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Eliot began his career by training as a professional philosopher rather than as a poet or
critic. He pursued academic study at major philosophical centres such as Harvard, the
Sorbonne, Marbury and Oxford, between 1908 and 1915. He completed his doctoral thesis
on the philosophy of F.H. Bradley.
The Waste Land exhibits a sterile world of spiritual and moral degeneration, in which one
does not know how to make the spirit work. The land in the poem is Christian, but
Hinduism works as an infusion of regenerative waters. The poem begins on the banks of the
"Thames" begins on the banks of the and at the edges of "unreal city", and ends on the
banks of the river Ganges. As far as the "thunder', used in section V of the poem, and taken
from the "Thunder" passage in Brihadaranyaka Upanishad constitutes the most "complete
and philosophical movement of the poem" . Eliot's concern here is clearly Vedic. "What the
Thunder said", as the 'most complex of all the five sections of The Waste Land (Shahane viii),
not only projects Eliot's vision of the human condition and the predicament of man in the
contemporary world, it also aims at a solution on Vedic principles. The journey of the
protagonist, from part first to fifth of the poem, shows that the solution is evident in the
philosophical restraint of the East.
St Augustine also deeply influenced the ideas of T.s. Eliot. The inclusion of St Augustine,
with effective allusions in the poem The Waste Land, makes it highly relevant. The section
"The Fire Sermon" may be felt through the whole poem. The presence of St Augustine
enriches The Waste Land considerably. it is a further example of unity of emotional and
cultural health and of how the collapse of one is mirrored in the decline of the other.
The intention here is to present life in The Waste Land as a reckless surrender to the senses
and all the abnormality, morbidity and perversion to which it leads. The remedy for this
torment of in satiated craving is continence as prescribed by the Buddha and St Augustine.
Sexual appetite has been let loose and men and women are meeting, coupling and then
parting in season and out of season. In The Waste Land, it is the burning in lust and
restlessness that Eliot contrasts to the enlightened Buddha's view of men and women with
the inclusion of St Augustine.
It has reference to the Confessions of St Augustine. Eliot refers the readers to the
Augustine's Confessions.
In 1927, he obtained the citizenship of England and joined the Anglican Church. The
recognition of his merit and poetic eminence came in 1948 with the awards of The order of
Merit and the Nobel Prize for literature.
The age in which Eliot lived was intensely chaotic and problematic, throwing up several
challenges and possibilities of human activity. It was definitely a baffling mass of current
and cross- currents in English literature. It would be a miracle indeed if someone were born
to voice the multiple concerns of the age in a forceful manner. The miracle happened and it
happened in the shape of T.S. eliot, who through his exemplary work and worth presented
the credentials of a wide ranging artistic sensibility and incorporated the 'best' of American
education and training as well as of European tradition and culture. Eliot was, beyond
doubt," an integral poet" (Smidst 114), who was searching for a form of poetry as well as a
form of life. Universality transcends the limitations of time, space and region, caste,
colour and creed Eliot is decidedly a 'universal' poet of the first rank. He is an American by
birth, a British by professed religion and naturalized citizenship, a European by culture and
tradition, and an internationalist by philosophical outlook upon life. One has to recollect
that Eliot as a true 'universalist' has used at least six foreign languages and thirty five
authors in The Waste Land alone.
Ganga was sunken, and the limp leaves
Waited for rain, while the black clouds
Gathered for distant, over Himavant.
The Jungle crouched, humped in silence.
Then spoke the thunder
Datta .........
Dayadhvam .................................
Damyata : ........
The arrival of the thunder, which justifies the title of the section, "What the Thunder Said",
is marked by the three commands. The thundering sound, 'Da', used thrice in the section,
abbreviates the three Sanskrit sutras- Datta, Dayadhvam and Damyata. Eliot refers the
readers to the fable of the Thunder in the Brihadaranyaka Upanishad V, 2. The three fold
offspring of the creator Prajapati, gods, men and demons, approach Prajapati for instruction
after completing their formal education. To each group he utters the syllable 'Da'. Each
group interprets this reply differently.The gods interpret it as 'damyata' (control yourself').
The men interpret it as 'datta' ('give'). The demons interpret it as 'dayadhvam' ('be
compassionate'). When the groups, in turn, give their interpretations, Prajapati responds
with 'Om' signifying that they have fully understood. The concluding line, "Shantih Shantih
Shantih" (403) of The Waste Land, is in consonance with the title of the last section. It
makes Eliot's Vedic references more explicit. The Shantih- chanting appears for the first
time in the Yajurveda . It is part of both ritual as well as religious activity in the vedic way of
living. In many poems , eliot has drawn upon the Gita. In "The Dry Salvages", it is to be
found in the lines:
So Krishna, as when he admonished Arjuna
On the field of battle.
