I definitely think he was literally tempted. (people who argue that he couldn't have been tempted dont understand the gap between temptation and sin)... I also think he was literally brought to the top of the temple, or mountain or whatever. Literally tempted with turning bread to stone.
they were all symbolic of greater things but the overarching theme was just whether or not Jesus would give up his role and his call in order to have infinite power and use it however he'd like.
all of it points us to something simple, God - in Jesus - knew that the things of this world could not compare with things of eternity... so he didn't give in to the temptation.
"sometimes a little more than you think you want is still a little less than you actually need"
"brilliance seems too often masked by stupid people"