T.S.ELIOT is one of the great drametists in English literary worlde. From his literature, we can feel the great aesthetic pleasure. I have studied various plays included in my course. But “murder in cathedral” really different in them. It has its own greatness and the literary heights. Poetic form Eliot felt, is the most apt form of expression in the theatre. In his view, Ibsen, Stirnberg, and Chekhov were the limits of prose. In contrast to them are Yeats and Hofmannsthal who kept alive the ancient and traditionally affinity between drama and poetry.
“Doctor Faustus”, “Pygmalion”, “The Alchmeist”, “the playboy of the western world”, “look back in anger” and other plays which are in my course have different style, diction, story, language and all the literary things. But “murder in cathedral” has the strength that it is the great poetic drama written by Eliot. It is the great play as a poetic drama.
In “the music of poetry” (1942) Eliot acknowledges his bias in favour of the poetry to which he was indebted as a poet, and says that the music of poetry is not independent of the meaning.
The meaning of poetry is sometimes beyond the poet’s intentions. He saw possibilities of theme recurrence and transitions in poetry as in music, and thought the concert hall more likely to quicken poetry them the opera house. He said that without poets of unusual sensibility and command of language, culture will deteriorate “poetry and drama” is notable for the retrospective attention. Eliot gives to his own development as a playwright, he finds that he has been writing variations on the theme of poetic drama throughout his career. For Eliot the highest aim of poetic drama is to bring us to the border of those feelings which are expressible only in music, without leaving the everyday world of dramatic action.
“look back in anger” was considered a revolutionary Play but it has no element of poetic drama. Ben Jonson’s “The Alchemist” has the great touch of great characterization and language but it has not the simplicity and continuous development of the story like “Murder In The Cathedral”. “Doctor Faustus” is a tragic drama but as a poetic drama “Murder In The Cathedral” has its own class in drama. “Pygmalion” is primerarly a play about speech and phonetics, but related to it are Shaw’s social concerns.
Eliot was accurately aware of the fact that his play was to be performed like Greek tragedy. T.S.Eliot’s essays on drama can be devided in to three parts; first, the Elizabathen essaya which discuss the criteria for drama. Second his assessment of the situation in contemporary theatre and ideal of poetic drama. Eliot’s statement about his ideal of poetic drama are rarely useful for the critic and the writers. He was has own thoughts different from others on poetic drama. So, his drama “Murder in Cathedral” has all the poetic element on which Eliot gave statements and thoughts. He creats the different way for poetic drama in English literature.
While advocating the need for a poetic drama in modern times, Eliot stated that “ a new dramatic literature can not come about until audience and producers can help poets write for the theatre.” He thought about the future of poetic drama that time, we can believe that “Murder In Cathedral” is Eliot’s most successful integration of his dramatic theories.
No doubt, there are many great plays in English literature but “Murder in Cathedral” is special for the readers.