Not fare well,
But fare forward, voyagers.
During 1909-1910 Eliot came in contact with Professor Irving Babbitt. The latter had a
philosophical inclination and the lectures which eliot attended were, concerned with French
literary criticism: but they had a great deal to do with Aristotle and Longinus. They touched
frequently upon the Confucius, Rousseau and contemporary religious movements.
It was Dante who exercised the most persistent and deepest influence upon T.S. Eliot
.from Dante Eliot learned the lessons of craft, of speech and exploration of sensibility. Eliot
was profoundly influenced by the philosopher Henri Bergson, whose lectures he attended at
the college de France. In his writings, Eliot can be seen scrutinizing the implications of
Bergson’s views on time, memory, intuition and consciousness. It is clear Bergson
continued to exercise a strong fascination on Eliot’s imagination.
The poem's structure is divided into five sections. The first section, "The Burial of the Dead,"
introduces the diverse themes of disillusionment and despair. The second, "A Game of
Chess," employs alternating narrations, in which vignettes of several characters address
those themes experientially. "The Fire Sermon," the third section, offers a philosophical
meditation in relation to the imagery of death and views of self-denial in juxtaposition
influenced by Augustine of Hippo and eastern religions. After a fourth section, "Death by
Water," which includes a brief lyrical petition, the culminating fifth section, "What the
Thunder Said," concludes with an image of judgment.
At the beginning of 'The Fire Sermon' in one version, there was a lengthy section in heroic
couplets, in imitation of Alexander Pope's The Rape of the Lock. It described one lady Fresca
(who appeared in the earlier poem "Gerontion").
The structure of the poem is also meant to loosely follow the vegetation myth and Holy
Grail folklore surrounding the Fisher King story as outlined by Jessie Weston in her
book From Ritual to Romance . Style
The style of the poem is marked by the hundreds of allusions and quotations from other
texts (classic and obscure; "highbrow" and "lowbrow") that Eliot peppered throughout the
poem. In addition to the many "highbrow" references and quotes from poets
like Baudelaire, Shakespeare, Ovid, and Homer, as well as Wagner's libretti, Eliot also
included several references to "lowbrow" genres
Sources(very imp)
Sources from which Eliot quotes, or to which he alludes, include the works
of Homer, Sophocles, Petronius, Virgil, Ovid,[32] Saint Augustine of Hippo, Dante
Alighieri, William Shakespeare, Edmund Spenser, Gérard de Nerval, Thomas Kyd, Geoffrey
Chaucer, Thomas Middleton, John Webster, Joseph Conrad, John Milton, Andrew
Marvell, Charles Baudelaire, Richard Wagner, Oliver Goldsmith, Hermann Hesse, Aldous
Huxley, Paul Verlaine, Walt Whitman and Bram Stoker.
Eliot also makes extensive use of Scriptural writings including the Bible, the Book of
Common Prayer, the Hindu Brihadaranyaka Upanishad, and the Buddha's Fire Sermon, and
of cultural and anthropological studies such as Sir James Frazer's The Golden
Bough and Jessie Weston's From Ritual to Romance (particularly its study of
the Wasteland motif in Celtic mythology). Eliot wrote in the original head note that "Not
only the title, but the plan and a good deal of the incidental symbolism of the poem were
suggested by Miss Jessie L Weston".[I] The symbols Eliot employs, in addition to the Waste
Land, include the Fisher King, the Tarot Deck, the Chapel perilous, and the Grail Quest.
Frank Kermode writes that the most important moment of Eliot's undergraduate career was
in 1908 when he discovered Arthur Symons's The Symbolist Movement in Literature.
Eliot wrote to Conrad Aiken on New Year's Eve 1914: "I hate university towns and university
people, who are the same everywhere, with pregnant wives, sprawling children, many
books and hideous pictures on the walls ... Oxford is very pretty, but I don't like to be dead."
Death and honours[edit]
A wall plaque in the church commemorates him with a quotation from his poem East Coker:
"In my beginning is my end. In my end is my beginning."[52]
In 1967, on the second anniversary of his death, Eliot was commemorated by the placement
of a large stone in the floor of Poets' Corner in London's Westminster Abbey. The stone, cut
by designer Reynolds Stone, is inscribed with his life dates, his Order of Merit, and a
quotation from his poem Little Gidding, "the communication / of the dead is tongued with
fire beyond / the language of the living.
