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Castor Panfilov
Castor Panfilov


Most movies make historical allusions because they are set in the real world. They allude to familiar people, places, things, and events as a way to provide context and a sense of realism. Some movies, however, are more pointed in their historical allusion, pointing to history as a way of commenting on it.


This article aims to provide reflection on the use of quotations and allusions from psalms in Pauline writings. Although it is not possible to be sure about the source used by Paul (LXX or BH), the authors agree that Paul made at least 31 references to the psalms, between quotations and allusions, not counting the echoes. In light of this finding, this article presents the criteria for distinguishing citations, allusions and echoes of OT texts in the NT, based on the studies by G.K. Beale, in his work Manual of the Use of the Old Testament in the New Testament, and by R.B. Hays, in Echoes of Scripture in the Letter of Paul. Then, three quotations from psalms and one allusion are analyzed: two safe quotations (Ps 14,1-3 in Rom 3,10b-12; and Ps 112,9 in 2Cor 9,9); one questioned citation (Ps 142.1 in Gal 2.16); and one allusion (Ps 97.2 in Rom 1.17). This analysis will help to understand why Paul employs texts from the Psalter in his writings as well as the literary context, in addition to the criteria the apostle had for referring to such texts. Although it is not possible to accurately determine the source used by the apostle, the present study finds that, as is common throughout the NT, Paul's use of the OT was much more from a Greek version of the LXX than from a Hebrew text. Furthermore, it is clear that Paul both quoted the OT literally and used it freely, depending on his theological intent.

Often, when telling a story, you'll find that it can't be completely self-contained. Sometimes it's necessary or at least a good idea to bring in aspects of the outside world. One way you can do this is through allusions. Allusions are indirect or passing references to something in literature, often biblical or historical, and they can add a lot of depth to a story. That's why they're so common in literature. One place we see several different types of allusions is in Joseph Conrad's novel, Heart of Darkness.

''Whitewashed tombs'' and ''whited sepulchers'' are the same thing. By using this allusion to Matthew, Joseph Conrad is actually calling the city, and the European civilization it represents, completely hypocritical. European culture hides under the veneer, or whitewash, of civilization, yet in the Congo, all of that drops away and there is only the terrible center, full of savagery. By using allusion instead of description, Conrad (through Marlow) can say a lot in a very short phrase.

Christianity isn't the only religion Conrad alludes to; he also refers to Greek and Roman mythology. The first of these allusions is the Fates. We see this allusion in the Company's headquarters in France. Immediately after entering the building, Marlow encounters two women, dressed all in black, sitting and knitting. People must encounter them before going anywhere else in the building, and Marlow describes them as ''guarding the door to Darkness.''

In addition to these indirect allusions, Conrad also uses direct allusions, where what he refers to is directly stated but only in passing. One example of this occurs when Kurtz is being brought out of his house on a stretcher. Men follow him bringing his many guns, and Marlow refers to these guns as ''the thunderbolts of that pitiful Jupiter.'' In Roman mythology, Jupiter is the main god, and thunderbolts or lightning bolts are his weapons of choice. This allusion shows that Kurtz has set himself up as a god in the Inner Station, but he has fallen so far and is so sick that he is only a shadow of the ''Jupiter'' he used to be.

This passage directly references three different historically important English ships. The Golden Hind, captained by Sir Francis Drake, circumnavigated the globe in 1577-1580. This ship returned triumphant, as the narrator says. The other two ships, the Erebus and the Terror were bomb ships. In 1845 they set out together on an expedition and were lost. In 2014 the remains of the Erebus were recovered, but the narrator is speaking from the perspective of the late 1800s, when the ships were still very much lost. These allusions serve to add depth to the setting of the novel and show historical perspective.

All right, let's take a moment or two to review. In this lesson, we looked at how allusions are generally an indirect or passing reference to something in literature, while direct allusions are allusions that are directly stated but still only in passing. As we learned, the author Joseph Conrad uses both direct and indirect allusions in Heart of Darkness. We saw that these include biblical allusions, which are references that call some part of the Bible to mind; historical allusions, which refer to historical events that actually happened outside the story; and allusions to Greek and Roman Mythology. These allusions serve to give depth to the setting and perspective of the characters.

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1. Allusions can only be effective if a majority of readers or audience members recognize the meaning behind them. In the lesson, you learned about the name of the vessel in Moby Dick and the underlying meaning of this name. There's a great chance, however, that you were not aware of the fate of the Pequot people. Think of an allusion from a television show or movie designed to appeal to a young contemporary audience. For example, the characters in The Big Bang Theory might make a math or science reference, or a joke about a comic book character. Talk about ways in which allusions are tied to a certain time or a specific group.

2. In the literature popular during the Medieval Period, much of the fiction and poetry featured Biblical or Christian allusions. In Chaucer's The Canterbury Tales, many of the individual characters who tell the tales are connected to the then-powerful Catholic Church. Others represent various parts of fourteenth-century English culture. Read one of the tales from the Nun, the Monk, or the Friar. Find the religious references in the tale. Or read "The Wife of Bath's Tale" and talk about what kind of character she is. See if you can discover what Chaucer is saying about the pilgrim telling the tale through the allusions he or she uses.

3. You read in the lesson about the use of allusions to describe individuals. Think of people you know who have distinctive qualities or characteristics. Can you come up with a literary or film allusion to describe them? How might other people describe a key characteristic recognized in you using an allusion?

The ideas presented here ask students to explore further and find examples and instances of allusions in literature, television, and film. For some discussions, it would be necessary for everyone in a class or group to read or watch the same story or visual medium in order to have a productive discussion.

Some allusions are as obvious as the previous example, while others are more obscure. Because the story, event, person, or object being used in the allusion can carry a wide variety of connotations, allusions sometimes bring a wealth of information and attitudes with them. For instance, in the David versus Goliath example, not only does this allusion refer to an event in which one person has a clear advantage, but it also carries the idea that the person who deserves to win, and who will probably win, is the one with very little power.

Most people would understand the reference to a growling stomach because all human beings share this experience. Experience, or prior knowledge, is key to identifying and understanding allusions. In other words, readers require a point of reference. Consider the following examples.

Sometimes allusion is easy to spot. A reference like 'That guy is a regular Adonis!' draws upon a mythical figure of beauty to make a comparison in an obvious way. But not all allusions are as easy to recognize. For instance, let's look at this line: 'My father carries the weight of the world.' This is an allusion to Atlas, a figure who held up the Earth in Greek mythology. Rather than refer to Atlas by name, this allusion calls up an image of Atlas by mentioning his most commonly recognized trait - the fact that he holds up the planet, and it carries connotations of enduring strength and nobility.

An allusion is a figure of speech in which a writer makes a reference to a famous story, person, object, or event. By drawing upon the connotations of this reference, a writer can use the allusion to carry a lot of information in a few words. For allusions to be effective though, both the writer and the reader must share a set of cultural reference points. 041b061a72


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