© 2016 Shmoop University, Inc. All rights reserved.
Narrative of the Life of Frederick Douglass

Narrative of the Life of Frederick Douglass


by Frederick Douglass

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 and Philosophical References

  • William Shakespeare, Hamlet (10.25): "rather bear those ills we had, than fly to others, that we knew not of."
  • Richard Sheridan (7.6)
  • John Greenleaf Whittier, "The Farewell of a Virginia Slave Mother to Her Daughters Sold into Southern Bondage" (8.6), "Clerical Oppressors" (appendix.2)

Biblical References

  • Matthew 25:35 (11.14): "I was hungry, and he gave me meat; I was thirsty, and he gave me drink; I was a stranger, and he took me in."
  • Luke 12:47 (9.4): "He that knoweth his master's will, and doeth it not, shall be beaten with many stripes."
  • The Story of Daniel (11.5): "I felt like one who had escaped a den of hungry lions"; (8.5): "I had escaped a worse than lion's jaws."

Historical References

People who Shmooped this also Shmooped...