What is an Allusion?

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What is an Allusion?

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Allusions may be made to art, music, literature or history. They may suggest an event, a painting, a piece of music, a setting, a famous historical figure, or a myth– in essence, any well-known or presumably recognizable source. In the study of literature, an understanding of how language creates meaning is essential. One way that writers heighten or create meaning is through the use of literary allusions. Naturally not all works of literature use allusions; allusions are simply one of many figures of speech available to a writer to make connections and instill meaning. Particularly in poetry, which by its very nature is intensive in the richness and economy of words, it is necessary to read alertly and to explore the poem’s experience with an inquisitive and open mind. By enlarging the scope of one’s reading, a perceptive reader increases the number of ways to comprehend and enjoy a work on both the sensory and intellectual level. Many times, however, a reader may be totally unaware

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An allusion is a reference to a concept, person, thing, or event. The allusion is often indirect and can come from any number of sources such as literature, history, religion, myths and legends, or popular culture. When an author or speaker alludes to something, he or she assumes that the reader or listener will recognize the reference and will be familiar with the source. In rare circumstances, an allusion may be intended for a select group and not every reader will understand the reference. A literary example of allusion would be the comedic monologue performed by the duke in Huckleberry Finn by Mark Twain. When the duke begins, “To be, or not to be, that is the bare bodkin,” readers know immediately that Twain has alluded to the original soliloquy of William Shakespeare’s Hamlet “To be or not to be, that is the question…That patient merit of th’unworthy takes, When he himself might his quietus make, With a bare bodkin…” Twain has alluded to Hamlet, but has turned the words around to

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You are supposed to state 3 allusions from the story, not random ones from people on the internet. An allusion refers to another piece of literature, or some well-known event, so that the author can make a statement about something, by associating (or contrasting) the intended meaning of his words, to the meaning of the text being alluded to. Allusion refers to something the reader already knows about, so she can fill in the details herself.

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