25 Historical Allusion Examples: What, Why, Where, How, When To Use


There are many literary devices that can be employed in writing. In this article we’re going to learn about a subtype of allusions with the help historical allusion examples.

 Examples-

1.     He considers his own work to be as good as Shakespeare’s and someone needs to rid him of that delusion.

The name ‘Shakespeare’ is a one of many historical allusion examples.

‘Shakespeare’ is a historical allusion to the English playwright from sixteenth century who is also knows as the greatest writer in the English Language.

2.     I felt like I was betrayed like Julius Caesar since everybody abandoned me.

The name ‘Julius Caesar’ is a one of many historical allusion examples.

‘Julius Caesar’ is a historical allusion to Roman emperor who was betrayed and killed in 44 B.C.

3.     She wants to learn how to dance and sing exactly like Michael Jackson someday.

The name ‘Michael Jackson’ is a one of many historical allusion examples.

‘Michael Jackson’ is a historical allusion to one of the most popular global artists the world has ever seen.

4.     My nephew dressed up as Superman for the Halloween party.

The name ‘Superman’ is a one of many historical allusion examples.

‘Superman’ is a historical allusion to the superhero who was first created in comic books and then later on adapted into T.V. shows and movies.

5.     The state of the world right now seems eerily similar to the plot of the novel ‘1984’.

The number ‘1984’ is a one of many historical allusion examples.

‘1984’ is a historical allusion to the book written by writer George Orwell who  mostly dealt with dystopian fiction.

Historical Allusion Examples
Historical Allusion Examples

6.     My father is non-violent and peaceful that if Gandhi were alive, he’d be proud of him.

The name ‘Gandhi’ is a one of many historical allusion examples.

‘Gandhi’ is a historical allusion to the peaceful freedom fighter that helped the country of India gain freedom from British colonisation.

7.     I read ‘Paradise Lost’ by Milton for my Literature exam and now it is one of my most favorite books ever.

The term ‘Paradise Lost’ and the name ‘Milton’  are two of many historical allusion examples.

‘Paradise Lost’ is a book written by writer ‘Milton’ in the seventeenth century.

8.     My friends stature reminds me of Napoleon.

The name ‘Napoleon’ is a one of many historical allusion examples.

‘Napoleon’ is a historical allusion to Napoleon Bonaparte who was a French political leader in the nineteenth century.

9.     George Orwell is my favorite author since his books hold such a clear mirror to society.

The name ‘George Orwell’ is a one of many historical allusion examples.

‘George Orwell’ is a historical allusion to the writer who mainly wrote dystopian fiction.

10.  They think that their life is a worse tragedy than that of Macbeth’s.

The name ‘Macbeth’ is a one of many historical allusion examples.

‘Macbeth’ is a historical allusion to the character and play written by the famous English playwright Shakespeare.

11.  Colonialism is a huge stain on many countries’ histories.

The term ‘Colonialism’ is a one of many historical allusion examples.

‘Colonialism’ is a historical allusion to the system of colonisation that was employed by many countries over other countries in the past.

12.  The Hiroshima and Nagasaki tragedies were the worst real-life nightmares created by humankind.

The names ‘Hiroshima and Nagasaki’ are two of many historical allusion examples.

‘Hiroshima and Nagasaki’ are historical allusions to the two islands off the coast of Japan that were ruthlessly  by the U.S.A.

13.  His leadership seems reminiscent to that of Abraham Lincoln.

The name ‘Abraham Lincoln’ is a one of many historical allusion examples.

‘Abraham Lincoln’ is a historical allusion to the sixteenth president of the United States of America.

14.  Sometimes I think my aunt might be even kinder and more helpful than Mother Teresa.

The name ‘Mother Teresa’ is a one of many historical allusion examples.

‘Mother Teresa’ is a historical allusion to the saint who dedicated her life caring for the unfortunate in the city of Calcutta in India.

15.  The current economic crisis seems like it’s going to get worse than the Great Depression.

The term ‘Great Depression’ is a one of many historical allusion examples.

‘Great Depression’ is a historical allusion to the economic crisis that had hit the United States of America in the year 1929.

16.  The Revolt of 1857 is what started India’s fight for freedom from the British Raj.

The term ‘Revolt of 1857’ is a one of many historical allusion examples.

‘Revolt of 1857’ is a historical allusion to the first instance of uprising by Indian sepoys against their British commanders.

17.  The Arab Spring took place in the twenty-first century.

The term ‘Arab Spring’ is a one of many historical allusion examples.

‘Arab Spring’ is a historical allusion to the series of protests that took place amongst many Arab countries in the 2010’s to fight against corrupt governments.

18.  I don’t think any country could follow any of these make-believe Draconian laws.

The term ‘Draconian’ is a one of many historical allusion examples.

‘Draconian’ is a historical allusion to harsh laws given out by Athenian lawgiver in the seventh century.

19.  Their kid is a genius, he might as well be the next Einstein.

The name ‘Einstein’ is a one of many historical allusion examples.

‘Einstein’ is a historical allusion to the great scientist of the twentieth century who pioneered the theory of relativity.

20.  I don’t think we’ve seen a worse vehicular mass-accident than Titanic since the time it happened.

The term ‘Titanic’ is a one of many historical allusion examples.

‘Titanic’ is a historical allusion to the ship that hit an iceberg in the Atlantic Ocean in 1912 and caused the death of hundreds of people.

21.  The French Revolution was one of the pre-cursors of modern democracy.

The term ‘French Revolution’ is a one of many historical allusion examples.

‘French Revolution’ is a historical allusion to the social uprising that took place between 1787 and 1799 in France, wherein the people wanted a change in relationship between them and their governors.

22.  His philosophical views have been ripped right out of Plato’s Republic.

The term ‘Plato’s Republic’ is a one of many historical allusion examples.

‘Plato’s Republic’ is a historical allusion to the book that Greek philosopher, Plato recorded his ideas in back in 375 B.C..

23.  The East India Company still exists today for some reason.

The term ‘East India Company’ is a one of many historical allusion examples.

‘East India Company’ is a historical allusion to the British company that had main responsibility over the colonisation of India and many other countries of the world.

24.  I know of people that personally took part on the Civil Rights Movement back in the day.

The term ‘Civil Rights Movement’ is a one of many historical allusion examples.

‘Civil Rights Movement’ was a movement that took place in the United States of America in the twentieth century and it fought for racial equality and justice.

25.  My uncle has been following the teachings of Buddha since he was a teenager.

The name ‘Buddha’ is a one of many historical allusion examples.

‘Buddha’ was a spiritual leader from ancient India and also the founder of the ‘Buddhism’ religion.

What is historical allusion?

A historical allusion is a historical allusion to the past, especially a piece of writing from the past which consists of a historical event or a person of significance.

Why to use historical allusion?

  • Historical allusion should be used to enrich a text that is being written.
  • It helps the reader grow their knowledge from outside of the text they are reading.
  • It contributes to the concept of “intertextuality” which means that one can link different texts from different time periods, authors, etc, just by virtue of the particular allusion.

How to use historical allusion?

One can use a historical allusion by adding references from history or historical pieces of work and also of historical figures in their piece of writing.

Where to use historical allusion?

A historical allusion can be used while writing poems, prose, essays, plays, novels, novellas, short stories, screenplays or any other form of writing that can fit in an allusion in an appropriate place.

When to use historical allusion?

 A historical allusion can be used when a writer wants to make a point in their piece of writing with the help a historical reference.

Conclusion

Hence, one can see that historical allusions are basically references to important events and persons from the past that can be used in different forms of writing to provide some or the other form of context for whatever reason.

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