Tuesday, May 27, 2008

Use Your Allusion: Laocoön

This is the first allusion post I've made in a long time, and I hope to start posting them regularly again, as I've gotten quite a bit of positive feedback about them from my regular readers and friends.

Today, I am posting about Laocoön. There is a famous sculpture of Laocoön from around 50BC. In Greek mythology, Laocoön was a Trojan priest who warned them not to accept the Trojan Horse.

He said:
Do not trust the horse, Trojans. Whatever it is, I fear the Greeks even when they bring gifts.
As it turns out, he was right. But unfortunately for him, the gods were angry that he attempted to intervene and protect the people, so they sent two gigantic sea serpents to crush him and his sons.

Often, allusions to Laocoön are made to this particular carving, which was discovered during the Renaissance and is now on display in the Vatican Museum, more than to his specific actions. If someone seems all tied up and miserable in his or her situation, you can compare them to Laocoön.

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