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Critical Evaluation - "The Journey of the Magi" - T. S. Eliot.

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Introduction

Critical Evaluation - "The Journey of the Magi" - T. S. Eliot Raymond England 4r2 The poem "The Journey of the Magi" is T. S. Eliot recalling the journey of the three Wise Men to witness the birth of Jesus Christ in Bethlehem. Also it depicts Christ's lifetime through signs the Magi see. As well as this, the poem covers Eliot's journey from being an atheist to becoming a member of the Christian faith. In this Critical Evaluation, I am going to examine the poem, in depth, and show how the poet captures the emotion of the Magi. Thomas Stearns Eliot (1888-1965) was born in St. Louis, Missouri, U.S.A. to an old New England family. He was educated in three of the world's best institutes for learning: Harvard University, The Sorbonne and Merton College, Oxford. He moved to England in the 1920's and became a British Citizen. At around the same time he joined the Anglican Church and became a devout Christian. His writing between 1917 and 1943 reflects his development as a Christian writer. ...read more.

Middle

to do: "At the end we preferred to travel all night, Sleeping in snatches, With the voices singing in our ears, saying That this was all folly." Also, the "voices" could be seen as the people back in their home telling them that it was a stupid idea to go in the first place. The start of the second stanza sees the travellers coming down into a warmer environment: "Then at dawn we came down to a temperate valley, Wet, below the snow line, smelling of vegetation," The line structure also reflects this happening because the lines are written in chronological order when the Magi came down the slope; the temperature rose, the snow turned more into slush the further down they got. Also, the lines got longer, to signify the hill. They got to the point where the snow ceased to exist and they could smell the plants in the valley. Now we see the signs of what will happen to this baby they are going to see. "And three trees on the low sky. And an old white horse galloped away in the meadow. ...read more.

Conclusion

I had seen birth and death, But thought they were different; this Birth was Hard and bitter agony for us, like Death, our death" The "Hard and bitter agony... like Death" is an example of a simile that means that the journey for the Magus was like dying to him, because he had gone from the comfort from his home, travelled a great distance and suffered hardships that he had probably never had to endure through before, all to see a baby being born in a stable whilst at the same time, sees the baby's death on the journey. At the end of the stanza, and the end of the poem, the Magus finishes with thoughts of his own "subjects" still believing in an old religion and he looks forward to his own death "With an alien people clutching their god. I should be glad of another death" The poem "The Journey of the Magi" is T. S. Eliot recalling the journey of the three Wise Men to witness the birth of Jesus Christ in Bethlehem. In this Critical Evaluation, I examined the poem, in depth, and tried to show how the poet captured the emotion of the Magus. ...read more.

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