Zsuzsa Rawlinson

'A Dawn Miraculous': T. S. Eliot's Sweeney Agonistes

- J'ai vu parfois, au fond d'un thé â tre banal

Qu'enflammait l'orchestre sonore,

Une fé e allumer dans un ciel infernal

Une miraculeuse aurore;

J'ai vu parfois au fond d'un thé â tre banal

(Baudelaire, Les Fleurs Du Mal, 'L'Irré parable'*)


For many readers of our time the name of T. S. Eliot (1888-1965) is virtually synonymous with modern poetry. His poems come from a modern sensibility, a sensibility that we still recognize and more importantly, we recognize as contemporary to us. Although their landscapes and cityscapes (or what Gerald Manley Hopkins called 'inscapes') are closely observed and palpable, the poems have not dated at all. The world depicted in the poems still reflects as one Japanese reader put it: 'our own sad and disillusioned world'. (Enright:1988) He is considered to be the creator of contemporary images comparable to that which Samuel Johnson ascribed to Gray's 'Elegy Written in a Country Churchyard': abounding with 'images which find a mirror in every mind.' (Ibid.) D.J. Enright also rightly observes that many of Eliot's lines have entered the English language in the form of catch-phrases or adages (similarly to Shakespeare and Pope to name just two of the most quoted poets): 'living and partly living'; 'after such knowledge, what forgiveness?; 'these fragments I have shored up against my ruins'; 'in the room the women come and go, talking of Michaelangelo'; 'I have measured out my life with coffee spoons'; 'in my beginning is my end' and of course 'not with a bang but with a whimper'.

Eliot is also an outstanding literary critic: many of his ideas gave food for thought for later thinkers and it is customary to say that modern literary criticism starts with Eliot. Some of his phrases, for example, 'the extinction of personality'; 'objective correlatives'; 'dissociation of sensibility', among many others, have also become part of our mental furniture and part of the literary critical 'tools' employed nowadays in critical analyses. Some of his critical dicta have also achieved far-reaching acceptance and world-wide fame. It is no exaggeration to say that not only did he shape the views and taste of his own generation, but exerted great influence on the subsequent ones, as well. He spoke, similarly to Yeats, with 'commanding authority' leaving a lasting mark on school curricula and university syllabuses. Simply put, he is a poet-critic who is still greatly cherished and whose influence is still very active.

On the other hand, Professor Robson perhaps rightly remarks that 'Eliot's plays have their author's distinction, but for many admirers they are the most dispensable part of his work.' (1970:157) Of course, this does not mean that they are second-rate or minor works. It simply suggests that the central and 'overwhelming' question, for many critics, 'remains as to whether Eliot became a poet of the theatre, or remained a poet in the theatre'. His plays, these critics are quick to point out, brought him fame and money, but it is also undeniable that he got his Nobel Prize for his poetry.

Why, then such an eminent critic, such a prominent poet would 'strive so earnestly to move into the theatre?' (Hinchcliffe:9) Peter Ackroyd in his biography suggests that turning towards drama may have helped Eliot to release the 'block' on his poetry and get away from The Waste Land. (1985:147) This may be true but obviously not the full story. His pre-occupation with drama is convincingly demonstrated if we look at some of his essays. As early as 1920, he was writing (in a review of Middleton Murray's Cinnamon and Angelica: A Play) that the composition of a poetic drama in modern times was 'the most difficult, the most exhausting task that a poet can set himself'. Notice also the word he uses here, a 'poet' and not a 'dramatist' or 'playwright'. It is a commonplace perhaps, yet a necessary one, to note the dramatic qualities of Eliot's own poetry and his ability to create such memorable characters as Prufrock or Gerontion. Albeit, he was very much aware of the difference between a poet and a dramatist and also of the potential danger of confusing the two:

The writer of poetic drama is not merely a man skilled in two arts and skilful to weave them together; he is not a writer who can decorate a play with poetic language and metre. His task is different from that of the 'dramatists' or that of the 'poet', for his pattern is more complex and dimensional ... . The genuine poetic drama must, at its best, observe all the regulations of the plain drama but will weave them organically* (...) into a much richer design. (Jones,1960:7)

His first article in The Dial was on 'The Possibility of a Poetic Drama' and his essay on 'Four Elizabethan Dramatists' appeared in 1924, at a time when he was also writing about his theatrical interests to Arnold Bennett. Bennett notes in his Journal


* Unexpectedly for a staunch anti-Romantic, Eliot's italics indicate a positive reference to Coleridge here.

