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This is an interesting question since "Exequy" seems overtly about some
such ritual.  On the other hand, I do not think there is any "solid ritual and
mythical substructure" in TWL.  That was pretty much stuck on at the end
and largely emerges from Pound's editing.  It hardly even appears in
images except in part V.  But ritual was clearly part of one of the excised
fragments.
Nancy


Date sent:              Thu, 19 Sep 2002 11:36:47 +0100
Send reply to:          "T. S. Eliot Discussion forum." <[log in to unmask]>
From:                   Temur Kobakhidze <[log in to unmask]>
Subject:                Is Sweeney a grotesque Dionysus?
To:                     [log in to unmask]

Dear listers,

I wonder if "Sweeney Among the Nightingales" has any relation to
Dionysus cult and especially, if Agamemnon is in some way or another
related to it, besides the commonly accepted view of the remote ritual
origins of Greek tragedy from the collective worshipping of Dionysus.

Can the animal images of the striped zebra and the spotted giraffe, along
with the "horny gate", Doris's "murderous paws", grapes (hothouse grapes,
as mentioned for the second time), figs, bananas, oranges, etc. stand for
allusions and hints to the manifestations or avatars of Dionysus?

And in case they CAN, do these images lead to the exploration of further
ritual complexities in the poem? Is there a solid ritual and mythical
substructure in the poem (like the one of The WL), which calls for further
interpretations? Is Sweeney a parodied Agamemnon,and Agamemnon a
disguised Dionysus? And to what extent are (if only)all the females of the
poem Menades, and the males - Satyrs? Is the whole poem a
contemporary parody of the ancient rite of worshipping the god of fertility
and wine?

In short, is the latent meaning of this poem similar to that of "Sweeney
Erect"?

Regards,

TK