Day 5

The Waste Land Lesson Plan

Discussion of Thought Questions

  1. 1

    Why are these poems "quartets"?

    Several of the students might have been interested in this point, as the poems clearly have five parts. What do they associate the word "quartet" with? Some may need prompting, but many will probably come to music. Eliot was devoted to musicality of language in both his early and late work. These poems are about the music of time, of belief, of life journey and place. Discuss Eliot's poetic craftsmanship—use of language, rhythm, word choice, and all of their relationship to ideas—to emphasize this point. But then, why not quintet? Students may also be interested in the four elements and four seasons that appear in this set of four...

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