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The Legend of Sleepy Hollow

The Legend of Sleepy Hollow


by Washington Irving

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, Biblical, and Mythological References

  • Brom is named Abraham
  • Ichabod's name means "no glory" (1 Samuel 4:21)
  • Katrina is another name for Demeter
  • Baltus is named after Balthazar
  • James Thomson, "The Castle of Indolence" (Epigraph)
  • Ovid, Metamorphoses (1.1) 
  • Shakespeare, King Lear (1.3)
  • Bible, Horsemen of the Apocalypse (1.8); Proverbs 13:24 (1.9); Abraham (1.26)
  • John Milton, "L'Allegro" (1.16)
  • Hercules (1.26) 
  • Achilles (1.29) 
  • Mercury (1.32)

Historical References

  • St. Nicholas (1.1)
  • Henry Hudson (1.3)
  • Hessian (German) soldiers (1.4)
  • The American Revolution (1.4, 1.48)
  • No Man's Land (1.49)
  • Cotton Mather (1.15)
  • Tartars (1.26)
  • Don Cossacks (1.26)
  • Saint Vitus (1.47)
  • Major John AndrĂ© (1.52)

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