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Home :: Archive :: 1998 :: March ::
Re: Wasteland's Game of Chess
The Shakespeare Conference: SHK 9.0177  Sunday, 1 March 1998.

[1]     From:   David M Richman <
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        Date:   Friday, 27 Feb 1998 12:38:02 -0500 (EST)
        Subj:   Re: SHK 9.0172  Re: Wasteland's Game of Chess

[2]     From:   Robert Lloyd Neblett <
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        Date:   Friday, 27 Feb 1998 12:40:15 -0600 (CST)
        Subj:   Re: SHK 9.0172  Re: Wasteland's Game of Chess


[1]-----------------------------------------------------------------
From:           David M Richman <
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Date:           Friday, 27 Feb 1998 12:38:02 -0500 (EST)
Subject: 9.0172  Re: Wasteland's Game of Chess
Comment:        Re: SHK 9.0172  Re: Wasteland's Game of Chess

I think the game of chess in *The Waste Land* also takes in the game of
chess between two characters-one is Livia and I'm blanking on the
other-in Middleton's *Women Beware Women*.  This particular game becomes
a metaphor for sexual intrigue and competition, and is thus apposite to
the section in the poem.  I think Eliot points to *Women Beware Women*
in his notes, though the other Middleton chess game play, as well as
*The Tempest* are doubtless involved.  David Richman

[2]-------------------------------------------------------------
From:           Robert Lloyd Neblett <
 This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it
 >
Date:           Friday, 27 Feb 1998 12:40:15 -0600 (CST)
Subject: 9.0172  Re: Wasteland's Game of Chess
Comment:        Re: SHK 9.0172  Re: Wasteland's Game of Chess

Regarding the "Game of Chess" in THE WASTE LAND, Eliot's poem collapses
in on itself in so many different ways that a single reference is often
fragmented into many MANY different meanings.  Thus Ferdinand is
Archduke Ferdinand (of assassination fame), Ferdinand in Marie Larisch's
autobiographical novel, and Shakespeare's young prince in THE TEMPEST,
individually AND simultaneously.

I think the chess reference is not unintentional, although the direct
reference to Middleton's play is the primary source.  Yet, it would not
be unlike Eliot to play with a cross-reference to THE TEMPEST's game as
well.
 

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