What is an Allusion in Literature?

Updated: January 14, 2023
An allusion is a figure of speech that references a person, place, thing, or event. These references can be direct or indirect, but allusions typically expect the reader to spot the reference.
Detailed answer:

An allusion is a figure of speech that references another person’s work or some other idea outside of your own work. It’s a way for you to draw on something else in order to enhance your own text — whether it’s poetry, fiction, nonfiction or anything else — by showing how your work fits into an established tradition or genre.

In literature and other types of writing, an allusion is any reference made to another work or person. These references help writers create connections between their writing and the rest of the world. In literature, allusions can be found in poems, novels, plays and even song lyrics!

Allusions are often used in literature and other forms of art because they serve as a way for the artist to connect with their audience on a deeper level than just what’s on the surface.

Allusions are often made by referencing characters from mythology or historical figures from politics and literature. This can be done in three ways:

Direct reference: This is when you explicitly mention the name of the character or event in question without any further explanation.

Indirect reference: This is when there are several possible connections between your topic and the character or event you’re referring to but you don’t specify which one you mean specifically.

Elevated reference: This is when you refer to something in an elevated way by using its name as a metaphor for another concept or idea.

What is an Allusion in Literature?. (2023, Jan 14). Retrieved from https://graduateway.com/qa/what-is-an-allusion-in-literature/