The Waste Land


Sources from which Eliot quotes, or to which he alludes, include the works of: Homer, Sophocles, Petronius, Virgil, Ovid,[29] Saint Augustine of Hippo, Dante Alighieri, William Shakespeare, Edmund Spenser, Gérard de Nerval, Thomas Kyd, Geoffrey Chaucer, Thomas Middleton, John Webster, Joseph Conrad, John Milton, Andrew Marvell, Charles Baudelaire, Richard Wagner, Oliver Goldsmith, Hermann Hesse, Aldous Huxley, Paul Verlaine, Walt Whitman and Bram Stoker.

Eliot also makes extensive use of Scriptural writings including the Bible, the Book of Common Prayer, the Hindu Brihadaranyaka Upanishad, and the Buddha's Fire Sermon, and of cultural and anthropological studies such as Sir James Frazer's The Golden Bough and Jessie Weston's From Ritual to Romance (particularly its study of the Wasteland motif in Celtic mythology). Eliot wrote in the original head note that "Not only the title, but the plan and a good deal of the incidental symbolism of the poem were suggested by Miss Jessie L Weston"[H] The symbols Eliot employs, in addition to the Waste Land, include the Fisher King, the Tarot Deck, the Chapel perilous, and the Grail Quest.

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