What Are Allusions to Greek Mythology?

Allusions to Greek mythology are brief references to characters, things, places or events from ancient myths, explains LiteraryDevices.net. The significance of the myth being alluded to is generally well known, and the audience is expected to understand the meaning of the allusion, as it is used to indicate similarities to the original myth in a different context.

According to the Hellenictimes.com, many words and phrases in the English Language have origins in Greek mythology. In modern usage, the term "Achilles' heel" is used to refer to a weakness. The ancient myth states that fearing an early death for her son, Thetis dipped Achilles into the River Styx to make him invincible. She held him by the heel, which was the only part of him not immersed in the river. Achilles was famous for his heroic actions in the Trojan War, and also for his death, which was caused by an arrow which struck him in the heel.

Another common allusion to Greek mythology is the term "Trojan horse," which refers to an act of destructive trickery from an inside source. In the myth, the Trojans let down their city's protective barricade to admit a huge wooden horse they believed was a gift. However, the Trojan horse held enemy soldiers, who plundered the city.