PURITANISM,T.S.ELIOT AND HIS PLAYS

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Puritanism finds its origin in the term ‘puritan’ which means ‘follower of pure religion’. Historically, puritans were those people who were dissatisfied with what they claimed to be an in complete break with the Catholic Church at Rome that the Church of England had made. Defining Puritanism, James C. Spadling says, “ Puritanism, a reform movement in the Church of England during the late 16th and 17th centuries, sought to carry the Reformation beyond the stage it reached at the beginning of the reign of queen Elizabeth I( 1588-1603)”.1 Describing the origin of Puritan, he further says, “ The name Puritan apparently was first used in the 1560s against those who thought it was necessary to ‘purify’ the church of England from remnants Roman Catholic ‘popery’.”2 In view of the above-mentioned definitions of Puritanism, a dominant note emerges that Puritans sincerely felt that the movement of English reformation by itself was insufficient and unsatisfactory. In other words, the Puritans were the Protestants who preferred radical changes regarding the religious reforms. They adhered to the strict discipline and principles as their code of conduct, as held by their devout forefathers. Thus, Puritanism can be considered to be a movement of reform within the main movement, emphasizing the call to restore ‘the pure religion’. Medieval Christianity , which forms the substance of Puritanism, has its basis in the dogma of ‘ Original Sin’. Eve, as a result of the act of her disobedience, was the first sinner and all the human beings who follow, inherit the guilt of that sin. This is how the human life assumes the dimension of tragedy. Commenting on the result of the sinful ingratitude of God’s creatures, Mr Batro... ... middle of paper ... ...op. cit, p.84 4.Harsharan S.Ahluwalia,( Perry Miller quoted), ed. Indian Journal of American Studies, vol.4(June-Dec,1974), p.2 5.Batron Perry, op.cit, pp.84-85 6. T.S.Mathews, Great Tom: Notes Towards the Definition of T.S.Eliot (London: Weidenfeld & Nicolson , 1973), p.13 7. Ibid 8.Ibid, p.87 9. T.S.Eiot, Selected Essays (London: Faber & Faber, 1951), p.437 10. Eliot, Selected Essays , pp.52-53 11. T.S.Eliot, “Poetry and Drama” in On Poetry and Poets (New York: Straus & cudaly,1957, p.86 12. T.S.Eliot, Complete Poems and Plays of T.S.Eliot( Faber &Faber, 1969), p.256 13.Ibid 14. Ibid, p.256 15. Ibid, p.274 16. T.S.Eliot, The Family Reunion , ed. Nevil Coghill (London: Oxford Univ Press,1965), p.137

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