27 terms

allusions 31-45

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In media Res story
This is a Latin Phrase, which literally means "into the middle of things." One of the standard epic conventions is that the epic begins in the middle of the action. Events that occurred earlier are described later in the epic.
Loaves and Fishes Story
In several of the gospels, the story is told of Jesus preaching to a crowd of thousands. When the people became hungry, all the food to be found was five loaves and two fish. Jesus had these brought to him and blessed the food. His disciples distributed fish and bread to the entire crowd, and there was still food left over after everyone had been fed.
In media Res definition
The phrase can refer to anything that begins abruptly, in the middle of the action, or it can be used in its literal sense: into the middle of things.
Loaves and Fishes Definition
refers to an almost miraculous abundance in the face of seeming scarcity.
Magnum Opus story
This phrase is Latin for "great work". Incidentally, the plural of opus is opera.
Magnum Opus definition
This phrase usually refers to the greatest work produced by a writer, or great composer.
Janus story
Janus was the Roman god of gates and doorways. Thus, he was associated with entrances and beginnings. Our month of January is named for Janus. He was usually depicted with two faces, one looking forward into the future, and one looking backward at the past.
A Chip On One's Shoulders story
In earlier times young boys would place a wood chip on their shoulders and dare anyone to knock it off and thus start a fight. This was a way of showing how tough they were.
A Chip On One's Shoulders definition
A person who is inclined to be resentful or who seems to be looking for an excuse to fight.
Noble Savage story
This is a concept in Western Philosophy, particularly
Noble Savage definition
a person who has not been corrupted by society or civilization.
Burning Bush story
In the book of Exodus, God speaks to Moses from a miraculous burning bush, bush that burns but is not consumed. He commands Moses to confront Pharaoh and demand that he free the Israelites, and he tells Moses to lead the people to the promised land.
Burning Bush definition
refers to a medium through which the voice of absolute authority speaks.
Narcissus/ Narcissism story
In Greek Mythology, Narcissus was a young man of extraordinary beauty. He cruelly rejected many admirers , including the Nymph Echo. One day, as he bent to drink from a pool. Narcissus saw his own reflection , and immediately fell in love with it. In some versions of the story, Narcissus tried to embrace his reflection, fell in the pool, and drowned. In others, unable to tear himself away from his own reflection, he wasted away and died. In either case, his obsession with his own beauty led to his death.
Narcissus/ Narcissism definition
derived from the story of Narcissus. It refers to obsessive focus on oneself, particularly one's physical appearance.
Scherazade story
Scherazade is the narrator of Arabian Nights, also referred to as The Thousand and One Nights, a collection of Middle Eastern folktales. According to the legend, The Arabian King Shahiyar, angered when he discovers his first wife's infidelity, vows to marry a new wife everyday and execute her the morning after there wedding night. When it is Scherazade turn to be a bride, she tells her new husband a story on their wedding night, but she ends the story at the most critical point, promising to continue the story the next night. Scherazade cunning and her fascinating storytelling keep her alive for a thousand and one nights., by which time the king has fallen in love with her and cancels his vow.
Scherazade definition
A person who is an excellent storyteller especially one who is able to keep an audience in suspense
Skeletons in the closet story
Long after a person has died and the body has decomposed, the skeleton remains. Skeletons can be unpleasant of frightening to look at.
Skeletons in the closet definition
refers to unpleasant or embarrassing things about a person that he or she would prefer to keep hidden., just as one would hide a skeleton from the views of others.
Fifteen Minutes of Fame story
Andy Warhol, a twentieth century American artist most famous for his pop art images of Campbell's soup cans and Marilyn Monroe, commented on the explosion of media coverage by saying, "In the future, everyone will be word famous for 15 minutes."
Let the Cat out of Bag/ Buy a pig in a poke story
In medieval times, farmers often took piglets to market in a bag known as a "poke". Sometimes, an unscrupulous farmer would place a cat in the bag instead of a pig. If the cat managed to escape, the farmer's secret would be revealed to the buyer. Often buyers would not look in the bag to be sure they would be swindled; they would simply pay for the pig in the poke.
Let the Cat out of Bag/ Buy a pig in a poke defintion
to refer to the secret's been revealed. The phrase describes buying something sight unseen.
Lot's Wife / Pillar of Salt story
According to the book of Genesis, God destroyed the cities of Sodom and Gomorrah, but Lot, the nephew of Abraham, was given time to escape with his family before the destruction. God commanded Lot and his family not to look back as they fled. Lot's wife disobeyed and looked back , and she was immediately turned into a pillar of salt as punishment for her disobedience.
Lot's Wife / Pillar of Salt definition
usually a reference to someone who unwisely chooses to look back once he or she has begun on a course of action or to someone who disobeys an explicit rule or command.
Cassandra story
In Greek Mythology, Cassandra, the daughter of a Trojan king, was loved by Apollo, who gave her the gift of prophecy , When Cassandra later angered Apollo, he altered the gift so that her prophecies, while true, would not be believed. Thus her accurate warnings to the Trojans were disregarded, and disaster befell them.
Cassandra definition
refers to someone who predicts disasters or negative results, especially to someone whose predictions are disregarded.
Catch-22 story
This phrase comes from a novel by Joseph Heller. Catch-22 is set on a U.S Army Air Force base in WWII. The "catch-22" refers to a regulation that states an airman's request to be relieved from flight duty can be granted only if he is judged to be insane. However, anyone who does not want to fly dangerous missions is obviously sane. Thus, there is no way to avoid flying missions.
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