Allusion in Romeo and Juliet


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  • Definition of allusion
  • Authors use this literary device to relate something well-known to an element in the story to show a similarity between the two in the story.
  • The significance of Paris' name
  • Political power
  • Good looks
  • Respectful
  • Rich
  • Cupid
  • " Alas that love, whose view is muffled still, Should without eyes see pathways to his will!" ( 176-77, act 1 sc.1)
  • Allusion is a brief and indirect reference to a person, place, thing or idea of historical, cultural, literary or political significance.
  • Queen Mab
  • The name Paris alludes to a character in Greek mythology that had good looks, wit, political power, and prowess. The same applies to Paris in Shakespeare's work, which is why Juliet's parents arrange for her to marry him.
  • Fate: Paris' Name is No Mere Coincidence
  • Paris vs. Paris
  • Cupid is the Roman god of erotic love and is usually portrayed as being blindfolded. Romeo acknowledges Cupid as being blindfolded and without proper aim, and blames his unreciprocated love for Rosaline on Cupid's blinded aims.
  • How Does Allusion Relate to the Theme of Fate & Love
  • Although Romeo has a bad feeling about going to the Capulet party, Mercutio compares his dream to the work of a miniscule character of folktale to relieve Romeo of worry to get him to go to the party. The persuasion works because it is fated for Romeo to go to the party & meet Juliet.
  • During Mercutio's speech about Romeo's dream, Shakespeare alludes to Queen Mab, a fairy that brings dreams to people. Shakespeare has Mercutio relate Romeo's dream to a childish myth because Mercutio is trying to explain that there is no reason to be worried about a meaningless dream.
  • This is Queen Mab. She is a miniscule fairy that was popular in folklore during Shakespeare's time.
  • Shakespeare deliberately chooses the name Paris because he wants the audience to make the connection to the traits of Paris from Greek mythology. By naming a character Paris, Shakespeare is saying that it is fated for Paris to be the more urbane and ideal option for Juliet. This is why Paris in Romeo and Juliet has such a suitable name.
  • Romeo's dream is one of the many details that foreshadow his fated demise, as explained above by Queen Mab. Secondly, the allusion to Cupid refers to Romeo's fate, that unfortunately Rosaline doesn't love Romeo back. Fate ensured that Cupid's arrow would not hit Rosaline because it is written in the stars that Romeo will find reciprocated love with Juliet.
  • The allusion in this play relates to love as well. Fate is the theme that is at the heart of this play, but most of the allusions, such as the use of Cupid and Paris, relates to love. The allusion to Paris relates to love because in this play and in Greek mythology because a war is involved with both Paris'. In myhtology, love is a central idea because Paris chooses Aphrodite's promise of love with Helene. In this play, love is a central idea because Paris "loves" Juliet and is chosen to marry her. Even though he's the better choice, because his traits are similar to that of Paris in mythology, the love is not given back.
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