Cleo McNelly Kearns notes in her biography that Eliot was deeply influenced by Indic
traditions, notably the Upanishads. From the Sanskrit ending of The Waste Land to the
"What Krishna meant" section of Four Quartets shows how much Indic religions and more
specifically Hinduism made up his philosophical basic for his thought process.[58] It must also
be acknowledged, as Chinmoy Guha showed in his book Where the Dreams Cross: T S Eliot
and French Poetry (Macmillan, 2011) that he was deeply influenced by French poets from
Baudelaire to Paul Valéry. He himself wrote in his 1940 essay on W.B. Yeats: "The kind of
poetry that I needed to teach me the use of my own voice did not exist in English at all; it
was only to be found in French." ("Yeats", On Poetry and Poets, 1948).

National or State Honours

Order of Merit United Kingdom 1948[108][109]

Literary awards[edit]
Nobel Prize in Literature "for his outstanding, pioneer contribution to present-day poetry"
"The Birds of Prey" (a short story; 1905)[113]
"A Tale of a Whale" (a short story; 1905)
"The Man Who Was King" (a short story; 1905)[114]
"The Wine and the Puritans" (review, 1909)
"The Point of View" (1909)
"Gentlemen and Seamen" (1909)
"Egoist" (review, 1909)
"A Fable for Feasters" (1905)
"[A Lyric:]'If Time and Space as Sages say'" (1905)
"[At Graduation 1905]" (1905)
"Song: 'If space and time, as sages say'" (1907)
"Before Morning" (1908)
"Circe's Palace" (1908)
"Song: 'When we came home across the hill'" (1909)
"On a Portrait" (1909)
"Nocturne" (1909)
"Humoresque" (1910)
"Spleen" (1910)
"[Class] Ode" (1910)
Prufrock and Other Observations (1917)
The Love Song of J. Alfred Prufrock
Portrait of a Lady
Rhapsody on a Windy Night
Morning at the Window
The Boston Evening Transcript (about the Boston Evening Transcript)
Aunt Helen
Cousin Nancy
Mr. Apollinax
Conversation Galante
La Figlia Che Piange
Poems (1920)
Burbank with a Baedeker: Bleistein with a Cigar
Sweeney Erect
A Cooking Egg
Le Directeur
Lune de Miel
The Hippopotamus
Dans le Restaurant
Whispers of Immortality
Mr. Eliot's Sunday Morning Service
Sweeney Among the Nightingales
The Waste Land (1922)
The Hollow Men (1925)
Ariel Poems (1927–1954)
Journey of the Magi (1927)
A Song for Simeon (1928)
Animula (1929)
Marina (1930)
Triumphal March (1931)
The Cultivation of Christmas Trees (1954)
Ash Wednesday (1930)
Coriolan (1931)
Old Possum's Book of Practical Cats (1939)
The Marching Song of the Pollicle Dogs and Billy M'Caw: The Remarkable Parrot (1939)
in The Queen's Book of the Red Cross
Four Quartets (1945)
Macavity:The Mystery Cat
Sweeney Agonistes (published in 1926, first performed in 1934)
The Rock (1934)
Murder in the Cathedral (1935)
The Family Reunion (1939)
The Cocktail Party (1949)
The Confidential Clerk (1953)
The Elder Statesman (first performed in 1958, published in 1959)
Christianity & Culture (1939, 1948)
The Second-Order Mind (1920)
Tradition and the Individual Talent (1920)
The Sacred Wood: Essays on Poetry and Criticism (1920)
"Hamlet and His Problems"
Homage to John Dryden (1924)
Shakespeare and the Stoicism of Seneca (1928)
For Lancelot Andrewes (1928)
Dante (1929)
Selected Essays, 1917-1932 (1932)
The Use of Poetry and the Use of Criticism (1933)
After Strange Gods (1934)
Elizabethan Essays (1934)
Essays Ancient and Modern (1936)
The Idea of a Christian Society (1939)
A Choice of Kipling's Verse (1941) made by Eliot, with an essay on Rudyard Kipling
Notes Towards the Definition of Culture (1948)
Poetry and Drama (1951)
The Three Voices of Poetry (1954)
The Frontiers of Criticism (1956)
On Poetry and Poets (1943)
Posthumous publications[edit]
To Criticize the Critic (1965)
The Waste Land: Facsimile Edition (1974)
Inventions of the March Hare: Poems 1909–1917 (1996)
Q.Who was the “miglior fabbro” to whom The Waste Land was dedicated?