(10 September 1924) that Eliot :

had definitely given up that form of writing [Wastelands as Bennett called it] and was now centred on dramatic writing. He wanted to write drama of modern life (furnished flat sort of people) in a rhythmic prose ' perhaps with certain things in it accentuated by drum-beats'. And he wanted my advice. We arranged that he should do the scenario and some sample pages of dialogue.


The collaboration to which Bennett refers seems not to have materialized. Yet, the entry is notable for providing us with further insights regarding Eliot's progress towards his first (although unfinished) play, Sweeney Agonistes. The importance of rhythm and ritual in performance is also explored in his essay 'The Beating of a Drum' and in the well-known 'Ulysses, Order and Myth' published first in The Dial in 1923. Theoretically, he was then not only very-well qualified to write about the stage but also for the stage. In Sweeney we can find virtually all of Eliot's major dramatic ideas that he meticulously explored in his numerous essays: a chorus, an accentuated rhythm, antic sources, the use of myth along with music-hall turns, colloquial speech patterns and an underlining jazz beat. The play also gives a remarkable synthesis of Eliot's ouevre: it looks back to the poetry that he wrote previously (Prufrock and Other Observations, The Waste Land), looks in on what he was writing at around 1925 and 1927 ('The Hollow Men') and also looks forward to the plays and poems that he was still to write (The Family Reunion, The Cocktail Party, Four Quartets) .

'Fragment of a Prologue' appeared in the New Criterion in October 1926, 'Fragment of an Agon' was published in the same magazine in its January issue in 1927 both under the title Wanna Go Home, Baby? The title became Sweeney Agonistes when it came out in a book form in 1932. The original title reminds one of another change in his titles, the working title of The Waste Land was the nondescript He Do the Police in Different Voices.* In both instances the changes were more than justified since the new titles eloquently express Eliot's wit and sophistication, at the same time plant the seeds of everything that is to follow. Furthermore, we should not overlook another important fact, namely that they also provide - desperately needed - clues to the unearthing of the deeper levels of meaning embedded in the texts.

* Although one wonders whether the Dickens quote from Our Mutual Friend where Betty Higden says of Sloppy, her adopted foundling that 'You mightn't think it, but Sloppy is a beautiful reader of a newspaper. He do the Police in different voices.' may have indicated more directly and wittily - to more discernible readers - the many scenes, many voices principle of The Waste Land.

Let us probe then the possible literary and artistic implications of the new title of the play. Sweeney and some other characters of the play (Mrs. Porter and Doris for example) appear, or seem to appear in Eliot's earlier poetry:
But at my back from time to time I hear The sound of horns and motors, which shall bring Sweeney to Mrs. Porter in the spring. O the moon shone bright on Mrs. Porter And on her daughter They wash their feet in soda water* Et O ces voix d'enfants, chantant dans la coupole! (The Waste Land, 'The Fire Sermon': pp.58-9) )


(The lengthened shadow of a man Is history, said Emerson Who had not seen the silhouette Of Sweeney straddled in the sun.) But Doris, towelled from the bath, Enters padding on broad feet, Bringing sal volatile And a glass of brandy neat. ('Sweeney Erect': p.37))

Apeneck Sweeney spreads his knees Letting his arms hang down to laugh. ('Sweeney among the Nightingales': p.46))


Sweeney shifts from ham to ham Stirring the water in his bath. (Mr. Eliot's Sunday Morning Service': p.45))

Sweeney is a familiar figure then, he is Eliot's characterization of the unrefined, sensual, secular man - a debased, a debauched image of what humanity has ultimately been degraded to. So far the character implicit in the poems is very much in-keeping with the Sweeney of the play. The difference is that the Sweeney presented in the play is no more just a fleeting reference or a passive description or a representative image of modern man but someone who has been given a chance to be articulate, to communicate his ideas, to share his insights, in other words he is an active participator.


* cf. Sweeney Agonistes: 'She's got her feet in mustard and soda' (p.124)

In my opinion then there may be a link between the 'Sweeney' of the poems and the

'Sweeney' of the play however arbitrary or contradictory on the surface that link may look. Eliot might have given him a different name but he did not, and this retaining the name perhaps indicates that the essential Sweeney of the poems who represents the shabbiness of the world has become a further developed Sweeney of the play. Since he has been part of the horror and the boredom, his understanding and discernment of the human condition is all the greater. This would also explain Sweeney's motivation to voice (despite his unrefined manner) and share (despite his desolate status) his experience with the others.

