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Analysis: Allusions

When authors refer to other great works, people, and events, it’s usually not accidental. Put on your super-sleuth hat and figure out why.

Literary Sources

  • Jorge de Montemay, or Diana Enamorada (published in English 1598)
  • Anonymous, The History of Felix and Philomela (a lost play)
  • Thomas Elyot, Book 2, Chapter 12 of The Book Named the Governor (1531)

Major Literary Influences

Mythology, Legends, and Biblical Allusions

  • The character Proteus shares his name with the shape-shifting sea god.
  • The character Valentine shares his name with the patron saint of lovers.
  • Myth of Hero and Leander (1.1)
  • Cupid (2.4)
  • Greek myth of Phaëton, who set the world on fire driving his dad's chariot (3.1)
  • The Temptation of Eve in the Garden of Eden (3.1)
  • Greek myth of Ariadne, who killed herself when Theseus broke up with her (4.4)
  • Greek myth of Tereus's rape of Philomela (5.4)

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