I’ve covered all the literary references in Hannibal S01 and S03 as precisely as possible, and I intend to do the same with S02. 

One thing I’ve noticed: S01 has only TWO literary references (one of which is not even traditionally literary, since it deals with Jim Morrison’s poetry), while S03 is a literature feast, with tons of references to the Bible, plus John Milton, Dante Alighieri, William Blake (of course), nursery rhymes and folktales, Goethe, William Shakespeare, John Donne and Hannah Arendt.

I think this happened because with the arrival of the Great Red Dragon, all the action is given to him. Hannibal is confined behind a glass wall: he’s been deprived of physical freedom but his mind is always free to roam through his books and his knowledge. That’s why we have a constant increase of references to literature. In the finale, something different and *beautiful* occurs: characters (especially Will, but Hannibal, too) repeat words they said in the past or quote others’ words. Will’s becoming process started in the past, so now he’s bringing memories and “lessons from his master” together.

Hannibal microcosm is now complete: it has a memory to go back to.