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Cassandra

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  • Cassandra is a proper female name, but it has come to mean more than that. We will examine the definition of the word Cassandra, where it came from and some examples of its use in sentences.

    A Cassandra is someone who warns of impending disaster or prophesizes doom, usually unheeded. The word Cassandra comes from a figure in Greek mythology. Cassandra was the daughter of King Priam and of Queen Hecuba of Troy. She made many predictions, not the least of which was the prophecy that Troy would be destroyed. Cassandra was given her gift of prophecy by Apollo, but when she refused his advances he also deemed that no one would believe her prophecies. Today, a Cassandra is usually not held in high regard, though that is no reflection on the accuracy of her prediction but rather the fact that no one wants to face a hard truth. Note that the word Cassandra is capitalized, as it is taken from a proper name.

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    Examples

    She has become a Cassandra figure of the left, her writing, which seems magically to have long ago said the things that many Americans now most want to hear, consumed as both balm and rallying cry. (The New York Times)

    Suddenly, a whistleblower, even in his or her anonymity, seemed a larger than life, a Cassandra-like figure, a prophet cast into the wilderness of his own truth. (The Daily Mail)

    Trump’s unpopularity will make her look like a Cassandra who unsuccessfully warned against the mess in Washington. (The Washington Examiner)

    Fifteen years later, Florida is back with a Cassandra-esque sequel, while Bloomberg, together with former Sierra Club head Carl Pope, has published a book that glows with the optimism of levelheaded reason. “ (New York Magazine)

     

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