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Word Count: 1,568
The worlds great literature is replete with examples of real people or their caricatures inserted into the masterworks Although there is the disadvantage that the modern reader may not be familiar with these individuals examples from the British literature will show that contemporary biographical references strengthen these works When an author writes he seeks to convey a message Having chosen his message he must choose a form ie prose or poetry and a style He must also choose which literary devices he will use including metaphors symbolism satire or allusions to name a few Of the literary devices the allusion is one which can powerfully convey in one or two words a message rich in complexity The author can choose from several types of allusion literary religious cultural and historical But of these allusions the one that over time became the preeminent form in British Literature was the historical allusion Contrary to popular belief an historical allusion does not have to allude to the past it simply alludes to a person be it a person who lived before the author or one of the authors contemporaries However as with any true communication there must be a sender and a receiver If the receiver does not understand the message sent the communication is a failure The author must give at least some consideration as to whether the reader will understand the allusion It is essential then in any communication and particularly in an allusion that an author considers his audience If his aim is to be understood by a wide audience his menu of allusions will be small Only allusions of popular appeal will work Eg allusions to the Simpsons are likely to be understood by most English-speaking people in the world However the allusions would not be understood in Africa or Asia and probably would not be understood by most readers two centuries from now If the author is targeting a more highly educated audience
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