Anachronism is when a writer puts an object or a person in a time period in which it does not belong. Anachronism can refer to a writer putting a person or thing in a previous time period-when the object was not in existence or when the person did not live. An anachronism can also occur when the author puts something historical in a modern setting where it is out of place.
Examples of Anachronism from Literature
1. Shakespeare writes of a clock in Julius Caesar, when clocks would not have existed in ancient Rome: "Brutus: Peace! Count the clock. Cassius: The clock has stricken three."
2. Shakespeare refers to the "dollar" in Macbeth, which is set in a time when dollars were not used: "Till he disbursed at Saint Colme’s inch Ten thousand dollars to our general use."
3. In yet another Shakespeare play, Antony and Cleopatra, Cleopatra talks of playing "billiards," which would not have been a game played in ancient Egypt.
4. In "The Green Mile," use of the electric chair is an anachronism. The electric chair was not in use in Louisiana during the year that the movie is set (1935).