Flashcards in Allusions - Test 1 Deck (15):
Mother dipped him by his heel into River Styx to make him immortal. Killed in Trojan War, poison arrow hit his heel.
Pound of Flesh
Shakespeare’s Merchant of Venice
Shylock requires a pound of flesh when Antonio loses the ships. Antonio is saved by technicality, only can take flesh if bloodlessly.
Someone’s unreasonable insistence on being paid.
Cows are not to be killed, only to be bribed with food.
Can’t be interfered with or harmed, even if not interfering could be harmful.
Crossing the Rubicon
In Roman Law, general was forbidden from crossing into Italy with army; Caesar did this. Civil war.
Take an irreversible step, often involving danger.
Pearls before Swine
Sermon on the Mount in Bible
Jesus said, “cast not your pearls before swine.”
Giving someone something they don’t value.
Once in a Blue Moon
Second full moon in the same month. Happens every 3 years.
Occurs very rarely.
play, “Speed the Ploughing”
character who never appears onstage, “What would Mrs. Grundy say?”
narrow-minded limited person
crocodiles thought to spread tears before eating prey
show false sympathy
mythical sea creatures who lure sailors with a song
tempted to do something that puts in danger
Read the Riot Act
English Common Law
unruly crowd be read Act before action can be taken, to force to disperse
issue warning, if behavior doesn’t cease, consequences follow
Thirty Pieces of Silver/Betrayed with a Kiss
Judas Iscariot betrayed Jesus in exchange for payment.
payment received for act of treachery
Gordius, Greek King
Tied complex knot. Alexander the Great cut knot.
solve problem in quick decisive manner
All that glitters isn’t gold.
language and idioms, Aristotle
appearances can be deceptive
language and idioms, fairytales
Poet locked himself in ivory tower so he could compose poems.
beautiful unreachable place isolated from real world