Teacher Guide

The Waste Land Lesson Plan

Introduction to The Waste Land

When T.S. Eliot published "The Waste Land" in 1922, he cemented his reputation as the poet at the forefront of the Modernist movement. Considered by some to be the most significant poem written in English in the twentieth century, "The Waste Land" was influenced by many significant works of Western and non-Western religion and literature—from the Bible to the Hindu Upanishads, the legend of the Holy Grail to the landmark work of anthropology The Golden Bough, Dante to nonsensical sounds and nursery rhymes, Shakespeare to Ovid to Mallarmé—and explores the sordidness, apathy, bleakness, and confusion of the modern world in the wake of the first World War.

The poem,...

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