The 'Agonistes' part of the title immediately suggests Samson Agonistes and analogies with both the dilemma of Samson's and to the Greek dramatic structure used in Milton's work. Ms. Smith contends:

Samson's dilemma is that of the exile in an alien world who feels compelled by divine will to pull that world down around his own head in order to destroy its iniquities. Sweeney is perhaps another spiritual outcast in a corrupt world, and he too must destroy himself in his attack on that world. (1963:73)

On the other hand; some critics, notably, David E. Jones in his The Plays of T.S. Eliot (1960:30) states that 'his [Sweeney's] wrestling is a far cry from that of Milton's Samson' and cites the following as 'the one possible point of contact between them is a figure of speech':
To live a life half dead, a living death
(Samson Agonistes, l.100)

Death is life and life is death
(Sweeney Agonistes, p.135)

With due respect one cannot help but to disagree with his argument, especially with regard to a poet like Eliot whose exploits of literature serve to 'fit you', the reader or the audience, with an 'objective correlative' to evoke an emotion possibly akin to the author's. At the same time these literary allusions aid him not only to define his own emotions but also to objectify and connect them to an earlier yet timeless wisdom. (cf. Eliot's 'Hamlet and his Problem':1920)

The subtitle of the play, Fragments of an Aristophanic Melodrama, needs further explanation. His play is 'Aristophanic' perhaps in the sense that it also combines the comic and the tragic, the crackling social satire with the plight of Western man. It is a 'melodrama' only if the word is used in its older sense: a play that combines music and drama. (cf. Carol H. Smith:74) The onomatopoeic words, the sentence stresses, the repetitions, the songs all contribute to the creation of musical effects; to the throbbing jazz beat that syncopates the rhythms of the language of the play. Another characteristic feature of melodrama is the employment of 'flat' characters so Eliot argues in the Jonson essay. Again in this sense Sweeney Agonistes aptly fits the bill: all the characters in the play - with the exception of Sweeney - are 'flat' . This is then what Eliot aimed at:

My intention was to have one character whose sensibility and intelligence should be on the plane of the most sensitive and intelligent members of the audience; his speeches should be addressed to them, as much as to the other personages in the play - or rather, should be addressed to the latter, who were to be material, literal-minded and visionless, with the consciousness of being overheard by the former. (Eliot:1933)

Not only do these 'flat' characters 'fit' the world they move in (cf. The Sacred Wood, 'Jonson':1920), they also serve and assist him in conveying the third characteristic feature of melodrama which is the 'postponement of the dé nouement'. The play, asserts Carol H. Smith, 'includes a postponement of the dé nouement in the sense that the play is a commentary on the postponement of spiritual awakening in modern man.' (1963:74) Thus, another element of melodrama, namely the requirement to drive home some kind of moral message, is also discernible in the play.

Eliot's words again might help to understand the full implication of the title and subtitle and make clear what he meant to convey by them:

To those who have experienced the full horror of life, tragedy is still inadequate - . ... In the end horror and laughter may be one ... there is potential comedy in Sophocles and potential tragedy in Aristophanes.



The epigraphs (always of seminal importance in Eliot) which he placed at the beginning of the fragments also hint at the spiritual theme of the work and secondly their arrangement points to a likely connection between them:
Orestes: You don't see them, you don't --- but I see them:
they are hunting me down, I must move on.
Hence the soul cannot be possessed of the divine union,
until it has divested itself of the love of created beings.
St. John of the Cross.

The first epigraph alludes to the exit line when Orestes first becomes aware of the Furies who not only haunt him but are adamant to hunt him down after his murder. 'The second epigraph relates to The Ascent of Mount Carmel which describes the mystical path to union with God.' (Smith, 1963:74) Purgation is the goal in both quoted passages. Sweeney's tale of murder and the awfulness of the life-in-death existence of the murderer (and others for that matter) illustrate the passage, progress and process the penitent has to undertake in order to achieve purgation. His tale is also a mundane and rather grotesque version of the epigraph of St. John of the Cross. According to St. John of the Cross man must be purged of all human affections and desires if the distance between the creator and the creature is to be bridged. In this argument, affections represent dependence on the senses and make demands on humans which inevitably and irrecoverably cut them off from their first duty, that is from their complete attention to God's love. The latter epigraph is comparable with the epigraph of The Waste Land, where another literally suspended life, life-in-death is described from Petronius's Satyricon. The certitude the we burn either in our fleshly desires or in the purgatorial flames is beautifully formulated in a later poem in the Four Quartets, in the fourth section of 'Little Gidding', a seventeenth century isolated church where monks lived a life of 'inward intensity':
The dove descending breaks the air
With flame of incandescent terror
Of which the tongues declare
The one discharge from sin and error.
The only hope, or else despair
Lies in the choice of pyre and pyre ---
To be redeemed from fire by fire.

