An allusion is a form of figurative language in which reference is made to text, event, person or place. By alluding to one of these, the writer relies on the reader's contextual knowledge and makes an implicit comparison between what is presented and what is known. Allusion is a device found in all kinds of texts from ads to novels.
Here are some examples of allusion:
- 'That store is like the forbidden tree in the Garden of Eden.' (Biblical reference, see image)
- 'I'm not allowed to apply until I've filled out an application. It's a Catch-22.' (Reference to a novel by Joseph Heller)
- 'Let's see, my dilemma for today: To teach or not to teach, that is the question.' (Reference to Hamlet by William Shakespeare)