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Analysis


What's Up With the Epigraph?

"Nam Sibyllam quidem Cumis ego ipse oculis meis vidiin ampulla pendere, et cum illi pueri dicerent: Σιβυλλατι θελεις; respondebat illa: αποθανειν θελω."For Ezra Poundil...

Symbols, Imagery, Wordplay

Form and Meter

We've got a speaker reflecting on memories and current experiences in a personal, often philosophical way, which means that for much of "The Waste Land," we're reading a dramatic monologue. What ma...

Speaker

What we've got here, is a failure to communicate.Yep, the speakers are one of the major things that make this poem so difficult to read, since they're constantly shifting without any sort of signal...

Setting

It might not seem like it at first, but the title of this poem is dead-on. This poem is set in "The Waste Land." But even a quick glance at the poem can tell us that this isn't literally true. The...

Sound Check

All in all, this poem sounds like what it is: a sophisticated meditation on modern society written by a very, very educated man. If you read the beginning aloud, you can tell right away that nothin...

What's Up With the Title?

Well, the first thing you'll want to remember about the title is that it's "The Waste Land," and not "The Wasteland." A silly distinction, maybe, but it's not an exaggeration to say that more than...

Calling Card

You'll probably never find a poem more packed with references to art, culture, and history than this one. The thing is practically made up of lines from other literary works (see the "Allusions" se...

Tough-o-Meter

There's just no getting around it; Eliot's "The Waste Land" is probably one of the toughest (if not the toughest) piece of literature you'll ever encounter (unless you try Finnegan's Wake). The ran...

Trivia

Getting tired of all those red pen marks your teacher makes on your essays? Well T.S. Eliot, one of the greatest poets of the 20th century, got nearly half of his masterpiece slashed away by his fr...

Steaminess Rating

Sure, there's a seduction scene in this poem (i.e., the typist and young man carbuncular), but no one's more offended by sex than good ol' prudish Eliot. He really seems freaked out by the whole id...

Allusions

The Bible: Ezekiel, Ecclesiastes, Isaiah, Psalms (20, 23, 25, 182, 354, 426)Throughout the text, Eliot alludes to the books of Ezekiel (20), Ecclesiastes (23, 354), Isaiah (25, 426), and Psalms (18...
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