• Join over 1.2 million students every month
  • Accelerate your learning by 29%
  • Unlimited access from just £6.99 per month

T. S. Eliot described the use of myth in modern literary works as a way of controlling, of ordering. Do the mythical and classical references in The Waste Land help to give it order and shape, or make it more fragmentary and disordered?

Extracts from this document...

Introduction

Transfer-Encoding: chunked T. S. Eliot described the use of myth in modern literary works as ?a way of controlling, of ordering?. Do the mythical and classical references in The Waste Land help to give it order and shape, or make it more fragmentary and disordered? ?A collage of materials?[1]. This brief description of Eliot?s Wasteland by Kroll captures well the fragmentary nature of Eliot?s ?The Wasteland?, although this essay will argue that whilst the poem has a highly-disordered structure, the use of such extensive mythical and classical references do give some order to Eliot?s work ? in terms of the message it is trying to portray. In the aftermath of World War One, many including Eliot became disillusioned with the ?modern? culture and ?progress? that was being made by European society? as it was progress that had led to the deaths of millions. ...read more.

Middle

of the message that Eliot is trying to portray[2]. In the traditional Roman myth, Sybil was an oracle who was granted a wish by Apollo, choosing to have as long a life as there are grains in a handful of sand. However, as is expressed in Eliot?s quote, she deeply regrets this, as she is now ?hanging in a cage? and wishing for death. By beginning his poem with this description of Sybil?s basically meaningless life, Eliot expresses his opinion that the old, traditional culture and values of society have, sadly, come to be seem as meaningless and irrelevant ? which is one of the key ideas that he goes on to present in the rest of the Wasteland. Thinking back to how the use of myths such as that of Sybil make the Wasteland disordered, this epigraph is further fragmented by the fact that it is written in Greek and ...read more.

Conclusion

The section a ?Game of Chess?, the second of the Wasteland, provides a primary example of the fragmented nature of Eliot?s poem ? with the shifting voices, evident use of classical stories and links to other mythical figures not only being confusing for the reader but making the poem?s structure quite chaotic, reflecting the chaos that Eliot believed had begun to engulf Europe following the destruction of the First World War. At the beginning of this section, Eliot gives an elaborate description of a woman and how ?The Chair she sat, like a burnished throne/Glowed on the marble??, one that is very like a description of Cleopatra in Shakespeare?s ?Anthony and Cleopatra?. Other women who are referenced in this section include Philomena, who changed herself into a nightingale to escape the king who had raped her and Ophelia from Hamlet, with the repetition of ?Goodnight? at the conclusion of the section echoing her final words before she drown herself. ...read more.

The above preview is unformatted text

This student written piece of work is one of many that can be found in our University Degree Other Poets section.

Found what you're looking for?

  • Start learning 29% faster today
  • 150,000+ documents available
  • Just £6.99 a month

Not the one? Search for your essay title...
  • Join over 1.2 million students every month
  • Accelerate your learning by 29%
  • Unlimited access from just £6.99 per month

See related essaysSee related essays

Related University Degree Other Poets essays

  1. The Natural Cycle of Humanity and the Decay of Modern Society in The Wasteland

    What he does not realize is that human existence is a collection of fragments that distinct memories in an ongoing cycle, illustrated in the first stanza of "The Burial of the Dead." Abandonment of memories leads to a futile existence.

  2. (a) Prelude speaks of spiritually exhausted people who exist in the impersonal, tawdry modern city

    The Prelude I has no sign of life except for the 'lonely cab-horse' who 'steams and stamps', pointlessly and impatiently waiting for nothing important. In the last line of the first prelude 'the lighting of the lamps' light is usually a symbol of hope but in contrary, the light shows

  1. Funeral Rites and Punishment are just two examples out of a great group of ...

    He likens her "shaved head" to "stuble black corn", the noose to a "ring". Doing this Heaney emphasises what should have happened to her, she should have had a ring, been married, instead of being punished by the community

  2. Discord in Childhood, by the British poet D. H. Lawrence (1885-1930), is a poem ...

    The text displays a kind of ironic symmetry despite its emphasis on the chaos of strong weather and fierce emotions. Stanza two displays other sound effects than the ones already mentioned.

  1. Analysis of 'The Windhover' poem by Gerard Hopkins

    of dawn - Hopkins has deliberately left this as a circumlocution for the reader to interpret on their own accord. Hopkins advocated that everything in the world consisted of distinctive features, known as the ?inscape?. The inscape was bound together in a spiritually cohesive way, something which he called the ?instress?.

  2. An Analysis of "The Heart of Woman" by W.B. Yeats

    has just recently learned to find middle ground and is now able to compromise. She knows that in order to love she does not have to go to the extremes.

  1. Fatherhood. We start out by Thomass Do not go gentle into that good ...

    The indication of fear stems from the mother?s reaction to the ?waltzing?. She stands watching, helpless to prevent her husband and son from turning the kitchen into a mess. Hence, the mother may be intimidated by the drunken father. Then, the poet says that his ear gets scraped by a

  2. The Influence of Nature and Roethkes Father on His Poetry

    He also said he was ?an intimidating godlike figure who nevertheless had an artistic streak? (Paglia).

  • Over 160,000 pieces
    of student written work
  • Annotated by
    experienced teachers
  • Ideas and feedback to
    improve your own work