> Peter Montgomery wrote:
> The issue
> would seem to be the reductiveness of the popular mind,
> whereby human experience is reuced to facts and
> coalesced into information thereby alienating that
> experience from personal meaning, but I'm very open
> to other ways of reading this nascent idea:
> "You think me reckless, desperate and mad.
> You argue by results, as this world does,
> To settle if an act be good or bad,
> You defer to the fact. For every life and every act
> Consequence of good and evil can be shown.
> And as in time results of many deeds are blended
> So good and evil in the end become confounded."
> (MITC II)
The problem is that Eliot never learned to write very good dramatic
verse. If the verse is good enough, it can reveal force (and interest),
even profundity, to the banal. Here the banal remains banal. Just what
is the content, here, of "this world" -- after all, equally profound and
interesting writers (philosophers, poets, political theorists) have
argued on both sides of the issue (motive vs results) raised here, and
what in the play justifies reducing one 'side' to merely the opinion of
"this world"? I don't deny the dramatist his moral and/or political
premises, but if all he can do with them is sneer at "this world" (or,
in your terms, the "popular mind"), that is much of a basis for giving
much resonance to generalized remarks on good and evil.