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Allusion in Hamlet

Allusion is an indirect reference to another person, place, thing, or idea. Shakespeare alludes to various myths, dramas, and other works of art and literature for his plays. Hamlet is filled with these allusions, specifically to Greek mythology and the Bible, in order to tie in motifs of love, deceit, betrayal, and death.

Allusion Examples in Hamlet:

Act I - Scene II


"Hyperion to a satyr..."   (Act I - Scene II)

In Greek mythology, Hyperion was considered the "High One," Lord of the Light and the Titan of the East, one of the twelve Titans that ruled the earth before Zeus and the Olympians fought them for control. Hamlet draws a parallel between Hyperion and a satyr (a lustful, drunken god) and between King Hamlet and Claudius, forming an analogy that makes his father look like a saint and Claudius seem depraved.

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