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Role of Allusion

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Essentially, Allusion is a reference within a particular literary work, to another film, work of fiction, real event or even a piece of art. An allusion serves as a subtle or succinct way of drawing on an outside work to provide a greater meaning and context. Furthermore, allusion serves to add resonance to the works of various artists. T.S. Eliot’s poem “The Wasteland” relies heavily on allusions to pass its massage. Additionally the use of allusion is also witnessed in Fritz Lang's film Metropolis. The primary aim of this research paper is to explore the role of allusion in Fritz Lang's film Metropolis and T.S. Eliot’s poem “The Wasteland”.

In Lang’s film, makes use of allusion in various scenes. The illustration of oppressed and demoralized workers in the underground stream plants is a very vivid example of the use of illustration in this film. As the workers start embarking on the slavery of their jobs, the film outlines a vivid depiction of an Egyptian pyramid, with slaves being forced and whipped to work. The role of this allusion is to depict the fact that the workers in metropolis are working and experiencing the same desolate, depressing and hopeless situations similar to the slaves in Egypt.

On the other hand, allusion has been used greatly in T.S. Eliot’s poem “The Wasteland” to underline and depict a strong aspect of religion, that is, the allusion is used to underline the theme of religion. Religion is widely used in the “What the Thunder Said”, which is the last section of the poem. In the poem religion is taken from different areas Hinduism, Christianity and some aspects of fertility can also be seen interlaced within the poem.

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