Who then devised the torment? Love.
Love is the unfamiliar Name
Behind the hands that wove
The intolerable shirt of flame
Which human power cannot remove.
We only live, only suspire
Consumed by either fire or fire. (p.47)


The same theme is also elaborated in the second section of 'Burnt Norton' of the Four Quartets where Eliot writes:
At the still point of the turning world. Neither flesh nor fleshless;
Neither from nor towards; at the still point, there the dance is
But neither arrest nor movement. And do not call it fixity,
Where past and future are gathered. Neither movement from
nor towards,
Neither ascent nor decline. (p.15)

A similar syntax is perceptible in Sweeney Agonistes when the main character says:
There wasn't any joint
There wasn't any joint
For when you're alone
When you're alone like he was alone
You're either or neither. (p.135)

However, as Professor Sarbu has pointed out there is an even more pertinent example to illustrate St. John of the Cross on self-denial in 'Burnt Norton', in its third section:
Descend lower, descend only
Into the world of perpetual solitude,
Internal darkness, deprivation
And destitution of all property,
Dessication of the world of sense,
Evacuation of the world of fancy
Inoperancy of the world of spirit; (p.16)

The story of the murder and the dissolution in a lysol bath - a purifying as well as a killing agent - of the murdered girl represents the equally violent extinction of and watering down human desire in order to achieve salvation. Incidentally, the 'Pereira' referred to in the first section is Jonathan Pereira known in the 1850s for his fever-reducing (!) medicine. The water imagery brings in connotations with birth and baptism and the dissolution of the old life succinctly summed up as
Birth, and copulation, and death
That's all the facts when you come to brass tacks (p.131),

as well as the sacramental purgatorial bath which will bring rebirth. Or will it? For Sweeney goes on to say:
Birth, and copulation, and death
I've been born, and once is enough.
You don't remember, but I remember,
Once is enough. (p.131)

The repeated 'once is enough' modifies the meaning and indicates his reluctance to be reborn into a society that has been reduced to such a state. The ugliness and boredom that he sees makes him want to communicate this awareness to the other members of the party. However, his first words express only his interest in Doris and his wish to whisk her off to a cannibal isle to escape from it all:
SWEENEY:  I'll carry you off
To a cannibal isle.
DORIS:  You'll be the cannibal!
SWEENEY:  You'll be the missionary!
You'll be my little seven stone missionary!
I'll gobble you up. I'll be the cannibal.
DORIS:  You'll carry me off? To a cannibal isle?
SWEENEY:  I'll be the cannibal.
DORIS:I'll be the missionary.
I'll convert you!
SWEENEY:  I'll convert you!
Into a stew.
A nice little, white little, missionary stew.
DORIS:  You wouldn't eat me!
SWEENEY:  Yes I'd eat you!
In a nice little, white little, soft little, tender
Juicy little, right little missionary stew. (p.130)


Although the tone is flippant, it is entirely fitting to the flirtatious horseplay between the men and the two women at this drinking party, the sinister undertones of seduction - if not rape and murder - are already perceivable. This curiously anticipates the death of another 'missionary', the crucifixion of Celia in Eliot's later play The Cocktail Party. Sweeney's description of the cannibal isle as a possible place to which to escape where there are no telephones, no gramophones, no motor cars and other trappings of civilized life (yet a facetious reference to the 'Gauguin maids' does bring in refined culture) is echoed by the others in their song 'Under the Bamboo'. David E. Jones tells us that the song is a 1905 Bob Cole and Rosamund Johnson melody (although Eliot's tune is rather different), however, he did borrow the title and the last two lines of the original piece. (p.28) Its function is to draw attention to the trite escapism and evasiveness that popular lyrics offer and to drive home the moral verdict in an unobtrusive manner. Thus, the song in Eliot's hands becomes the modern version of the Greek chorus. As Professor Egri has suggested it also corresponds to the message of the hidden sonnet in ' The Fire Sermon' of The Waste Land. Our mental desolation is further intensified by our sexual depravation that has become automatic, monotonous and apathetic. This unobtrusive (hence its appropriately embedded and buried nature) formal reference to Antiquity also highlights the standard, the norm, the ideal to which our present-day society has failed to live up:
The time is now propitious, as he guesses,
The meal is ended, she is bored and tired,
Endeavours to engage her in caresses
Which still are unreproved, if undesired.
Flushed and decided, he assaults at once;
Exploring hands encounter no defence;
His vanity requires no response,
And makes a welcome of indifference.
(And I Tiresias have foresuffered all
Enacted on this same divan or bed;
I who have sat by Thebes below the wall
And walked among the lowest of the dead.)
Bestows one final patronising kiss,
And gropes his way, finding the stairs unlit ... (p.60)

