The Wasteland by T.S. Eliot

Posted by Maddie on February 11, 2012 at 10:45 AM

In my English elective, The Ache of Modernism, we read a poem by T.S. Eliot, "The Wasteland." A link to the poem is below. Personally, this is probably one of the most difficult poems I've ever had to analyze. "The Wasteland" is separated into five parts, but each part of the poem struggles to find a balance between excess and scarcity. My favorite part of the poem is called II. The Game of Chess. Not only is this the portion of the poem that contains all of Eliot's Shakespearian references, it is about a women's relationship to man in comparision to a woman's relationship to man in Shakespeare. For example, Ophelia goes mad and commits suicide out of her rejection from Hamlet and Polonious by drowning herself. The women sitting on Cleopatra's throne is going mad being alone. She is paranoid. Eliot's references to Shakespeare reveals the relationship he has with modernity. In the time period "The Wasteland" was written, there was war between countries, and a lack of guidance and organization. He alludes to Shakespeare to reveal that good things are coming to an end, and that high brow literature is replaced with cheaper alternatives. Take a look at the poem for yourself, and let me know what you think!


Categories: Poetry, Maddie, Other

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