Nancy Gish wrote:
> On the other hand, I agree in general about "characters," but there are
> some. I think Sweeney is a "character" even outside "Sweeney
> Agonistes." And I think Lil and her interlocutor are "characters."
> Perhaps the point is that at times Eliot's poems are dramatic or have
> dramatic sections, as "A Game of Chess" is.
"Character" does ordinarily evoke the question of "character
development," as in a novel or drama. And there is certainly not much of
that in Eliot's poetry. But it could be used simply to refer to an
reference to an agent (other than the poem's controlling voice), however
undramatized or undeveloped, that enters the poem. E.g.
In the room the women come and go
or the small house agent's clerk, or even the "loitering heirs of City
directors." Eliot's poems are often populated. I don't know what would
be accomplished by looking over characters so identified, but one never
knows. Walk-on parts as it were.