Allusions - Test 1 Flashcards Preview

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Flashcards in Allusions - Test 1 Deck (15):
1

Achilles’ Heel

mythology

Mother dipped him by his heel into River Styx to make him immortal. Killed in Trojan War, poison arrow hit his heel.

vulnerability

2

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.

3

Sacred Cow

Hinduism

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.

4

Crossing the Rubicon

historical reference

In Roman Law, general was forbidden from crossing into Italy with army; Caesar did this. Civil war.

Take an irreversible step, often involving danger.

5

Pearls before Swine

Sermon on the Mount in Bible

Jesus said, “cast not your pearls before swine.”

Giving someone something they don’t value.

6

Once in a Blue Moon

Second full moon in the same month. Happens every 3 years.

Occurs very rarely.

7

Mrs. Grundy

play, “Speed the Ploughing”

character who never appears onstage, “What would Mrs. Grundy say?”

narrow-minded limited person

8

Crocodile Tears

crocodiles thought to spread tears before eating prey

show false sympathy

9

Sirens

mythical sea creatures who lure sailors with a song

tempted to do something that puts in danger

10

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

11

Thirty Pieces of Silver/Betrayed with a Kiss

Bible

Judas Iscariot betrayed Jesus in exchange for payment.

payment received for act of treachery

12

Gordian Knot

Gordius, Greek King

Tied complex knot. Alexander the Great cut knot.

solve problem in quick decisive manner

13

All that glitters isn’t gold.

language and idioms, Aristotle

appearances can be deceptive

14

Ivory Tower

language and idioms, fairytales

Poet locked himself in ivory tower so he could compose poems.

beautiful unreachable place isolated from real world

15

Sound and Fury

literature, Shakespeare’s Macbeth

Told of his wife’s death. Speaks of sadness of life.

Passionate uproar that is actually meaningless