Staves IV and V

Staves IV and V - Staves IV and V, the most marked by...

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Unformatted text preview: Staves IV and V, the most marked by literary curiosities, modulate to abject figures of a waterless desert. Longing overwhelms the dominant pentameter lines with pulsing dimeter calling for "water / A spring." The dry rot that destroyed a mlange of ruling cities "Jerusalem Athens Alexandria" moves into the modern era to devour "Vienna London." Remorse for the death of Christianity takes the form of a cockcrow, an allusion to Peter, the disciple who denied the Messiah. The allusion is pertinent to Eliot's personal philosophy, for he was the sole Christian holdout among lapsed believers, atheists, and agnostics of his literary circle. The final voice is that of the ill-fated Fisher King, a vegetating authority figure who reigns over a sterile land. He suffers physical wounds that symbolize the impotence and fruitlessness of his kingdom, now reduced to a valley of dry bones. Only a worthy warrior can lift the curse through a kingdom, now reduced to a valley of dry bones....
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This note was uploaded on 11/23/2011 for the course ENG 101 taught by Professor Staff during the Fall '08 term at Texas State.

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