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Foreshadowing Examples

Foreshadowing is a literary device in which an author warns or hints certain plot developments that perhaps will come to be later in the story. It is used to arouse the reader, viewer or listener about how the story will proceed and mentally prepare them for how it will unfold. Foreshadowing can be subtle, like storm clouds on the horizon suggesting that danger is coming, or more direct, such as Romeo and Juliet talking about wanting to die rather than live without each other. Similar devices to foreshadowing are the red herring which misleads the reader, and the flash-forward which interjects and takes a story forward in time.

Foreshadowing also dramatic tension to a story by building anticipation about what might happen next. Authors use foreshadowing to create suspense or to keep the reader engaged in the story. Foreshadowing can be carried out by characters predicting the future, or simply omens, such as breaking a mirror, can be used to foreshadow a looming stroke of bad luck. Foreshadowing can also make extraordinary, even fanciful events seem more believable; if the text foreshadows something, the reader feels prepared for the events when they happen.
He had no idea of the disastrous chain of events to follow.
Meaning: While the protagonist is clueless of further developments, the reader learns that something disastrous and problematic is about to happen to/for him.
Sentences
Life were better ended by their hate,
Than death prorogued, wanting of thy love.

Meaning: In the balcony scene, Juliet is concerned about Romeos safety as she fears her kinsmen may catch him. Romeo says, in the above lines, that he would rather like to have her love and die sooner than not obtain her love and die later. Eventually, he gets her love and dies for her love, too.

- William Shakespeare (Play: Romeo and Juliet)
Literary William Shakespeare
Let me warn you, Icarus, to take the middle way, in case the moisture weighs down your wings, if you fly too low, or if you go too high, the sun scorches them. Travel between the extremes. And I order you not to aim towards Bootes, the Herdsman, or Helice, the Great Bear, or towards the drawn sword of Orion: take the course I show you!
Meaning: Daedalus is warning his son, Icarus, not to fly too high and not to fly too low, which hints at what may happen next. Daedalus`s warning to his son makes readers predict that Icarus will die, for he flies too high or too low.

- Ovid (Short Story: Daedalus and Icarus)
Literature
The death of Bambi's mother in Bambi.
The death of Bambi's mother in Bambi.
Meaning: The death of Bambi's mother is foreshadowed by her conversation about the threat of Man encroaching upon the forest. Her death is the catalyst that propels the story forward and drives Bambi, determined and self-confident, to survive into adulthood.
Movies Kids
Charlotte's message in Charlotte's Web.
Charlotte's message in Charlotte's Web.
Meaning: Early in the film, Charlotte explains to Wilbur that all living things eventually die. This foreshadowing sets the stage for the main plot struggle, which is saving Wilbur from the slaughterhouse. To do this, Charlotte weaves a web over the barn door with a message that startles the humans and spares Wilbur's life. In the process of spinning her web, Charlotte expends all her energy and dies, just as she had hinted to Wilbur at the beginning of the story.
Movies Kids
Calling card in Batman Begins.
Calling card in Batman Begins.
Meaning: Remember the chills you felt when he turned over the card? You had just spent more than 2 hours watching the most amazing depiction of Batman wed ever seen on film. It was dark, real, and beautifully shot with characters that were fleshed out and portrayed incredibly by talented actors who appeared to take it all way more seriously than youd expect from a movie about a bat-themed ninja crime fighter. Nolan had pulled it off and then right at the end you get the Joker card.
Movies Kids
Beginning credits of Final Destination.
Beginning credits of Final Destination.
Meaning: This series is all about the little morbid Easter eggs; all starting with these credits, which ominously show us just how each character is later going to die. We see a man hanging, a knife stuck in someones chest, and a guillotine to name a few. Whats great is that doing this totally keeps in line with the premise of the film, which is about a character being able to predict each event through various bad omens he sees.
Movies
Nick Fury's cameo in Iron Man.
Nick Fury's cameo in Iron Man.
Meaning: Mr. Stark, youve become part of a bigger universe When the preview for your film comes in the form of five full length movies over the course of four years you better believe youre going to end up with a record-breaking film. It was downright genius; create four completely separate fan bases for four completely separate characters and then have it all come together in one giant pile of film.
Movies Kids
The Beginning Scenes of The Wizard Of Oz.
The Beginning Scenes of The Wizard Of Oz.
Meaning: when you watch the beginning of this film its rather talented how nonchalantly they manage to slip in such direct foreshadowing. Theres the crystal clear such as the music which comes with Miss Gulchs sinister passings on her bicycle as well as the references to her as a witch but there are also the little lines, Zekes encouragement to Dorothy about bravery and Hickorys insistence that someday they will erect a statue of him.
Movies Kids
Anakin will bring balance to the force in Star Wars Episode I.
Anakin will bring balance to the force in Star Wars Episode I.
Meaning: When Obi-Wan tells Anakin that hell be the death of him in Episode II we can all appreciate the humor in such a straightforward sign of things to come. Of course what has to be the most ominous of all the predictions in these films has to be that Anakin is the chosen one who will bring balance to the force. Not only does he leave us with 2 Jedi and 2 Sith lords by the end of Episode III but he also fully meets the prophecy of vanquishing the Sith at the end of Episode VI, when he takes out Darth Sidious at the expense of his own life as well...thus fulfilling his destiny once and for all.
Movies Kids
Foreshadowing Meaning
Foreshadowing is a wonderful technique used in all different written, visual, and audio-visual mediums to alert the audience that something will happen later in the story.
Foreshadowing Examples
Bad luck is coming your way.