THE JOURNEY OF MAGI
23 September 2018
In the ‘The journey of magi’ by T.S Eliot the author creates a poem full of reality and symbolism which affect the Christian community. The word magi is a foreign word and it gives the poem another meaning apart from that of the wise men in the bible. The theme of the poem is conversion from old traditions to Christianity which brought modernity.
B. Time PeriodCharacters
A. Main Characters
B. Traits of Characters
A. Messages seen in both stories
Tone of the Stories
The poem happened to be the best poem in the ninetieth century and many Christians read it. The author wrote the poem when the society had not fully accepted Christianity and most of them were Zoroastrians. Eliot notes the poem immediately after he converted to Christianity and he shows clear understanding of the wise me. The poet writes the poem to address two audiences who is the idol worshipper and the Christians in the Church of England. The word Magi by the poet does not necessarily mean the three men but have another meaning which he wants to bring out in the poem. The whole idea of writing the poem was to help convert other members of the society who had renounced Christianity.
The setting is perfect and symbolic because the poem is written when the people are converting from their old religion to new ones and Christianity is strongly emerging. The poet shows expertise in writing by using Anaphora which is a style which ensure the words and lines ends the same. Anaphora make the poem interesting and rhythmic effect is felt by the readers. The theme of the poem is clear, and the use of wise men makes the work perfect. The poem is all about the ‘magi’ and the problems they went through when converting to Christianity. The author made sure that the wise men come from the society so that the work could be a success which is symbolic. The setting takes place in the house and it happens immediately after the author come from the church.
The poem was written in the late nineteenth century when the people are trying to embrace Christianity. Zoroastrians and other religious groups had dominated in the society and it was difficult to convert the society. Idol worshiping was common and that gives the reason why Eliot chose to use the word Magi in the poem. The Zoroastrians priest were known as ‘magi’ and using the word will track the readers of the poem who were the target audience.
The three wise men are the characters in the poem where the poet seems to take the role of the speaker. The characters try by all means to show the problems that they encountered when they were traveling to see where the baby Jesus was born. The characters were so much determined, and they had to reach the place where the infant Christ was born. Various challenges like silken girls trying to trick them are mentioned in the poem but they were able to overcome. The three wise men have doubts about the journey that is ahead of them and they are not even sure whether they will return to their place so that they could share the goodness.
The speaker happens to be the main character and even after visiting the advent of Christ the poet still shows him as an old man years later. The main character talks about the challenges of the journey and little is mentioned about the baby Jesus. The character shows how the coming of Christ was important to the people and his even talk about living and dying a new death. Use of symbolism is clear as the speaker maintain the theme.
The speaker happens to be a priest and it is clear that he is very keen on what is happening around. He is able to read the signs that the people portray and give their significance. Ability to use symbolism is another trait which is evident.
The plot is about three wise men who leave the city and their religion to go and see the advent of Christ. They come from the foreign land and they are traveling to an unknown place. There is no guide on the journey and they encounter challenges like hostile communities. Fortunately, they arrive, and they are able to see the baby Jesus in the manager. The journey of the magi becomes a turning point and they are anxious to reach home so that they can preach the good news. The characters try to fit in the society, but their efforts are fruitlessly seen the other people see them as aliens. The birth of Christ changes the heart of many and it is a new begging of Christianity
The poet managed to pass the intended message to the people and secularism was changed to Christianity. The Magi showed the other people the good things they experienced during the journey to see Christ. Many readers of the poem were the Zoroastrians and they converted to Christianity only because the characters made them curious about the new Christianity. Eliot conversion to Christianity is a good message to other followers and they seek to know the good things which are found in the England church.
There is irony in the poem because the author is a concert, but he goes on writing ill about their old traditions. During the time that Eliot composed the poem, he comes from the church and he was taking alcohol after church which is ironical. The tone brings the mood where the poet comes from great misery to salvation.
The poem is a clear reflection of the religious crises brought about by religion and modernity. The journey of magi was one of the best poems read in the nineteenth century and twenty respectively. The poem is read today by young Christians who like to get the understanding of Christ advent. The poem does not mention much about Jesus and his work, but it changed many members to the new religion which is Christianity. The character used did not believe in Christ, but they confessed to having experienced wonderful miracles of Jesus and were living a new life.
Ellis, S. (2015). The English Eliot: Design, Language and Landscape in Four Quartets. Routledge.
Gordon, L. (2015). “What Might Have Been and What Has Been”: How TS Eliot Looked at Lives. The Hudson Review, 67(4), 573.
Bellour, L. (2016). The Religious Crisis and the Spiritual Journey in TS Eliot’s the Waste Land.