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Allusions in The Hunger Games Trilogy

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Lisa Durant

on 6 December 2015

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Transcript of Allusions in The Hunger Games Trilogy

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An allusion is a reference, within a literary work, to the Bible, mythology, another work of fiction, a film or television show, a piece of art, or even a real event.
There are many references to both the historical Julius Caesar/Roman Empire, and William Shakespeare's play, The Tragedy of Julius Caesar:
Capitol/Rome, Districts/Roman Empire
Hunger Games/Gladiators
Panem et circenses: “Bread and Circuses,” Juvenal’s classic phrase for describing how the Romans surrendered political involvement/power in exchange for full bellies and coarse entertainment.
Peeta's "look-alike" in the Capital
Katniss losing the hearing in her left ear
Names: Cinna, Cato, Portia, Flavius, Brutus, Venia, Plutarch, Seneca, Romulus, Caesar, Messala, Dr. Aurelius
Other Shakespearean References:
Troilus and Cressida: Cressida
Antony and Cleopatra: Enobaria/Enobarus, Ocatavia
Titus Andronicus: Lavinia, Avoxes
Coriolanus: Coriolanus Snow, Coriolanus was a Roman general whose downfall was his prideful rage against Roman society. Coriolanus clashes against the plebians, who want a voice in ruling Rome. He is later assassinated for his treachery.
Romeo and Juliet: Star-cross’d lovers, attempt to commit suicide together
Hamlet: Flowers (Rue/Primrose/Posy), Rue’s death scene (bedecked in flowers), Claudius

Prim: Christ figure, sacrifice

Allusions in
The Hunger Games
There are many allusions to historical events and classic texts throughout the hunger games. What is an allusion?
Castor and Pollux
Katniss’s name (sagittaria/the archer/Diana the huntress-hounds)
Tantalus in Katniss’s dream (book 2)
Icarus in Katniss's dream (book 3)
Philomel and Tereus
Alcestis and Admetus
Theseus and the Minotaur: “Mess with us and we'll do something worse than kill you. We'll kill your children.”
Greek and
Roman Mythology
The Wizard of Oz
Following “the yellow brick road” to The Capitol
The Capitol and its denizens
President Snow/the wizard
Theme: “there’s no place like home”
Dorothy “Gale”
Political satire
To Kill a Mockingbird/Civil Rights movement:
The Mockingjay
Ralph Abernathy was a leader in the Civil Rights movement
Battle Royale:
Black youths forced to brutally fight to the last man standing for white men's entertainment
Fahrenheit 451:
Beetee/Beatty, manhunt televised for entertainment, Squad 451, and the repeated use of the symbol of the Phoenix
"The Lottery," by Shirley Jackson:
the "winner" faces death
The Running Man:
The survivor is the winner of a game show
Survivor/Reality TV

by Ralph Ellison
Full transcript