Study Guide

The Diary of a Madman Allusions

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Literary and Philosophical References

  • Alexander Pushkin (2.1) is considered to be one of the greatest Russian literary figures of all time, but watch out—those lines Poprishchin quotes are actually not from Pushkin. They're from a not-so-important writer called N.P. Nikolev.

Historical References

  • Philip II, the King of Spain (12.1), who was a real Spanish king in the 16th century
  • The problems with the succession to the Spanish throne (10.1) actually did happen. On September 29, 1833, Ferdinand VII of Spain died, and the throne was given to his three-year-old daughter Isabella. But her uncle didn't like this one bit and the result was political chaos.

Pop Culture References

  • The journal The Northern Bee (2.1), which was the most popular news magazine of the time
  • The Russian fool Filatka (4.1), who was a stock folk character in popular vaudevilles of the time

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