Allusion is a literary device of speech. With the use of allusion, an object or circumstance from an unrelated context is referred to covertly or indirectly to make a link between the two unrelated things. It is left to the audience and readers to make a direct connection. It is up to the writer whether the reference is exposed directly or explicitly. Allusion can be compared with other literary tools such as Metaphor and Simile. Like Simile and Metaphor, Allusion compares two unlike things to make a reference.
Examples of Allusion:
• His smile is going to be the death of me.
Explanation: Death is compared with a smile as a way to refer to emotions that are felt by the person who is smiling on
• Why are you leaving the party exactly at midnight? Are you Cinderella?
Explanation: A person is being mocked and compared to Cinderella because he/she left the party at midnight.
• Like Popeye needs his spinach, I need my chocolate!
Explanation: Popeye’s secret strength comes from spinach. Here a comparison is made where a person also needs chocolate for strength.
• My mother is the Medusa of the house. No one should directly look at her when she is angry.
Explanation: Here, Medusa is being compared to a mother who is angry. The reference to not directly looking comes from Greek mythology, where Medusa had the power to turn humans into stones by looking at them.