The Waste Land: Tiresias As Christ



In T.S. Eliot's The Waste Land there are several allusions. The most profound allusion in the poem is relayed through the character of Tiresias. Tiresias is a blind prophet who shows up in several different literary works. In The Waste Land Tiresias is an allusion to Christ. This allusion is best illustrated in section 3 of The Waste Land "The Fire Sermon".
The first description involving Tiresias occurs in "The Fire Sermon", "I Tiresias though blind, throbbing between two lives, / Old man with wrinkled female breasts I can see (ll 218-219)." The first impression the reader is given of Tiresias is of a blind man who is old and wrinkled, but able to see things. Tiresias sees many ...

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young lover. He sees all of the hurt going on between the characters. Tiresias states that, "And I Tiresias have foresuffered all / Enacted on this same divan or bed (ll.243-244)." Tiresias seems most Christ like at this moment in the poem. According to Steven Helmling in The Grin of Tiresias: humor in the Waste Land, "Tiresias participates in the suffering he sees, like Christ; and he has foresuffered all like Christ (pg.148)." Tiresias sees and feels all that the typist and her lover are going through.
God is a common figure throughout the poem The Waste Land. Tiresias is most God like in his emotions towards the lovers. According to Sukhbir Singh in Eliot's The Waste Land, "The Christian doctrine of suffering and sacrifice for others is rooted in the message that the savior delivered to his disciples before the crucifixion (pg.47)." Tiresias shows his suffering for the typist and her lover when he states that he has, "foresuffered all." Tiresias states that,
"I who have ...

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PAPER DETAILS
Added: 5/7/2006 10:43:52 PM
Category: Poetry & Poets
Type: Free Paper
Words: 544
Pages: 2

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