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Analysis and comments on Journey Of The Magi by T.S. Eliot

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Comment 12 of 82, added on January 20th, 2006 at 2:06 AM.

it's hard to understand with my own cultural banckground.

fajar s.roekminto from Indonesia
Comment 11 of 82, added on January 19th, 2006 at 4:32 PM.

i think in this poem we have a disciption of physical journey.kings looking
for a lost religion,and the things they had to go through to witness that
miraculus birth

karima from Morocco
Comment 10 of 82, added on December 20th, 2005 at 4:05 AM.

the poem teaches us how we leave our lifes.it views the christian life from
realisation to rebirth.for in dying we ae born again.

tonia from Nigeria
Comment 9 of 82, added on September 8th, 2005 at 4:08 PM.

Eliot's theme for The Journey of the Maji is the difficulty of accepting
change even with presented proof, convincing evidence. People can be
unwilling to mend old ways and the difficulty to change "old dispensation"
(the definition for dispensation is, in loose terms, arrangement)

Eliot uses allusions to the bible, primarily in stanza three as well as
metaphor and repetition to get his "point" across to the reader.

Beginning in stanza one we are presented with and image of three wise men
off on a journey to find the child Christ. Their journey starts in the
"dead of winter.", the first five lines are a direct quote from asermon by
bishop Andrewes, Eliot's Anglican influence.

As this journey to find the child continues, first the camels suffer
exhaustion, reluctant to continue their voyage. "Galled, sore-footed,

The Maji or "Wise Men" begin to remember the "old days" before their quest,
once high princes the maji enjoyed the luxury of "summer palaces on slopes,
the terraces, and the silken girls bringing sherbet." And they begin to
question why they would continue on this so difficult journey when they
could turn around back to their "old dispensation"... their material
possessions and old spiritualality. "Then the camel men cursing and
grumbling And running away, and wanting their liquor and women..."

The maji explains the hurdles in the journey, including doused lamps
"Night-fires going out" These hurdles are mostly made by man and his
inability to accept other men's differences. They are turned away from
shelter and the villages are "dirty".

We are led to believe that this poem is not solely about the Maji's journey
but about a journey of any person going through spiritual change. These
"dirty" villages can be considered people who are not converted christians.

The maji, instead of allowing themselves to wallow in the dirtiness of the
cities "prefer" to continue on, traveling all night... the whole time their
minds "singing in our ears, saying That this was all folly," they question
the journey and that perhaps this journey to find this child Christ is

The second stanza holds the majority of all the allusions in the poem.
These are for the most part biblical allusions and all relate to Christ and
his crucifiction. A few of the illusions come from Eliot's other works.

The first stanza shows that the "dead winter" is beginning to thaw into a
"temperate valley," the water-mill beating the darkness directly refers to
Eliot's other work where six male workers have their own journey. (research
Eliot's other poetry for more information) Three trees on the low sky is a
direct reference to Jesus's crucifiction, The actual cross, Jesus and the
two criminals on either side of him. The "old white horse" is thought to be
linked to Rev. 19:11-13 but the debate exists that it could be referenced
to Zech 4:6 or revelations 6:2.

for a continued entree, my AP essay or other reference materials contact me
through e-mail

Comment 8 of 82, added on July 7th, 2005 at 8:01 AM.

I think this poem is great because, like ulysees, it gives the reader an
insight into another persons fictional character.It describes the birth of
christ as rather a negative thing.

sesealia from Bulgaria
Comment 7 of 82, added on May 3rd, 2005 at 8:15 AM.

in the poem pagan kings whitness christ's birth and they realized how wrong
they lived their lives.their first death was that.and the second death they
would prefer is literally being dead,since they feel lost

aycan from Turkey
Comment 6 of 82, added on January 20th, 2005 at 9:52 PM.

I think this poem does have religious tones to it, but that's obvious.
Eliot was more about things under the surface. I think this poem speaks
more about the journey of life to death, and the various stages in between.

Kayleigh from United States
Comment 5 of 82, added on December 21st, 2004 at 4:10 PM.

I think the Magi see but don't understand foreshadowing of Christ's death
on their journey to the birth. At the end, " I should be glad of another
death" now means he believes in the enternal life.

Kathy from United States
Comment 4 of 82, added on October 16th, 2004 at 11:25 PM.

I think that the Magi saw a vision of Christ's death, while being
spiritually reborn. He returned to a place where he witnessed people
worshiping false gods, and was so saddened by what he saw, that he would
rather die physically then be sujected to such idolitry. I believe the
first death was his own spirtual death.

Shelly from United States
Comment 3 of 82, added on October 16th, 2004 at 10:58 PM.

The horse image is refering to the white horse of the conquering Christ in
(Revelation 19:11-16)

Shelly from United States

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Information about Journey Of The Magi

Poet: T.S. Eliot
Poem: Journey Of The Magi
Volume: The Faber Book of Modern Verse
Added: Feb 21 2003
Viewed: 4666 times

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