That Shakespeherian Rag

Some of you have suggested that the addition of the old Shakespeherian Rag is a condemnation of low culture in the modern era compared to Shakespearian drama. Although I agree with this idea, I think it is more important to look at why he chose to include the Shakespeherian Rag immediately after including a quote from The Tempest. It seems presumptuous of Eliot to suggest that the use of Shakespeare in any modern platform is low culture and it would be diminishing his writing since he repeatedly references Shakespeare himself. Instead, it seems to me that Eliot dislikes the songs obvious misuse of Shakespearian tragedies. The song is overly chipper and does not acknowledge the many deaths and sadness that occur within each play. This is particularly interesting to me considering how similar he makes his poem to a Renaissance drama. The Wasteland possesses the five-act structure of a drama and it plays out the tragedy of WWI throughout the course of the poem.


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