to explain to me the differemce between the meanings of the words in bold in the following sentence from an English text.
“May we ever remember that the mantle of leadership is not the cloak of comfort but rather the robe of responsibility.”
Thank you for your efforts.
A mantle is a type of clothing generally worn by bishops, nuns and monks in certain Christian churches. The phrase "passing the mantle" originated in the Old Testament of the Bible, and was symbolic for passing the authority. In its modern usage, it means much the same thing, but doesn't refer to a literal passing of a piece of clothing, but a metaphorical passing of responsibility.
So "the mantle of leadership" simple means "the responsibility of leadership." The rest of your sentence is merely carrying on the same metaphor, but using "cloak of comfort" and "robe of responsibility" for stylistic reasons. Mantle, cloak and robe all mean similar things, but are all being used metaphorically here.
Hope that makes sense.
Not a teacher.