However, merriment soon gives way to a semi-serious moralising as is rather common in the different stages of drunkenness:
DORIS: That's not life, that's not life
Why I'd just as soon be dead.
SWEENEY: That's what life is. Just is
DORIS: What is?
What's that life is?
SWEENEY: Life is death.
I knew a man once did a girl in --- (p.133)

Doris's terror which has already started before the party commenced with the drawing of the two of spades that stands for the 'coffin' in the pack of Tarot cards* is by now further intensified. The sentence she cannot help repeating ('a woman runs a terrible risk', p.134) provides a further hint to her train of thought. One aspect of the atmosphere of menace (reminding us of the early Pinter) created at the beginning of the play is finally made explicit for Doris has already - perhaps intuitively - grasped that


*The popular fortune telling by cards recalls the 'Madam Sosostris' passage in the first section of The Waste Land.

The influence of Sweeney Agonistes on John Arden is also noticeable in his Serjeant Musgrave's Dance. The play opens with the soldiers playing cards: 'The black Spades carry the day. Jack, King and Ace. We throw the red Queen over.' (p.9). This already indicates symbolically and rather mysteriously what will happen later on: trouble is on the way and love will be swept aside.

Sweeney might be himself the man 'he knew' and who 'once did a girl in' and consequently, she might be his next victim.

Another theme that is explored in the play is the impossibility or difficulty of communication, a very Beckett-like concern. Yet, similarly to Beckett's heroes, Sweeney also pretends indifference:
SWEENEY: I gotta use words when I talk to you
But if you understand or if you don't
that's nothing to me and nothing to you
We all gotta do what we gotta do
we're gona sit here and drink this booze
we're gona sit here and have a tune
We're gona stay and we're gona go
And somebody gotta pay the rent (p.135)

Sweeney is nudging us towards the grand revelation yet it is appropriately belittled by the use of bathos (a favourite Eliot device) where there is a sudden change from what is deeply moving or important to something that is foolish or even trivial. It is present in 'The Love Song of J. Alfred Prufrock' for example in the following lines:
Time for you and time for me,
And time yet for a hundred indecisions,
And for a hundred visions and revisions,
Before the taking of a toast and tea. (p.12)

or in Sweeney Agonistes:
DORIS: Here's the two of spades.
Oh good heavens what'll I do?
Just before a party too! (pp.125-6)


The 'finale' of the chorus provides the link between Sweeney's story and that of the various yet to a certain extent comparable experience of the other members of the party. Again, it is the communal yet marvellously colloquial expression of terror and fear:
FULL CHORUS: When you're alone in the middle of the night and
you wake in a sweat and a hell of a fright
When you're alone in the middle of the bed and
you wake like someone hit you on the head
You've had a cream of a nightmare dream and
you've got the hoo-ha's coming to you.
Hoo hoo hoo
You dreamt you waked up at seven o'clock and it's
foggy and it's damp and it's dawn and it's dark
And you wait for a knock and the turning of a lock
for you know the hangman's waiting for you.
And perhaps you're alive
And perhaps you're dead
Hoo ha ha
Hoo ha ha
KNOCK (p.136)

The nightmare-like expression of the terror and fear of what is coming to all of us is accentuated by the relentless pursuit of the hoo-ha's of the chorus. This is the modern version of the 'Hounds of Heaven' theme where the Furies will not only haunt us but will also hunt us down to mete out our punishment. The function of the play's all-persuasive rhythm gains further significance here. On the one hand, the ominous pounding rhythm contributes to sustaining and intensifying the looming menace of the hunt and audibly re-enacts the chase where the pursuing feet are closing in on the prey. It also represents the violent pulse-beat of the pursuer and the pursued. On the other hand, the monotonous rhythm of combustion engines (cf. also the 'promise of pneumatic bliss' - the machine-like sexual encounter of the typist and 'the barbaric cries of modern life') and jazz beat reiterates the truth about the senselessness and meaninglessness of human existence. This haunting music of despair is mankind's, his desperate incantation to drive out the desolation of hopes (cf. BBC Documentary, 'The Mysterious Mr Eliot') for
We are the hollow men
We are the stuffed men
Leaning together
Headpiece filled with straw. Alas!...

