Close analysis of Rhapsody on a Windy Night by T.S Eliot

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Topics: Poetry
Rhapsody on a Windy Night Analysis

From the opening line Eliot engages the audience by having an auspicious beginning. By using “twelve o’clock”, he has taken an ungrammatical sentence and used it as a bridging between two days. He does this as a way of setting up the novelistic functions within his poetry, a common feature of his writing. He continues with his narrative technique by following the time by the place in which the poem is set. The “lunar synthesis” referred to in the first stanza is used to emphasize the correlation of two things; evolution and Christianity. By having “whispering” as the next word it gives a hint of secrecy as well as giving the possibility that there is a sense paranoia within the link between the two that constitutes the start of the misconceptions and loss of certainty. This is then followed through the poem by the mention of memory; an element that comments not only on the altered state of consciousness, but in a broader sense, “it’s division and precisions” highlights the view of the modern mind, in that it is dissolving into a more poetic state for deeper understanding. The auditory imagination inspired with Eliot’s reiteration of memory is further enhanced by the madman. It brings an oppositional aesthetic quality when Eliot delves into the idea of death and “shaking the dead geranium” as a way of bringing something back to life, while still being able to capture the fluidity of the poetry to keep a rich sonorousness quality to his work.
The personification of the street lamps is used to emphasize the surreal, almost dream-like representation of life. By going on to introduce what is viewed as a prostitute uncertain about her solicitation, Eliot is reprimanding the reader into the dangers of fornication, a direct link to the epigraph from The Jew of Malta mentioned in another of Eliot’s poems; Portrait of a Lady, while simultaneously commenting on the implications these surreal images of life impose. The human qualities

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