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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, King Lear (3.104)
The Slough of Despond: a bog in John Bunyan's allegorical story Pilgrim's Progress. The protagonist, Christian, sinks into the Slough of Despond, weighed down by his sins and sense of guilt. (22.30)
Matthew 18:21-35, First of the Seventy-First: "Then Peter came unto him, and said, Lord how oft shall my brother sin against me, and I shall forgive him? Till seven times? Jesus saith unto him, I say not unto thee, Until seven times: but Until Seventy times seven." (3.31)
Pharisees: an ancient Hebrew sect that believed in strict Biblical interpretation. However, the term has come to mean someone who is hypocritical and self-righteous. (5.7)
Noah: the Hebrew patriarch (in Genesis 6-9) who received a covenant from God to build a boat and load it full of animals to protect them from an impending flood. (9.125).
Lot: in Genesis 11-14 and 19, Lot goes to Sodom and Gomorrah. Warned to leave, he takes his wife. They are not supposed to look back at the doomed city, but she does and is turned into a pillar of salt. (9.125)
The Jonah: Jonah was a minor prophet of the Old Testament who was famously saved by a huge fish. (9.125)
Hercules: a mythical Roman demigod known for his great strength. (33.59)
Fate of Milo: Milo was an athlete from Crotona who was caught by a tree he was trying to split. He was then devoured by savage beasts. (9.99)