31 votes
Accepted

Did T.S. Eliot really plagiarize in "The Love Song of J. Alfred Prufrock"?

Examples of allusions in the poem In The Poems of T. S. Eliot Volume I edited by Christopher Ricks (Faber & Faber, 2015), Ricks has several notes for the lines "In the room the women come and ...
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  • 39.2k
14 votes

Significance of the Phoenician Sailor having pearls for eyes in The Waste Land

It's an allusion to Shakespeare's The Tempest, Act I, scene ii. Ariel sings to Ferdinand, in order to deceive him into thinking his father has been drowned in a shipwreck. ARIEL sings Full ...
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  • 1,452
11 votes
Accepted

Which Upanishad is TS Eliot referencing with "Datta. Dayadhvam. Damyata." and why?

Looking at Swami Krishnananda's book on The Brihadaranyaka Upanishad (emphasis mine): This instruction, which was communicated to the Devas, Manushyās and Asuras – gods, men and demons – by the ...
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  • 6,654
9 votes
Accepted

Was T. S. Eliot's "The Waste Land" plagiarised?

TL;DR: No. Summary Eliot said that the source of the title, theme and imagery of ‘The Waste Land’ was the medieval legend of the Fisher King: Not only the title, but the plan and a good deal of ...
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8 votes
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What is the "heap of broken images" in The Waste Land?

To say anything definitive about The Waste Land is challenging; indeed, this work seems to evade interpretation with each new line and stanza. With many interpretations carry with them some merit, I ...
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  • 1,325
7 votes
Accepted

Can the influence of the 1918 "Spanish flu" pandemic be seen in T.S. Eliot's "The Waste Land"?

TL;DR: Several scholars have investigated the relationship between the 1918-1919 influenza pandemic on modernist writers including T. S. Eliot. Most such analysis has taken place in the past 25 years. ...
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  • 1,015
6 votes

What is the relationship between Heart of Darkness and The Hollow Men?

There is an immediate and direct connection between the two. Toward the conclusion of Heart of Darkness the narrator, Marlow, describes Kurtz as "hollow to the core" (p72). By this, he means that Kutz ...
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  • 14.9k
6 votes

Which Upanishad is TS Eliot referencing with "Datta. Dayadhvam. Damyata." and why?

To add to muru's excellent answer, taking on the "why" part of the question, this final part of Eliot's poem presents us with a world in ruins, not as much in substance as in spirit. The prevailing ...
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  • 61
5 votes

Significance of the Phoenician Sailor having pearls for eyes in The Waste Land

Here is a quote from Xenophon, something said by the pilot's mate on a perfectly ordered Phoenician trading ship: “There is no time left, you know,” he added, “when God makes a tempest in the great ...
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5 votes
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What do the fourth tempter's words mean, from “Murder in the Cathedral”?

In interpreting these lines, it's important to bear in mind exactly what the Fourth Tempter is trying to do. All the Tempters are showing Thomas a false path -- a path that will lead to damnation. ...
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5 votes
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Understanding the first dialogue of Archbishop Thomas Becket involving antitheses

The crux of this verse is to understand the meaning of "suffering". It is crucial that we understand "suffering" means not the modern and more popular sense of "undergoing ...
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  • 1,336
5 votes

Identify the source of this quote by T.S. Eliot

The source of the quote is one of the last paragraphs in T. S. Eliot's essay "Religion & Literature", which was based on a lecture and published in the collection Essays Ancient and ...
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  • 39.2k
5 votes

What did Eliot mean when he said “I would suggest that none of the plays of Shakespeare has a meaning”?

The source of the quote is Eliot's Shakespeare and the Stoicism of Seneca, an address to the Shakespeare Association in 1927 that was reprinted in the collection Selected Essays (1917-1932) (Faber and ...
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  • 39.2k
4 votes

What is the "heap of broken images" in The Waste Land?

This is my first attempt at writing an answer, so I hope I have done it right in terms of links of attribution and format. If I have not, I hope someone will tell me, so I can benefit from ...
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4 votes

What is the "heap of broken images" in The Waste Land?

