By Andrew Delahunty
Allusions supply us a wonderful literary shorthand, drawing on our collective wisdom of literature, mythology, and the Bible to aid us describe humans, locations, emotions, and occasions. A miser is a Scrooge, a powerful guy is a Samson or a Hercules, a gorgeous girl is a Venus or a modern day Helen of Troy. we will endure like Sisyphus or linger just like the smile of the Cheshire Cat.
starting from classical mythology to trendy videos and television indicates, this new reference paintings explains the meanings of the allusions in use in sleek English, from Abaddon to Zorro, Tartarus to Tarzan, and Rubens to Rambo. in line with an in depth examining application that has pointed out the main widely used allusions, this interesting quantity comprises a number of quotations to demonstrate utilization, from various authors and resources, from Thomas Hardy and Charles Dickens to Bridget Jones's Diary. additionally, the dictionary is thematically based, in order that readers not just can lookup Medea to determine who she used to be and the way her identify is used as an allusion, but additionally can search for the subject matter of "Revenge" and locate, along Medea, entries for different figures used to allude to revenge, similar to The Furies or The count number of Monte Cristo.
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Additional resources for The Oxford Dictionary of Allusions
His reign was once a interval of beauty by way of paintings and literature and represented a time of serious energy for the French in Europe. Dixon used to be now not subconscious of this awed reverence which used to be given to her; nor did she dislike it; it flattered her a lot as Louis the Fourteenth was once flattered by way of his courtiers shading their eyes from the astounding mild of his presence. ELIZABETH GASKELL North and South, 1 eight five four - five Michael got here in soaked to the skin—his taxi had damaged down and he'd walked the remainder of the way—but nonetheless behaving as though he was once Louis XIV creating a grand front at a courtroom ball. PETER DICKINSON The Yellow Room Conspiracy, 1995 Malvolio In Shakespeare's 12th evening (1623), Malvolio is Olivia's pompous and puritanical steward, 'the most sensible persuaded of himself, so cramm'd, as he thinks, with excellencies that it truly is his grounds of religion that every one that glance on him love him'. He smiled on me in really an outstanding type of way—such a grin as may became the face of Malvolio. BRAM STOKER Dracula, 1897 Marie Antoinette Marie Antoinette (1755-93) was once the spouse of Louis XVI and queen of France. Her extravagance mixed with a much-quoted reaction 'Qu'ils mangent de l. a. brioche' (traditionally translated as 'Let them consume cake'), supposedly made on being instructed that the bad humans of Paris have been not able to have the funds for bread, have resulted in her being considered as a determine of vanity. 'You? Fraternising with the operating sessions? What on the earth came to visit you? ' He scowled. 'You speak as if i am Marie Antoinette. ' 'Sometimes you behave like Marie Antoinette. let's accept it, Claude: you're not a guy of the folk. ' HILARY WHELAN scary moves, 1995 Podsnap Mr Podsnap is a personality in Dickens's Our Mutual buddy (1864-5) who's self-satisfied, complacent, and has a excessive opinion of his personal significance: 'Mr Podsnap . . . stood very excessive in Mr. Podsnap's opinion. ' Masochists might get their kicks from nationwide self-denigration, yet for the remainder of us there's neither a lot enjoyable nor a lot enlightenment in such bouts of inverted Podsnappery. The self sustaining, 1992 Pooh-Bah Pooh-Bah is the Lord-High-Everything-Else, a personality in Gilbert and Sullivan's The Mikado (1885). His identify might be utilized to a self-important 20 ARTISTS individual or to someone keeping many workplaces instantaneously. None is just too many, is what a few Canadian executive pooh-bah stated concerning the Jews, through the battle. MARCARET ATWOOD The Robber Bride, 1993 'Ben, examine this . . . What do you notice? ' comparable factor I had visible at our past viewing, a shot of King and 4 former country division poohbahs exiting a helicopter at a sumptuous Aspen, Colorado non-profit think-tank mountain ranch maintained via our tax cash. JUSTIN SCOTT Frostline, 1 nine nine 7 Queen of Sheba within the Bible, the Queen of Sheba, having heard concerning the well-known Solomon, went to go to him taking along with her a powerful caravan 'with camels that naked spices, and intensely a lot gold, and important stones' (i Kgs. io: 2). The identify can be utilized to typify a girls or woman who's aware of her personal superiority.