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Approaches to Teaching Eliot's Poetry and Plays

Editor(s): Jewel Spears Brooker

Pages: xii & 203 pp.
Published: 1988
ISBN: 9780873525145 (paperback)
ISBN: 9780873525138 (hardcover)

"Teachers of high school and college students are always looking for practical guides in teaching literature. Brooker's collection has not only met but also surpassed this challenge of finding discussions and techniques that work to the advantage of both newcomer and long-time teacher of Eliot's poetry and plays."
Yeats Eliot Review

Approaches to Teaching Eliot's Poetry and Plays "is valuable for undergraduates, containing a great variety of general and specialized approaches to the major poems and plays."
Journal of Modern Literature

According to a survey of English teachers, most students are introduced to T. S. Eliot's poetry during the first two years of college. Approaches to Teaching Eliot's Poetry and Plays addresses the challenge of teaching these complex works to advanced high school students and undergraduates and presents a cross-section of views and experiences that both new and experienced instructors will find useful.

Like other books in the MLA's Approaches to Teaching World Literature series, this volume is divided into two parts. Part 1, "Materials," surveys editions, anthologies, bibliographies, music, films, and other instructional aids. Many of the essays in part 2, "Approaches," focus on specific poems or plays, including "The Love Song of J. Alfred Prufrock," "The Hollow Men," Ash-Wednesday, The Waste Land, Four Quartets, Murder in the Cathedral, and The Cocktail Party. Several other essays examine issues in Eliot's larger body of work, including his treatment of women, his debt to the Romantic tradition, and the influence of music on his poetry.

Table of Contents

Approaches to Teaching Eliot's Poetry and Plays

Jewel Spears Brooker

Eliot in the Curriculum

Editions and Anthologies

Recommended Reading for Students

The Instructor's Library

Aids to Teaching



General Approaches

Poetic Creation and the Double in Eliot's Poetry
J. P. Riquelme

Eliot, Modern Poetry, and the Romantic Tradition
David Spurr

Some Notes on Eliot's Gallery of Women
Joseph Bentley

Eliot's Essays: A Bridge to the Poems
James Torrens, SJ

The "Dantescan Voice": A Course in Dante and Eliot
Robert W. Ayers

"You Are the Music": Tuning in to Eliot
Mildred Meyer Boaz

Bradleyan Idealism and Eliot's Cast of Mind
Glenn P. Wright

Poetic Voice(s): Eliot in Literature-Based Composition Courses
Jeanne Gunner

Teaching Eliot in High School
Rex McGuinn

One Poem as an Approach to All

Teaching "The Love Song of J. Alfred Prufrock"
Cleanth Brooks

"Prufrock" as Key to Eliot's Poetry
Grover Smith

Hearing Eliot: "The Hollow Men" as Exemplary Text
Graham Clarke

The Experience and the Meaning: Ash-Wednesday
A. D. Moody

Teaching The Waste Land

When Love Fails: Reading The Waste Land with Undergraduates
Jewel Spears Brooker

The Waste Land as a Descent to the Underworld
Bernard F. Dick

Structural Similarities in The Waste Land and Early Film
Armin Paul Frank

The Waste Land and Contemporary Art
Jacob Korg

The Waste Land as Gothic Fantasy: Theology in Scary Pictures
Douglas Fowler

Tripartite Indo-European Patterns in The Waste Land
William Harmon

Teaching The Waste Land in the Context of the 1920s
Nancy D. Hargrove

Teaching Four Quartets

On Teaching "Burnt Norton"
M. L. Rosenthal

Four Quartets as Capstone Text in a Literature and Mysticism Course
John Gatta

Eliot, Einstein, and the East
Marilyn R. Chandler

Teaching the Plays

Reluctant Saints and Modern Shamans: Teaching Eliot's Christian Comedies
Carol H. Smith

An Unnatural Eloquence: Eliot's Plays in the Course on Modern Drama
Katherine E. Kelly

On Teaching Murder in the Cathedral
Linda Wyman

The Alchemy of Humor in The Cocktail Party
Ann P. Brady

Works Cited

Selected Musical Compositions


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