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Analysis

The Life and Opinions of Tristram Shandy, Gentleman Allusions & Cultural References

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.

We're going to need a bigger list: this is a lot of shout-outs. All books—all respectable books, at least—from around Tristram Shandy's era contained a lot of shout-outs. That's how the author proved that he knew his stuff. But this is Tristram Shandy, and we ought to know by now that Sterne never does anything just like everyone else. He mixes all these in with references to made up authorities, possibly poking fun at the whole idea of having to stuff your work full of ancient philosophers and historians.

Literary and Philosophical References

  • Shakespeare, Hamlet (3.19.1, 1.20.11, 2.10.1)
  • Homer (1.12.1)
  • Rosinante (1.10.4, 6, 14)
  • Pilgrim's Progress (1.4.2)
  • Montaigne (1.4.2)
  • Horace (1.4.3)
  • Locke (1.4.7)
  • Copernicus, Plato (1.21.16)
  • Don Quixote (1.19.3)
  • Trismegistus, Archimedes, Kyky, Simkin, Caesar, Pompey (1.19.3)
  • Cicero, Quintilian, Isocrates, Aristotle, Longinus, Vossius, Skioppius, Ramus, Farnaby (1.19.6)
  • John de la Casse (5.16.4-5)
  • Tartaglia (5.16.1)
  • Galileo (2.3.8)
  • Hippocrates (2.1.8)
  • Dr. James Mackenzie (2.1.8)
  • Locke, Essay upon the Human Understanding (2.2.7)
  • Hogarth (2.7.2)
  • Romeo and Juliet (2.5.7)
  • Descartes 2.19
  • Joseph Reynolds (3.2.1)
  • Locke (3.20)
  • Rabelais (5.28)
  • King William the Third (5.9.1)
  • Cato, Seneca, Epictetus (5.6.5)
  • Cornelius Gallus (5.4.2, 5.12.2)
  • Socrates (5.12.2)
  • Cicero (5.3.6)
  • Zoroaster, John Chrysostom, Plato, Aristotle (5.1.7)
  • Cervantes (4.32.2)
  • Shadrach, Meshech, and Abed-nego, (4.21.3)
  • Don Quixote (4.16.7)
  • Montaigne (4.16.8)
  • Erasmus (3.37.1)
  • Tully's second Philippic (3.14.2)
  • Zeno, Cleanthes, Diogenes Babylonius, Dionysius Heracleotes, Antipater, Panaetius, and Posidonius amongst the Greeks;—Cato and Varro and Seneca amongst the Romans;—Pantenus and Clemens Alexandrinus and Montaigne (3.4.2)
  • St. Ambrose (5.5.3)
  • Marcus Antoninus (5.51)
  • Politian (5.31.1)
  • Hesion (5.31.1)
  • Hippocrates
  • Lord Verulam (5.34.1)
  • Van Helmont (5.36.1)
  • Aristotle (5.36.2)
  • Virgil (5.40.9)
  • Grotius, Scioppius, Heinsius, Politian, Pascal, Joseph Scaliger, Ferdinand de Cordoue (6.2.2)
  • Burton (6.36, 7.14)
  • Moliere (8.2.8)
  • Pope (8.2.8)
  • Swift, Tale of a Tub (9.8.7)

Historical References

  • Richard Mead (1.7.3)
  • Sir Robert Filmer (1.18.10)
  • Dr. Joseph Hall (1.22.1, 7.13.1)
  • William the Conqueror (3.7.11)
  • Michael Angelo (3.7.9)
  • Frances I of France (4.21)
  • Garrick (4.8.5)
  • Solon and Pythagoras (5.27.4)
  • King William (5.40.1)
  • Thomas a Becket (7.2.1, 3)
  • Pythagoras (7.13.5)
  • Euclid (7.16.2)
  • Louis XIV (7.16.3)
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