From this source: (emphasis mine) Adopting a prophetic tone of archaic allusion for much of the poem, Eliot asks, “What are the roots that clutch, what branches grow/Out of this stony rubbish? ...
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  • 4,267
4 votes

Significance of the Phoenician Sailor having pearls for eyes in The Waste Land

My sense is it relates to the theme of "profit & loss", and commerce/banking, that is developed later in The Burial of the Dead: A crowd flowed over London Bridge, so many, I had not thought ...
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  • 4,010
4 votes
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What are T. S. Eliot’s “Jellicle Cats” and “Pollicle Dogs”?

Catherine Milner, Arts Correspondent of the Telegraph, wrote in 2002: According to Dr Faber, a retired physicist who is now 74 and lives in Cambridge, Eliot was "a very generous godfather and the ...
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  • 15.8k
4 votes
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Why does Dennis Brown say Hughes's Crow is "a sly parody of Eliot's later style"?

@DukeZhou correctly referred me to Eliot's Four Quartets. After reading it thoroughly, I think that the passage quoted on the question refers to the following lines of the last part of the third ...
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  • 1,404
4 votes
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Did T. S. Eliot write crime novels under a pseudonym?

The most likely explanation is that Kleinstück got his facts wrong. As Paul Grimstead's article What Makes Great Detective Fiction, According to T. S. Eliot (The New Yorker, 02.02.2016) points out, ...
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  • 39.2k
4 votes
Accepted

What does T. S. Eliot mean by "This is the way the world ends/Not with a bang but a whimper"?

While what a poet is trying to tell the reader will usually be a matter of dispute, B. C. Southam shines some light on these lines in A Student's Guide to the Selected Poems of T.S. Eliot, pp. 217-8: ...
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  • 958
4 votes

Are the names J. Alfred Prufrock and Hugh Selwyn Mauberley completely arbitrary?

According to Christopher Ricks (Eliot, T. S. Inventions of the March Hare), in his drafts of the poem T. S. Eliot subtitled it Prufrock among the Women. And an article in the Kipling Journal of 1959, ...
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4 votes

Did T.S. Eliot really plagiarize in "The Love Song of J. Alfred Prufrock"?

Plagiarism means unlawful theft of intellectual property in the context of writing. Modernism is heavily characterised by what is commonly referred to as allusiveness. When an author uses another ...
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3 votes

In T.S. Eliot's "The Waste Land", how do the wind and the "pearls that were his eyes" connect to the central message of the poem?

The second part (“A Game of Chess”) of The Waste Land is a sequence of episodes in different styles, all concerned with seduction. (The title alludes to Thomas Middleton’s play A Game at Chess in ...
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  • 40.9k
3 votes

Why does Dennis Brown say Hughes's Crow is "a sly parody of Eliot's later style"?

By Eliot's later work, this is almost certainly referring to Four Quartets, Eliot's most post-modern poem. See: T. S. Eliot bibliography > Poetry If you've read a lot of Eliot, there is a great ...
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  • 4,010
3 votes

Why did T.S. Eliot make a statement that 'Coriolanus' was Shakespeare's masterpiece and that 'Hamlet' was an artistic failure?

In the essay ‘Hamlet and His Problems’, collected in The Sacred Wood: Essays on Poetry and Criticism (1920), Eliot describes Hamlet as an artistic failure because Hamlet’s emotions and actions cannot ...
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  • 40.9k
3 votes

Was T. S. Eliot's "The Waste Land" plagiarised?

1. What plagiarism? The sources of the accusation of plagiarism are the two following articles: Evans, Robert: “5 Great Men Who Built Their Careers on Plagiarism”, Cracked.com, 29.03.2009. Bailey, ...
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  • 39.2k
3 votes

Significance of the Phoenician Sailor having pearls for eyes in The Waste Land

The line has a different context in the two sections of the poem. In the first, it is primarily about death, the physical changes of the body and the cold blankness of the eyes. The second section is ...
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  • 425
3 votes

Why do all the lines of Burnt Norton seem unconnected?

I think my answer here should give you a pretty clear idea of what Burnt Norton is about. Although some minor details (for that matter analytical tools as well) might be open to interpretation, the ...
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  • 1,336

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