We see and hear allusions all the time. Often, when we listen to a newscast or read a novel or poem, we will hear or see a reference to a name or idea that has become common knowledge. By understanding the allusion and its implied meaning, we understand the comparison being made.
See if you can figure out these popular allusions. Click on your choice.
Not like the brazen giant of Greek fame,
With conquering limbs astride from land to land;
Here at our sea-washed, sunset gates shall stand
A mighty woman with a torch, whose flame
Is the imprisoned lightning, and her name
Mother of Exiles. From her beacon-hand
Glows world-wide welcome; her mild eyes command
The air-bridged harbor that twin cities frame.
“Keep, ancient lands, your storied pomp!” cries she
With silent lips. “Give me your tired, your poor,
Your huddled masses yearning to breathe free,
The wretched refuse of your teeming shore.
Send these, the homeless, tempest-tost to me,
I lift my lamp beside the golden door!”
Often, allusions come from famous pieces of literature that everyone knows, such as The Wizard of Oz, mythology (like the example above), or the Bible. They may even reference famous works of art or real events.