Ezra Pound
Vivienne Haigh-Wood Eliot
Samuel Beckett
Coco Chanel
Q.From where did Eliot borrow the original title for The Waste Land, He Do the Police In
Different Voices?
A popular music hall song
James Joyce’s Finnegans Wake
Charles Dickens’s Our Mutual Friend
Mark Twain’s Huckleberry Finn
Q.Which popular nursery rhyme is mentioned at the end of The Waste Land?
London Bridge is Falling Down
Humpty Dumpty
Jack and Jill
Q.Which religious building is central to Eliot’s play Murder in the Cathedral?
Durham cathedral
Salisbury cathedral
Westminster cathedral
Canterbury cathedral
Q.Which work is sometimes referred to as Eliot’s "conversion poem"?
The Hollow Men
Ash Wednesday
The Journey of the Magi
Whispers of Immortality
Q"Sweet Thames, run softly till I end my song ..." From which author did Eliot borrow this line for
The Waste Land?
Edmund Spenser
Alexander Pope
Lord Byron
Cole Porter
QWhat does the TS stand for?
Tom “Senior”
Tarquin Sutton
Thomas Stearns
Thomas Sigismund
Q.Who considered Eliot’s work to be “a very great evil”?
Winston Churchill
Virginia Woolf
CS Lewis
Wyndham Lewis
QWho edited The Waste Land?
Ezra Pound
Wallace Stevens
Bertrand Russell
Wilfred Owen
How does The Waste Land end?
Hurry up please, it’s time
Not with a bang but a whimper
And then it was all a dream
Shantih shantih shantih
Q- Harold Nicholson described which poet as 'Very yellow and glum. Perfect manners'?
a) e. e. Cummings
b) T. S. Elliot
c) John Greenleaf Whittier
d) Walt Whitman
Q. T .S Eliot WAS born in?
a) Reno
b) St. Louis
c) Halifax
d) Boston
Q. Where did Thomas Stearns Eliot study Sanskrit?
a) Calcutta
b) Bangalore
c) Trivandrum
d) Harvard
Q. When did Thomas Stearns Eliot get Nobel Prize for Literature?
a) 1969
b) 1967
c) 1955
d) 1948
Q- Which poem of Thomas Stearns Eliot made him world famous?
a) The Sacred Wood
b) The Waste Land
c) Gerontion
d) Thoughts After Lambeth
Q The Hollow Men’ is written by:
(a) T.S. Eliot
(b) Ezra Pound
(c) Yeats
(d) Larkin
(e) None of these
Q- ‘Murder in the Cathedral’ is a play written by:
(a) Shakespeare
(b) Marlowe
(c) Oscar Wilde
(d) T.S. Eliot
(e) None of these
Q:The poem "The Love Song of J. Alfred Prufrock" was first published in 1915 at the request
of which other poet?
Ezra Pound
Carl Sandburg
Wallace Stevens
William Carlos Williams
Q:Eliot's "The Journey of The Magi", published in 1927, recalls which poem by poet
Matthew Arnold?
Dover Beach
Essays of Criticism
Preface to the Poems
Culture and Anarchy
Q. To whom did Eliot dedicate the poem "The Wasteland"?
Ezra Pound
William Yeats
W.H. Auden
James Joyce
Q. Eliot wrote "Ash Wednesday" a few years after his conversion to what religion?
Q. Ezra Pound gave Eliot a nickname which he used as part of the title for a book of poetry
for children. What was his nickname?
Blind Weasel
Sullen Beaver
Old Possum
Frail Mongoose
Q. Which philosopher is mentioned in the title of Eliot's doctoral thesis which he sent to
Georg Hegel
F. H. Bradley
Thomas Hill Green
Bernard Bosanquet
Q. Eliot has sometimes been charged with Antisemitism due to which of his works?
Murder in the Cathedral
The Family Reunion
The Elder Statesman
Q. In which of Eliot's poems did he actually act as a minor role in the remake as a play?
The Waste Land
Ash Wednesday
The Love Song of J. Alfred Prufrock
Murder in the Cathedral
Q. Eliot's Ariel Poems is a collection of poems written for Faber and Faber's series of Ariel
Poems. Which of the following is not in the collection?
A Song for Simeon
Journey of the Magi
Q:To whom does the Narrator call at the end of "The Burial of the Dead"?
The Typist
Q.Which Month Is The "Cruellest"?
Q.What battle did Stetson supposedly participate in?
The Battle Of Britain
The Battle Of The Bulge
Q.Which of the following cities is mentioned in "The Waste Land"?
