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Allusion in Remember

Allusion Examples in Remember:

Text of the Poem

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"Nor I half turn to go yet turning stay...."   (Text of the Poem)

This line alludes to the Greek myth of Orpheus. In the story, Orpheus travels to the underworld to rescue his lover Eurydice, who was bitten by a viper on their wedding day. Orpheus plays music so beautifully for Persephone and Hades that they allow him to take Eurydice back to the world of the living under one condition: he cannot look at her until they are out of the land of the dead. Orpheus leads his love to the surface and resists looking back at her until he is fully back in the sunlight. Tragically, Eurydice is still on the threshold of the underworld when Orpheus turns and looks at her. She vanishes instantly back to the underworld, forever out of reach from her living lover.

"silent land;..."   (Text of the Poem)

“Silent land” is an allusion to the afterlife depicted in Greek and Roman mythology. In stories of the underworld, the dead were referred to as “shades.” Unlike Christian perceptions of spirits after death, shades were insubstantial and purposeless. They did not speak or influence the living; they lacked wit and the strength to redeem actions committed on earth. They simply existed away from the mortal world in a “silent” realm.

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