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Heather Harvey

on 29 January 2014

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Transcript of Allusions

Pop Culture
Allusions in
The popular movie musical that originally hit theaters in 1984 and again in 2011.
Holding Out For a Hero
Let's Hear It For The Boy
Where have all the good men gone
And where are all the gods?
Where's the street-wise
To fight the rising odds?
Hercules is a mythological reference to a divine god appearing in Greek and Roman mythology. He is especially known for his strength and supports this song's longing for a hero. Ariel sings this song to express her desire for a perfect guy, one that won't beat her up. Hercules being a god epitomizes this images.
Maybe he's no
But he's my loving one-man show
Whoa, whoa, whoa-oh
Let's hear it for the boy
This chorus references Shakespeare's classic story of Romeo and Juliet, which has become a universal metaphor for the perfect love. As Rusty sings about Willard she shows he doesn't act like a "Romeo" - he doesn't talk, look, or act perfect. Nonetheless she still loves and supports him.
Katy Perry
Who Am I Living For?
A current pop singer and songwriter (age 29) that has released four albums.
I can feel a inside of me
As I march alone to a different beat
Slowly swallowing down my fear, yeah yeah
A phoenix, from greek mythology, is a bird reborn from its own ashes. Although there is typically only one of its kind, it never truly dies. Here, Katy Perry uses this idea of rebirth to show the change that is taking place inside of her. Instead of submitting to fear she is being "reborn" with a different outlook and actions.
So I pray for a favor like
I need your strength to handle the pressure
I know there will be sacrifice
But that's the price

Esther was a biblical figure who found favor in the king. The King made her queen even though she was not as fit as the other women, but he loved her charisma. Katy Perry's simile shows her desire for a blessing that will let her change and be strong to handle the difficulties.

Don't let the greatness get you down
Heavy is the head that wears the crown
Don't let the greatness get you down, oh, oh yeah
The first and second lines are directly from Shakespeare's Henry IV spoken by the king in a soliloquy. In both versions it shows the responsibility that weighs on their minds and makes them weary.
Miracle Whip Commercial
This commercial parallels Nathaniel Hawthorne's Novel The Scarlet Letter - even the priest is the other "sinner". It is used with a comical aspect but proves the sweet joy in the forbidden and shamed product.
West Side Story
Found both as a movie and a musical that directly parallels Romeo and Juliet, the contemporized Shakespearean love tragedy is dealt out between two gangs in America. By retelling this classical tale it makes it more applicable to modern times and emphasizes the themes of forbidden but true love.
Harry Potter
A popular novel by J. K. Rowling that has many references to the Bible, mythology, and literature. One example is the comparison between saving Cedric's body and the Illiad. Rowling confirms this by saying

"That's where it came from. That really, really, really moved me when I read that when I was 19. The idea of the desecration of a body, a very ancient idea... I was thinking of that when Harry saved Cedric's body."

This retelling
Star Wars
A mainstream series of six movies written by George Lucas. Mythology has many parallels in the story, and Lucas Skywalker's journey is often compared to Hercules or the Illiad. The latter is evident when Darth Vader takes off his mask to see his son uninhibited. In the Illiad, Hector removes his helmet so he can have a final look at his son, the direct root for this scene.

This allusion strengthens the theme of reconnection of a father/son bond and the understanding of some humanity and care behind Darth Vader's mask.
By Heather Harvey
Heavy is the head that wears the crown
Footloose #2
Taylor Swift
Love Story
'Cause you were Romeo – I was a scarlet letter,
And my daddy said, "Stay away from Juliet."
But you were everything to me,
I was begging you, "Please don't go."
And I said...
Nathaniel Hawthorne's Novel The Scarlet Letter
If I Die Young
The Band Perry
An American country band that won the 2011 CMA Single of the Year for this song.
This song was written with Lord Alfred Tennyson's work "The Lady of the Shalott" in mind. In the music video you can see her holding the book as they try to recreate the iconic scene of dying while floating down a river, capturing the feeling of isolation and identity.
Shawshank Redemption
A 1994 film that references the Bible. In this scene Andy and the warden converse in Bible verses revealing their values; attention to detail or attention to morals. When the warden say "salvation lies within", it is also a foreshadow to how Andy finds freedom.
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