Q.Magnus Martyr is a:
Epic Poem
Football Stadium
Q.The Opening Section Of "The Waste Land" Is Entitled:
"The Burial Of The Dead"
"Death By Water"
"The Fire Sermon"
Q.Mr. Eugenides Is A:
Witch Doctor
Q."When Lovely Woman Stoops To Folly" Is An Allusion To:
Ovid's Metamorphoses
Oliver Goldsmith's The Vicar Of Wakefield
The Koran
Q.Who Rapes Philomela?
The Typist
Q.Which Of The Following Works Of Literature Does Eliot Not Cite?
The Spanish Tragedie
On The Road
The Inferno
Q.In his famous poem 'The Wastelands' Eliot uses how many languages?
9 10 6
Q.In what discipline did Eliot receive his bachelor's degree?
British Literature
Comparative Literture
Q.What is the name of the narrator of the opening stanzas?(WASTELAND)
Q.In 'A Game of Chess', the second part of 'The Waste Land', the narrator suffers under a
tirade of paranoid abuse (incidentally, based on Eliot's experience of his first wife Vivienne).
During this, he soliloquises 'those were pearls which were his eyes'. Which Shakespeare play
is this a quotation from?
King Lear
The Tempest
Q.In one of the most brilliant parts of 'The Waste Land', at the end of 'A Game of Chess' Eliot
recreates the voices of two working class women in a Billingsgate pub discussing the return
of one of their husbands from the war. What are the names of the married couple?
Tom & Viv Albert & Lil
George & Mary Fred & Vera
Q.The Fire Sermon', the central part of 'The Waste Land', begins with a vivid description of
the River Thames flowing through the heart of London. Eliot uses the line 'Sweet Thames,
run softly till I end my song.' This quotation is the last line of each verse of a poem by which
earlier poet?
Edmund Spenser John Donne
William Wordsworth Alfred Lord Tennyson
Q.The shortest section of 'The Waste Land' is 'Death by Water'. It describes the death by
drowning of someone 'who was once handsome and tall as you'. Who was he?
the narrator
Mrs Porter
Mr Eugenides the Smyrna Merchant
Phlebas the Phoenician
Q.The final section, 'What the Thunder Said', is perhaps the most difficult part of 'The Waste
Land'. The opening stanza recalls which event in the Bible?
Adam and Eve's expulsion from Paradise
Moses' Crossing of the Red Sea
The Birth of Christ
The Crucifixion
Q.In the penultimate line of 'What the Thunder Said', Eliot uses three Sanskrit words to
replicate the sound of thunder over the river. They are 'Datta. Dayadhvam. Damyata.' What
do they mean?
One. Two. Three.
Up. Forwards. Down.
Give. Sympathise. Control.
Dance. Sing. Rejoice.
Q. In T.S. Eliot's Four Quartets (1942), which poem is about water?
Burnt Norton
East Coker
The Dry Salvages
Little Gidding
Q.Why is T.S. Eliot's Tradition in the Individual Talent controversial?
It was full of political propaganda.
It claimed that poetry needs to be impersonal.
It opposed the British aristocracy.
It denounced American democracy.
Q. The opening line of T. S. Eliot's The Waste Land, 'April is the cruellest month,' is an
allusion to which work of medieval literature?
The Book of Margery Kempe, by Margery Kempe
Le Morte d'Arthur, by Sir Thomas Malory
The Canterbury Tales, by Geoffrey Chaucer
The Decameron, by Giovanni Boccaccio
Q. The epigraph of The Waste Land is borrowed from?
(A) Virgil
(B) Fetronius
(C) Seneca
(D) Homer
Q. Who called ‘The Waste Land ‘a music of ideas’?
(A) Allen Tate
(B) J. C. Ransom
(C) I. A. Richards
(D) F. R Leavis
Q. T. S. Eliot has borrowed the term ‘Unreal City’ in the first and third sections from?
(A) Baudelaire
(B) Irving Babbit
(C) Dante
(D) Laforgue
Q. Which of the following myths does not figure in The WasteLand?
(A) Oedipus
(B) Grail Legend of Fisher King
(C) Philomela
(D) Sysyphus
Q.Why is April the cruelest month?
It's wet and foggy
It reminds you of better times
You have to reorganize your closet
Because a lot of people die in April
"Gerontion" is a poem by ____ T. S. Eliot that was first published in 1920.
The Hollow Men The Waste Land Four Quartets
"Gerontion" opens with an epigraph (from Shakespeare's play ________) which states:
Twelfth Night Measure for Measure The Tempest Hamlet