Show simple item record

dc.contributor.advisorGossman, Ann M.
dc.contributor.authorGordon, Sarahen_US
dc.description.abstractThe Four Quartets of T. S. Eliot represents in many respects the culmination of the poet's journey through the spiritual aridity of his age; these poems demonstrate Eliot's mature awareness and acceptance of Christianity in its simplest and most demanding terms. Eliot is concerned in this work with questions which are simultaneously epistemological, moral, and literary. Assuming a priori that life as man in the twentieth century experiences it is fragmented and chaotic, Eliot asserts in the Quartets the need for man to ask: How do I know? How do I act on the basis of what I know? How does language serve as a means of both explaining and reconciling knowledge and action? As a Christian poet, Eliot posits that the Incarnation is not only the central event of man's history but also the standard by which all knowledge, action, and language are to be measured. The Logos is the intersection of the temporal world by the divine; furthermore, the Logos is "the still point of the turning world" and the center of the cosmic dance. Although the point of intersection, "the still point," appears to be unmoving, the appearance of stillness is deceptive. However, only those souls with blessed vision, sufficiently detached from the distractions of this world, may perceive the paradox of motion and stillness at the heart of existence. As one of the central metaphors of the Quartets, the dance has its origins in the philosophy of Plato and 'Plotinus and is associated, from the Middle Ages and the Renaissance to the present time, with the mystical apprehension of the divine and particularly with the mystic's attempt to convey his experience through language. Eliot draws on such diverse sources as Plato, Plotinus, Dante, Dame Julian of Norwich, Sir John Davies, and John Milton. These thinkers, not all of whom may be called "mystics" by any means, have in common with Eliot their belief in the divine harmony underlying creation and their effort to define that belief in language which is metaphorical, often paradoxical. Moreover, there are analogous uses of the dance metaphor in at least two of Eliot's contemporaries, Charles Williams and C. S. Lewis. Like these writers, Eliot appears to rely on metaphorical paradox to present a vision of reality which is beyond discursive language. The symbol of the cosmic dance provides Eliot with one important means of conveying the mystery of being which lies beyond the scope of our common understanding.
dc.format.extentiii, 147 leaves, bounden_US
dc.format.mediumFormat: Printen_US
dc.relation.ispartofTexas Christian University dissertationen_US
dc.subject.lcshEliot, T. S. (Thomas Stearns), 1888-1965. Four quartetsen_US
dc.titleThe great dance: A study of Eliot's use of the dance metaphor in the Four quartetsen_US
dc.typeTexten_US of English
local.collegeAddRan College of Liberal Arts
local.academicunitDepartment of English
dc.identifier.callnumberMain Stacks: AS38 .G673 (Regular Loan)
dc.identifier.callnumberSpecial Collections: AS38 .G673 (Non-Circulating) of Philosophy Christian University

Files in this item


There are no files associated with this item.

This item appears in the following Collection(s)

Show simple item record