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
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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
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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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  • 40.9k
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
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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

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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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
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

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

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

Evidence that a certain event influenced a specific literary work that does not explicitly mention that event requires that two conditions are fulfilled: The event took place before the literary work ...
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  • 39.2k
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
2 votes

Were T. S. Eliot's notes to The Waste Land partly inspired by plagiarism laws?

As Gareth Rees pointed out, the Copyright Act of 1911 was the copyright law that was in force when T. S. Eliot published "The Waste Land". Below is how this act defines "copyright" (emphasis mine): ...
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  • 39.2k
2 votes

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

As muru mentioned in his answer, the Upanishad Eliot is referencing is the Brihadaranyaka Upanishad. Eliot added the following footnote: “Datta, dayadhvam, damyata” (Give, sympathise, control). The ...
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  • 39.2k
2 votes

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

I'm no expert on this poem, but having read its first chapter (the first four stanzas, "The Burial of the Dead") several times, poring over individual words and sentences, I came up with a couple of ...
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  • 64.3k
1 vote

Interpreting the line "'O keep the Dog far hence, that's friend to men" in The Waste Land

After some reflection, the simple answer may be that the Dog is the friend that is also foe This assessment is based on the capitalization of Dog, and mythological conception of Sirius, the "dog ...
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  • 4,010
1 vote

Interpreting the line "'O keep the Dog far hence, that's friend to men" in The Waste Land

First, I'd like to step back from this stanza a bit and look at an earlier one: What are the roots that clutch, what branches grow Out of this stony rubbish? Son of man, You cannot say, or ...
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  • 4,526
1 vote

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

In the first instance of 'pearls for eyes', Eliot probably relates to the blind enthusiasm for the war at it's beginning in 1914. With the glory of victory seemingly at hand, young men willingly ...
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1 vote

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

The first reference of the Phoenician sailor comes from Socrates' dialogue with Ischomachus in Xenophon's book, Oeconomicus. The dialogue was about orderliness and the Phoenician sailor is referenced ...
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