Many popular quotes and characters have a large bearing and impact on pop culture. When a person wants to use these quotes or characters as a reference without outright stating their origin then they will use them as an allusion.
100+ Allusion Examples
1. Allusion Notes Example
2. Allusion Practice Worksheet Example
3. Allusion Study Guide Example
4. Allusion Handout Example
5. Allusions PowerPoint Example
6. Allusions in Songs Example
7. Allusion Reference Guide Example
8. Allusions Worksheet Example
9. Allusions Guide Example
10. Recognizing Allusions Worksheet Example
11. Biblical Motifs and Allusion Example
12. Matching Up Allusions Worksheet Example
13. Greek Allusions in Everyday Life Example
14. Literary Quotations and Allusions Usage Guide Example
15. Allusions and Cultural References Example
16. Analyzing Translated Allusions Example
17. Allusions and Reflections Example
18. Historical Allusions Example
List of Commonly Used Allusion
As they say experience is the best teacher, but in this case examples of an allusion will be most effective. Through skimming through a lit of examples will give you a better idea as to what is an allusion is and how it has been or could be used. Thus, here is a list of commonly used allusions along with their definitions that you can refer to:
- Achilles’ heel – a weakness a person may have. Achilles was invulnerable, except for his heel (achilles tendon).
- Adonis – a handsome younger man; Aphrodite loved him.
- Apollo – a physically perfect male; the God of music and light, Apollo was known for his physical beauty.
- Cassandra – a person who continually predicts misfortune, but often is not believed.
- Erotic – of or having to do with sexual passion or love. Eros was the Greek god of love.
- Harpy – a predatory person or nagging woman. Comes from “harpy,” a foul creature that was part woman, part bird.
- Helen – symbol of a beautiful woman; from Helen of Troy.
- Morphine – an alkaloid used to relieve pain and induce sleep. Morpheus was a god that could easily change shape.
- Muse – a creature of inspiration. The daughters of Mnemosyne and Zeus, and divine singers that presided over thought in all its forms.
- Narcissism – being in love with one’s own self-image. Named for Narcissus, a handsome young man who despised love, but fell in love with himself instead.
- Odyssey – a long journey. Named for Odysseus, a character in The Odyssey, by Homer. Odysseus makes his long journey back from the Trojan War.
- Pandora’s Box – Something that opens the door for bad occurrences, opened by someone known for curiosity. Named for Pandora, who opened a box of human ills.
- Phoenix – a symbol of immortality or rebirth. Named after a long bird that consumed itself in fire, then rose renewed from the flame to start another long life.
- Psyche – the human soul, self, the mind. Named after Psyche, a maiden who, after undergoing many hardships, reunited with her love.
- Pygmalion – someone who tries to fashion someone into the person he desires. Comes from a myth adapted into a play by George Bernard Shaw.
- Sibyl – a witch or sorceress; a priestess who had the gift of prophecy.
- Tantalize – from King Tantalus, who reigned on Mt. Sipylus, and who was condemned to a river but couldn’t eat the beautiful food around him.
- Titanic – grand and enormous. Named after Tityus, the son of Zeus and Elara, whose body covered nearly two acres.
- Volcanoes – originated from Vulcan, the Roman god of fire.
- Babbitt – a self-satisfied person concerned chiefly with business and middle-class ideals, like material success. Comes from Babbitt by Sinclair Lewis.
- Cinderella – one who gains affluence or recognition after being treated poorly.
- Don Juan – a libertine, profligate, a man obsessed with women.
- Don Quixote – someone overly idealistic to the point of being unrealistic. From the Cervantes character in The Man of La Mancha, by Dale Wasserman and Mitch Leigh.
- Frankenstein – anything that threatens or destroys its creator. From Mary Shelley’s novel Frankenstein.
- Jekyll and Hyde – a capricious person with two sides to his personality. From the novel of the same name.
- Lothario – used to describe a man who seduces women. From The Fair Penitent, by Nicholas Rowe.
- Scrooge – a bitter and/or greedy person. From Charles Dickens’ A Christmas Carol.
- Svengali – a person with an irresistible hypnotic power; from 1984, by George Mauriers.
- Absolom – a son who brings heartache to his father.
- Alpha and Omega – the beginning and the end, from a quote in Revelations.
- Daniel – one known for wisdom and accurate judgment.
- David and Bathsheba – represents a big sin. From King David’s affair with Bathsheba, the wife of Uriah.
