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dc.contributor.advisorGossman, Ann M.
dc.contributor.authorStephens, Sarah Leeen_US
dc.description.abstractT. S. Eliot's plays represent more than a poet's experimental attempts to restore poetic drama to what he considered its rightful place. They represent the fruition of an intellectual and emotional process, and they echo the poet's continuing concern with the meaninglessness of life in a world that has lost contact with spiritual reality, and with man's permanent need to transcend the limitations of the material and the isolation of the self. Eliot turned to drama because it offered him, in the quasi-realistic framework of time and space provided by the theatre, a means to continue his exploration of the theme of personal identity, which received its most profound lyric expression in the Four Quartets. Within the more explicitly social context of the drama, Eliot could develop this theme, of the revelation and perfection of the self in time, and deal with the reciprocal problems of the relationship of the self with other, be it parent, child, lover, friend, community, nature, God, or from a more abstract level, the human tradition itself. The introductory chapter traces the prevalence of this theme in Eliot's other work, and considers the ideas which underlie this theme and serve as the basis for Eliot's negative assessment of modern culture. The complex of ideas that informs Eliot's work, derived from Eliot's interest in Bradleyan philosophy, Christian theology, psychology, anthropology, and Greek myth and drama, is treated as a unified whole. The central focus of the chapter is Eliot's juxtaposition, in the four plays with modern settings, of Greek myth and modern situation, and the way in which the plays are informed by Eliot's concern with the idea of a Christian society. Subsequent chapters analyze the four plays with modern settings in the light of this complex of ideas, focusing on Eliot's exploration of the relationship between self and other. Chapter Two, on The Family Reunion, points to Harry Monchensey's realization of a spiritual vocation, and of a commitment which may necessitate a severing of human kinships. Nevertheless, in his search for identity, Harry expresses a desire to understand his real past, and the tangled web of human ties bequeathed him by his earthly father. Chapter Three, on The Cocktail Party, focuses on Eliot's acknowledgment that the secular life of social and family relationships represents an alternative to the extreme choice of asceticism. Chapter Four, on The Confidential Clerk and The Elder Statesman, demonstrates how the characters have imposed false identities on themselves and others, their children in particular, through their desire to perpetuate themselves in others. It also points to the way in which the present has been influenced, indeed sometimes determined, by choices made in the past. The changing pattern of kinships in Eliot's plays acknowledges the variety of relationships that makes life in a world of limitations significant, as it points to the importance of human kinships and human love.
dc.format.extentiv, 165 leaves, bounden_US
dc.format.mediumFormat: Printen_US
dc.relation.ispartofTexas Christian University dissertationen_US
dc.subject.lcshEliot, T. S. (Thomas Stearns), 1888-1965--Criticism and interpretationen_US
dc.titleThe domestication of myth in the plays of T. S. Elioten_US
dc.typeTexten_US of English
local.collegeAddRan College of Liberal Arts
local.academicunitDepartment of English
dc.identifier.callnumberMain Stacks: AS38 .S745 (Regular Loan)
dc.identifier.callnumberSpecial Collections: AS38 .S745 (Non-Circulating) of Philosophy Christian University

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