Related Analysis Pages
Allusion in Kubla Khan
Allusion Examples in Kubla Khan:
"Abyssinian maid..." See in text (Kubla Khan)
The “Abyssinian maid” is generally interpreted as a representation of the poetic muse, and not a reference to a specific figure. The “dulcimer she played” is a variety of stringed instrument. Considering the Abyssinian woman’s role as poetic muse, the dulcimer may serve as an allusion to the lyre, a stringed instrument strongly associated with the poetic traditions of ancient Greece.
"Alph, the sacred river..." See in text (Kubla Khan)
“Alph” is a shortening of Alpheus, or Alfeios, the longest-running river in the Peloponnesian peninsula of Greece. As the Roman poet Ovid tells it, Alpheus was a river god who pursued the nymph Arethusa, who fled to the island of Ortygia in Sicily and turned into a fountain. The myth holds that the Alpheus river goes underground in the Peloponnese and resurfaces in Sicily.