- Eye of the Needle – a very difficult task. From the historic narrow gateways into cities, called “the needle.”
- Goliath – a large person. From the giant from the Philistine city of Gath, slain by David.
- Ishmael – one who is cast out as being unworthy.
- Job – one who suffers a great deal, but remains faithful.
- Jonah – one who brings bad luck.
- Judas – a traitor.
- Original Sin – the idea that all men are innately sinful as a result of Adam and Eve’s fall.
- Prodigal Son – a wasteful son who disappoints his father.
- Samson and Delilah – a treacherous love story.
- Scapegoat – one that is made an object of blame for others.
- Solomon – an extremely wise person.
- Attila – barbarian, rough leader; King of the Huns from 433-453 A.D..
- Berserk – destructively or frenetically violent, from mental upset.
- Boycott – to act together in abstaining from using a specific item. From Charles C. Boycott, who refused to charge lower rents, and his staff boycotted.
- Canopy – an overhanging protection or shelter, to cover.
- Casanova – a man who is amorous to women; based on the Italian adventurer.
- Chauvinist – one who has a militant devotion to and glorification to country or gender; Nicolas Chauvin.
- El Dorado – a place of reputed wealth; from the legendary city in South America.
- Machiavellian – characterized by expedience, deceit and cunning; after Niccolo Machiavelli.
- McCarthyism – modern witch hunt, the practice of publicizing accusations without evidence; after Joseph McCarthy.
- Nostradamus – fortune teller; (1503-66) French physician and astrologer who wrote a book of rhymed prophecies.
- Stonewall – hinder or obstruct by evasive, delaying tactics from Stonewall Jackson.
- Thespian – having to do with the theater or acting; from Thespis, an attic poet and father of Greek tragedy.
- Uncle Sam – government of people of the United States; derived from Uncle Sam, a business man in the 1900s.
19. Analyzing Allusions Worksheet Example
20. Logic and Discovery of Textual Allusion Example
Why Use Allusion?
Although allusion can be useful in expressing your thought, it can be hard to flawlessly and effectively incorporate it into your writing. The thing with allusions is that when not used properly it can change the meaning of a sentence of a whole text. But with this challenge, why should you use allusions in your writings? Here are some of the reasons why you should use allusions:
- Build a stronger connection to your audience.
- It shows your knowledge about topics aside from what you are writing.
- It adds meaning and symbolism.
- It is flexible; it can be used in various types of writing styles.
- Adds meaningful imagery for the picture you are trying to paint.
- It adds validity to claims or argument you are trying to prove.
- It pays homage to the people you have taken inspiration from.
- Allows you to include recommendations for other literature seamlessly.
- Gives your audience a sense of pride when they get what you mean.
- It demonstrates your prowess when it comes to writing.
As you may know by now, allusion is just another way to enhance your writing. Not that there is something wrong with writing an straightforward, no nonsense manner, but you still have to try new ways to engage and entertain your readers. With that in mind, it is important to use other ways or measures to ensure that your style of writing stays unpredictable and exciting for your reader/s. This is where allusion and other figurative language comes to play, literally, since most of them plays with words to enhance or add more meaning to your texts.
Allusion is a great way for you to let your readers think and ponder about what you are trying to convey. At the same time, it is a great way for your to improve your technique in flawlessly incorporating allusion into your text. Although there allusion is indirect it can still convey your actual message if you provide the right surrounding context. Thus, allusion is a useful tool to improve your overall output. We hope you learned about allusions through the discussions in this article.
