Spiritual quest as aesthetic vision: aspects of T.S. Eliot's poetics as related to his literary works

Nembhard, Lorna Simodel

Literature; Mass media; Performing arts
March 1984

Thesis or dissertation

© 1984 Lorna Simodel Nembhard. All rights reserved. No part of this publication may be reproduced without the written permission of the copyright holder.

T. S. Eliot consistently maintained that there was a close relation between his poetics and his poetry; that his poetic theory was the "by-product" of his "poetry-workshop" and best applied to his literary works, rather than  regarded as general aesthetic principles to be applied to all poetry. This is the basis on which this study is  undertaken. The study itself has two major aims.The first is to approach Eliot's creative works through the perspective of his poetics. I have attempted to identify  certain of Eliot's major aesthetic theories and to relate them to those poems contemporary with them. I have  also examined some of Eliot's poetic theories which may be seen in a more general way as illuminating and relevant to all his creative works. My study also identifies certain of Eliot's theories concerning drama and  demonstrates how each of these is closely related to a particular play.My second aim is to show how all Eliot's poetry may be regarded as one great work of art. This developed in three stages which chart the poet's spiritual progress from the despair of the early poems through the confession and contrition of "The Hollow Men" and "Ash Wednesday" , to the sense of illumination and beatitude in Four Quartets. This progression, which reflects the pattern of the three stages in the Christian drama of salvation, is also evident in Eliot's plays. I have tried to show that his poetry, his poetics, and his life all fall into a  common pattern and that there is a close interrelationship between the three.

Department of English, The University of Hull
Brett, R. L.
Sponsor (Organisation)
British Council; Association of Commonwealth Universities
Qualification level
Qualification name
Filesize: 20,975KB
QR Code