Those who have crossed
With direct eyes, to death's other Kingdom
Remember us --- if at all --- not as lost
Violent souls, but only
As the hollow men
The stuffed men. ('The Hollow Men':77)

For whom the hangman (who has already appeared in The Waste Land) is waiting and will inevitably come KNOCKING. There is something almost austere in the resignation, pity and disillusionment in these lines. Yet, one feels the depths beneath where Eliot is still to descend until emerging with the notion that the 'fire' which is the fire of hell and that of the purgatory and also the symbol of sexual desire and torment will eventually become one with the rose; 'the traditional emblem of sexual passion, but also the invocation of Eliot's commitment to the ancient cause of Royalism, and the mystic Rose of Dante's Paradiso' (Robson,1986:208):
And the fire and the rose are one.
('Little Gidding':48)


'Sweeney Agonistes ... was so far ahead of orthodox theatre practice that for years it was thought of as a poem rather than what it now clearly looks to be, an exciting (if unfinished) piece of theatre' (Worth,1972:60): a prophetic inspiration and anticipation of the British avant-garde plays. Retrospectively, the 'false dawn' (i.e.: abandonment) of Eliot's attempt to bring English drama out of its backwater appears to have been rather the contrary. In the 1930 essay on Baudelaire Eliot writes: 'not merely in the use of imagery of the sordid life of a great metropolis, but in the elevation of such imagery to the first intensity ... that Baudelaire created a mode of release and expression for other men.' (p.426) The words of the master quoted in the epigraph can consequently be ascribed to Sweeney Agonistes, a play that not only did explore and open up new dramatic possibilities, but also a play that enacted 'upon a stage banal' not less than 'a dawn miraculous'. Broad daylight - Beckett's Waiting for Godot - came some twenty years later.




Ackroyd, Peter, T.S. Eliot, Abacus, 1985.

Baudelaire, Charles-Pierre, Selected Poems, translated by Joanna Richardson, Penguin, 1975.

Eliot, T.S., Selected Poems, Faber and Faber, 1954.

--- Four Quartets, Faber and Faber, 1944.

--- 'Ulysses, Order and Myth', The Dial, November 1923.

--- 'The Possibility of Poetic Drama' in The Sacred Wood, Methuen, 1950.

--- '"Rhetoric" and Poetic Drama' in The Sacred Wood, Methuen, 1950.

--- 'Hamlet and his Problems' in The Sacred Wood, Methuen, 1950.

--- 'Ben Jonson' in The Sacred Wood, Methuen, 1950.

--- The Use of Poetry and the Use of Criticism, Faber and Faber, 1933.

--- Sweeney Agonistes, in Collected Poems, Faber and Faber, 1974.

--- The Cocktail Party, Faber and Faber, 1950.

--- 'Baudelaire', Selected Essays, Faber and Faber, 1930.

Enright, D.J., T.S. Eliot: 1888-1965, The British Council, 1988.

Gardner, Helen, The Art of T.S. Eliot, Faber and Faber, 1949.

Hinchcliffe, A.P., 'Introduction', in T.S. Eliot: Plays, ed. by Arnold P. Hinchcliffe, Macmillan, 1980.

Jones, David E., The Plays of T.S. Eliot, Routledge and Kegan Paul,1960.

Robson, W.W., Modern English Literature, OUP, 1970.

---, A Prologue to English Literature, Batsford, 1986.

Smith, Carol H., 'An Alliance of Levity and Seriousness', 1963, in T.S. Eliot: Plays, ed. by Arnold P. Hinchcliffe, Macmillan, 1980.

Worth, Katharine J., 'Precursor and Model', 1972, in T.S. Eliot: Plays, ed. by Arnold P. Hinchcliffe, Macmillan, 1980.


* - I've sometimes seen, upon some stage banal,

To music clamorous,

A fairy light up in the skies of Hell

A dawn miraculous;

I've sometimes seen, upon some stage banal,

(' The Irreparable',translated by Richardson, 1975:109)