In addition to the influence of Dante, T. S. Eliot's poetry was deeply indebted to that of Racine. This becomes clear when all his references to the French dramatist are collated. They show that Eliot regarded Racine as one of the major voices of European literature. In particular, his praise of Bérénice in The use of poetry and the use of criticism indicates the nature of this debt. Eliot focuses on the element of resignation in the play. It is suggested that Eliot's view of tragedy was deeply affected by his own predilection for resignation. This helps to explain his affinity to Racine, though it does not fully account for the power of Racine's poetry itself. The article concludes with a discussion of the ending of Bérénice.


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pp. 51-70
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