From 11:00PM PDT on Friday, July 1 until 5:00AM PDT on Saturday, July 2, the Shmoop engineering elves will be making tweaks and improvements to the site. That means Shmoop will be unavailable for use during that time. Thanks for your patience!
We have changed our privacy policy. In addition, we use cookies on our website for various purposes. By continuing on our website, you consent to our use of cookies. You can learn about our practices by reading our privacy policy.
© 2016 Shmoop University, Inc. All rights reserved.
The House of Mirth

The House of Mirth


by Edith Wharton

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.

Literature and Philosophy

  • Ecclesiastes 7:4 (The title)
  • Jean de La Bruyère (1.1.95) (2.12.3) – a French essayist
  • Sarum Rule (1.2.31) – a Latin liturgy
  • Omar Khayyám (1.6.7) – a Persian poet and philosopher
  • "If you would forgive your enemy, first inflict a hurt on him", a Malay proverb (1.10.39)
  • William Shakespeare, The Tempest ("Caliban" and "Miranda") (1.12.19)
  • Aeschylus, The Eumenides (1.13.78)
  • "Blessed are the pure of heart for they shall see God", The Gospel of Matthew (1.14.10)
  • Paul Verlaine (2.1.33) – a French poet
  • Theocritus (2.2.4) – a Greek poet

Mythological References

  • Minerva (1.9.61) – the Roman name for the Greek Athena, goddess of wisdom and war
  • The Furies (1.13.78, 1.14.78, 1.15.12, 1.15.48, 2.10.96)
  • Perseus and Andromeda (1.14.44)
  • Venus (2.9.2) – The Roman name for the Greek Aphrodite, the goddess of sex, love, and beauty

Art References

  • Richard Wagner (1.10.38) – a German composer known for his operas
  • Sandro Botticelli (1.12.14) – an Italian Renaissance painter
  • Francisco Goya (1.12.15) – a Spanish painter
  • Titian (1.12.15) – an Italian Renaissance painter
  • Hugo Wilhelm Kauffmann (1.12.15) – a German painter
  • Paulo Veronese (1.12.15) – an Italian Renaissance painter
  • Sir Joshua Reynolds, "Mrs. Lloyd" (1.12.17)
  • Giovanni Battista Tiepolo (1.12.17) – a Venetian painter

Pop Culture

  • The New York Times (1.9.11)
  • Beatrice Cenci (1.15.13) – an Italian noblewoman involved in a famous murder trial in Rome

People who Shmooped this also Shmooped...