21. Allusion Template
22. Standard Allusion
23. Basic Allusion
24. Literary Allusion
25. Allusions in Paradise Lost
26. Mythological Allusion
27. Historical Allusion
28. University Student Allusion
29. Allusions in Short Stories
30. Allusion Worksheet
31. Personal Proper Noun Allusions
32. Cinematic Allusion
33. Allusion vs Illusion
34. Lesson Plan for Allusion
35. Allusion in Everyday Speech
36. Allusion Poetry
37. Allusion and Self-Annotation
38. Study of an Allusion
39. Retrieved Reformation Allusion
40. Allusion Company Opening
41. Allusion Chapters in DOC
42. Allusion Notebook
43. Allusion Handbook
44. Allusion Example in PDF
45. University Students Allusion
46. Allusion Recessed Linear
47. Political Allusions
48. Reflections of Allusions
49. Echoic Allusion
50. Allusion in Advertising
51. Allusions as Culture Bumps
52. Translation Allusion
53. Cultural Function of Allusions
54. Allusions in TV Shows
55. Allusion Lesson Plan in PDF
56. Textual Allusion
57. Allusion to Jacob’s Ladder
58. Biblical Allusions
59. Allusion Practise
60. Allusion Worksheet
61. Allusion Blind
62. Allusion Designs
63. Allusion Example in PDF
64. Augustan Allusion
65. Allusion Event
66. Allusion in Latin Poetry
67. Mythical Allusion Example
68. General Knowledge Allusion
69. Allusion Practice with Example
70. Allusion Project
71. Basic Allusion in Poetry
72. Allusion Notes
73. Structural Allusion
74. Non-Fiction Allusion Articles
75. Elements of Allusion
76. Sample Allusion
77. Inner-Biblical Allusion
78. Simple Allusion in PDF
79. Allusion Exercise
80. The Longest Memory Allusion
81. Biblical Allusion in DOC
82. Allusion Tea Party
83. Shakespeare Allusion
84. Allusion Example in DOC
85. Allusion Poetic Devices
86. Examples of Allusion in DOC
87. Tracking Allusions in The Colour of Water
88. Allusion Imagery
89. Allusion Worksheet in DOC
90. Multiple Allusions
91. Historical and Religious Allusion
92. Allusion Activity
93. Standard Allusion in DOC
94. Allusion in Dead Man
95. Historical Allusions in DOC
96. Basic Allusions Template
97. Allusion World Literature
98. Allusion Assignment
99. Ambivalent Allusion
100. Allusion Literary Terms
101. Mythological and Biblical Allusions
What Is an Allusion
An allusion is a subtle way to create a reference to a spoken quote, an event, a book, or a person to one’s audience. Due to the subtle nature of the allusion, the writer or speaker will not say the reference’s origin in their text or speech.
How to Use an Allusion
A well-used allusion can elevate the quality of text or speech the person uses the allusion. If you need to have a reference on how to use allusions, you may use any of the allusion examples, allusion samples, and allusion templates on the links above.
Step 1: Understand and Research Your Target Market
An allusion will sometimes require the audience to understand or have pre-existing knowledge of the source of the allusion. Begin by researching the taste of your target market or audience. This will provide you with sufficient knowledge of what types of allusions you can use.
Step 2: Determine What Type of Allusion You Will Use
You should try and determine the type of allusion you will use for your text or speech. The reasoning should be a blend of your interest and the interest of your target audience.
Step 3: Outline How You Will Use the Allusion
You should outline how you will add the allusion and the main method you will provide said allusion. This will allow you to pre-emptively prepare yourself and properly pace the allusion.
Step 4: Insert or Add the Allusion
Using the outline, you will strategically insert or add the allusion to your text or speech. Be sure that the allusion is very visible in your text or speech so that your audience will be able to pick up on the allusion.
What are the types of allusions a person can make?
A person can use allusion to create a subtle reference to a specific thing without needing to explicitly mention the origin of the reference. The first type of allusion is called historical allusion wherein the person will refer to a historical event or quote. A mythological allusion is the second type of allusion that allows the person to refer to a mythological story to create a simile, an antithesis, or a metaphor. The third type of allusion is called a religious allusion, which is when the person will create a subtle reference to something allegorical or religious. Literary allusion is a subtle reference to a specific book or poem in one’s text.
Why are allusions hard to create?
Allusions are subtle references the author uses to enhance specific portions of their text. The main hurdle the writer has to overcome when using allusions is the fact that their target audience might misunderstand or have no knowledge about the referred quote or object. This hurdle might obfuscate the point, theme, or tone of the writing, which might cause the reader to lose interest in the text.
What is the difference between a reference and an allusion?
A reference is a literary device that allows writers or speakers to outright call something to mind by quoting a specific book, story, speech, or event. This means that a reference will directly state the origin of the quote as a way to direct readers to referred object. The allusion is a juxtaposition of the directness reference, as the writer will only subtly refer to a specific book, story, speech, or event without needing to mention the origin. In conclusion, a reference is a direct call for attention, while an allusion is an indirect call for the reader’s attention.
Allusion is a literary and rhetorical device that a person uses when they will indirectly refer to a specific thing in one’s speech or writing. When properly used and delivered to the target audience, the allusion can greatly enhance the text or speech the person uses on. Therefore, if one wants to improve their writing and rhetorical skills, then one should try and improve their understanding and use of allusion.