Perhaps her ideas have been overtaken by recent biographical revelations,
but Barbara Seward in the chapter entitled "Eliot and Tradition" in her
venerable study, The Symbolic Rose, takes a more traditional approach. She
views the rose as significant in Eliot's later work. Therefore it might
follow that it is a more universal symbol related to medieval Catholic
thought that Eliot had embraced as part of his attempt "to make modern a
symbol of an earlier day" rather than to an individual, as tempting as the
Emily Hale relationship, not mentioned and presumably unknown by Seward,
might be. She makes a number of other comments on Eliot's use of flower
symbolism as well as the relationship to Dante and Beatrice alluded to
elsewhere on the list. Her sophisticated argument is incapable of adequate
summary here, but the line "the Rose of memory and forgetfulness aids man to
forget earthly trials and temptations but to remember indications of grace
and the message of Christ" may be adequately suggestive of her views.
----- Original Message -----
From: "Earls, JP" <[log in to unmask]>
To: <[log in to unmask]>
Sent: Wednesday, May 22, 2002 12:28 PM
Subject: RE: Milton, FQ (why OT?)
> Thinking about it at Noon Prayer, I was reminded of a couple of other
> 1) Emily Hale was Eliot's Beatrice. In the Divine Comedy, Beatrice
represents Christ in the Earthly Paradise (restored Garden of Eden).
> 2) Beatrice was also the emissary of the Blessed Virgin at the beginning
of the Inferno. One of Mary's titles is "Mystical Rose," and the structure
of Heaven in the Comedy is a giant rose, presided over by Mary.
> Either of these would be ample warrant for the "royal."
> J. P. Earls, OSB
> St. John's University
> Collegeville, MN 56321
> -----Original Message-----
> From: Rickard A. Parker [mailto:[log in to unmask]]
> Sent: Wednesday, May 22, 2002 12:16 PM
> To: [log in to unmask]
> Subject: Re: Milton, FQ (why OT?)
> J.P. Earls wrote:
> > Why it is "royal" and capitalized I'm not guessing.
> Thanks. That "Royal" connected to Hale was the big obstacle for me.
> Rick Parker