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Allusion in Shakespeare: The Taming of the Shrew

Allusions are a specific kind of reference: to well-known characters, events, or themes that come from classical works of literature, such as Greek and Roman mythology or the Bible. Here are some allusions from the text of The Taming of the Shrew.

“Hear Minerva speak.”
       — Lucentio (1.1.84)

Minerva is the Roman equivalent to Athena of Greek mythology. She is the goddess of wisdom.

“Leave that labor to great Hercules.”
        — Gremio (1.2.255)

Hercules, or Heracles, is a hero of incredible strength from Greek mythology. He was assigned twelve impossible labors by the goddess Hera. 

“Hic ibat Simois, hic est Sigeia tellus.”
        — Lucentio (2.1.28-29

These lines come from the Greek poet Ovid’s book Heroides. They speak of the location of the river Simios and the palace of the Trojan king Priam. This basic Latin text would have been used in many schools, and could be considered the equivalent of “See spot run” in a modern English lesson.



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What's On

The Taming of the Shrew

June 19 - September 7, 2024

Engelstad Shakespeare Theatre

Henry VIII

June 17 - September 5, 2024

Engelstad Shakespeare Theatre

Much Ado About Nothing

June 21 - October 5, 2024

Randall L. Jones Theatre

The Mountaintop

July 13 - October 5, 2024

Eileen and Allen Anes Studio Theatre

The 39 Steps

June 22 - October 5, 2024

Randall L. Jones Theatre

The Winter's Tale

June 18 - September 6, 2024

Engelstad Shakespeare Theatre

Silent Sky

July 12 - October 5, 2024

Eileen and Allen Anes Studio Theatre

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