Many people have heard the word ‘allusion’ for many times but still they don’t know what’s an allusion. So let’s find out what does allusion mean. Allusion is a stylistic device that contains an indication or analogy of a certain historical, mythological, political or literary fact that is well known and has long been a part of culture or colloquial speech.
Many authors in their works use this stylistic device. It allows them to briefly characterize the characters, their actions or the situation as a whole. And the image is much more colorful than if everyone described it in their own words. The allusion synonym is reference.
And it happens that writers take the lines of a famous work and alter them a little, putting a completely different meaning into known expressions.
What is the purpose of an allusion as a literary device? First of all, allusion, as all the other figures, makes the speech colorful. Moreover, it is a beautiful device that allows person not only to enrich the speech, but also to hit with smarts. After all, it implies the presence of certain knowledge and, what is more, stimulates reader’s brainwork. That is why an author would use an allusion.
But if you want to use allusion be sure that your interlocutor is well-versed and you will not found yourself in an awkward situation as he may simply not understand what he’s been told.
Allusion Examples in Literature and Poetry
Such a literary device is really widely used. Here are some examples of allusions:
- The relationship of these couple was like Titanic – sinking deeper and deeper without any hope.
- They were Romeo and Juliet of our class
- She was like sirene attracting him with her sweet voice giving him empty promises.
As you can see allusion gives sentence some implications and enrich it by the mean of such a reference. That is why many famous writers uses allusions in their works.
- “Mildred ran from the parlor like a native fleeing an eruption of Vesuvius”. The famous work of Ray Bradbury ‘Fahrenheit 451’ consist reference to the Vesuvius eruption in the 1st century.
- ‘The fault in our stars’ by John Green is actually a frase from The Tragedy of Julius Caesar by Shakespeare.
- “Like Niobe, all tears. Why she, even she—
O God, a beast that wants discourse of reason
Would have mourned longer!—married with my uncle”
While reading the Shakespeare’s ‘Hamlet’ you may notice an allusion – the woman who cried cause her children died (Niobe).