T.S. Eliot, Dante, and the European Tradition: An International Symposium
January 19th - 25th , 2008
  Promoted by:
Romualdo Del Bianco Foundation
Palazzo Coppini Via del Giglio, 10
50123 – Florence (Italy)



T. S. Eliot, Dante and Irony


The intertextual relation between Eliot and Dante has been thoroughly described in a large number of books. Likewise, Eliot himself wrote several essays in which he described his debt to Dante. However, small number of critics have explored the nature of Eliot's borrowings from Dante. One such analysis would show that Eliot used a great deal of Dante's imagery for ironic purposes. It particularly refers to the poems of Eliot's early period (up to ”The Hollow Men”), when irony was one of the most powerful means of creating the meanings. ”The Love Song of J. Alfred Prufrock”, ”Mr. Eliot's Sunday Morning Service”, ”The Waste Land” and ”The Hollow Men” are some of the poems in which this ironic relation can be found. Even in the later period of Eliot's poetic development, after the conversion (in the poems such as „Ash-Wednesday”), there are some passages based on Dante's images which cannot be fully understood without the ironic juxtaposition of meanings. Therefore, in this paper I shall explore the ironic relation between the two poets, with special reference to Eliot's poetry.

Other Images