Mythopoeic Image of the City in T. S. Eliot’s The Waste LandKetevan Jmukhadze
This paper is devoted to a discussion of landscape as a symbolic and suggestive artistic space in The Waste Land. The setting of the poem was urban. With all their symbolic and allusive complexity, the centers of the poem - a pub, churches, gardens, rooms, and desert - could be seen as separate subjects of discussion. The paper briefly discusses the influence of the urban environment on Eliot’s poetry and argues that the poet makes use of material from urban daily life to construct a mythopoeic image of the city. Eliot’s “mythical method” was characterized by composing a multilayered and faceted, cubistic structure ordered and given a shape through the mythical schemes. The multidimensional mythical situation in the poem was created by a multi-voiced narrator, while the city was the relevant environment, an “objective correlative,” where many different voices could be heard simultaneously. The paper discusses prophets as central figures of the poem. Tiresias, who witnessed the creation and destruction - the entire life circle of Thebes, actualized the topic of the cyclical time in the poem, while the Sibyl of Cumae, who could move from this world to Hades in Aeneid, enacted the main mythopoeic quality in the poem: to transmit the reader through London to every city of the world.