Allusion is a brief and indirect reference to a person, place, thing or idea of historical, cultural, literary or political importance; does not describe in detail the person or thing to which it refers; It is only a passing comment and the The writer hopes that the reader has enough knowledge to detect the allusion and grasp its importance in a text.
For example, you make a literary allusion when you say: “I do not approve of this Quixotic idea ”, Quixotic means stupid and impractical derived from Cervantes's“ Don Quixote ”, a story of a foolish knight and his misadventures. :
"Don't act like a Romeo in front of her." - "Romeo" is a reference to Shakespeare's Romeo, a passionate lover of Juliet, in "Romeo and Juliet."
Increasing poverty will open Pandora's box of crimes. - This is an allusion to one of the origin myths of Greek mythology, "Pandora's Box".
"This place is like a garden of Eden." - This is a biblical allusion to the "garden of God" in the book of Genesis.
"Hey! Guess who is the new Newton in our school?" - "Newton", means a genius student, refers to the famous scientist Isaac Newton.
"Stop acting like my ex-husband, please." - Apart from academic allusions, we refer to common places and people in our discourse.
Examples of allusions in literature
Let's look at some examples of the use of allusions in literature:
Example # 1
Milton's "Paradise Lost" gives allusions a fair share. Example from Book 6 below:
“All night the angel without fear without being pursued
Through the wide Heavens, Champain stood firm, until the morning,
Awakened by the Hours turning in circles, with his hand Pink
Unlocked the Gates of Light. Cave
Inside the Mount of God, fast for his Throne ”
In the previous lines,“ Angel without fear ”is a reference to“ Abdiel ”, an intrepid angel. "Circling Hours" alludes to a Greek myth "The Horae", the daughters of "Zeus" and "Themis", namely "Thallo (spring), Auxo (summer) and Carpo (autumn)." With a rosy hand ”, Milton refers to Homer's illustration of the“ rosy dawn ”(Odyssey Book 2) .
Example no. 2
Marlowe's“ Doctor Faustus ”contains numerous allusions Secrets of Astronomy
Graven to be found in the book Von Jove's high firmament climbed him
The to climb Olympus' top.
Where he sits in a chariot that burns brightly,
. He is pulled by the strength of the Yokèd dragon necks , the planets and the stars. ”
Jove's high firmament refers to the outer sections of the universe.“ Olympus' peak ”is a reference to Greek mythology in which Olympus is the home of the gods. Similarly,“ a brightly burning one refers to it Chariot "based on a Greek myth of" God Apollo "who is supposed to be driving the sun in his chariot.
Example # 3
In Conrad's" Heart of Da rkness "," the two knitting women ”, which Marlow sees as an allusion to“ Moirae ”or Fates, as depicted in Greek mythology: 40a4
“ The two knitting women intensify his fear by looking at him and all the other seafarers with knowing carelessness. Their creepy looks suggest they know what's going to happen (the men are dying) but they don't care. “
The thread they knit represents human life. The two women who knit black wool hint at Marlow's terrible journey on the “dark continent”.
Example # 4
We find a number of allusions in Keats's “Ode to the Greek urn”. For example:
“Sylvan historian, who can express
A flowery tale sweeter than our rhyme:
What leaf-bordered legend haunts your form
Of deities or mortals, or both,
In Tempe or in the valleys of Arcady? "
" Sylvan "is a goat-shaped deity from Greek mythology." Tempe "refers to the" Valley of Tempe "in Greece, a place (from Greek mythology) frequently visited by Apollo and other gods. Likewise," the valleys of Arcadia "refers to the home of" Pan ", the god of rustic music
Function of allusion
In general, the use of allusions allows writers or poets to simplify complex ideas Readers understand complex ideas by comparing the emotions of the writer or poet with the references given by them. In addition, references to Greek mythology adds a dreamlike and magical touch to works of art.Similarly, biblical allusions appeal to readers with religious backgrounds.
Popular Literary Devices
- Ad Hominem
- Deus Ex Machina
- Double Entendre
- Flash Forward
- Half Rhyme
- Internal Rhyme
- Line Break
- Non Sequitur
- Pathetic Fallacy
- Poetic Justice
- Point of View
- Red Herring
- Tragic Flaw