Allusion in She Stoops to Conquer
Oliver Goldsmith makes several allusions throughout the play, mostly references to other literary works. He references Shakespeare’s Hamlet, contemporary poetry, as well as popular how-to guides about keeping a good household and curing of diseases. The guidebook allusions reflect the motif of dysfunctional familial relations and misunderstandings, which constitute the driving force of the plot. Goldsmith also references Greek mythology, lamenting the death of the Muse of Comedy. This allusion to the muses is indicative of Goldsmith’s dissatisfaction with the literary trends of his time.