Dr. Rashmi Thakur
Asst. Prof. English
Christian Eminent College, Indore
Humour and satire are, before the nineteenth century, almost interchangeable terms. The literature before the nineteenth century has no conscious humour apart from satire. In the present age, humour is mingled with satire. If a humorist tries to write verse without any aim or moral, it can be pretty to look at, but in reality, valueless. At certain moments, the humorist in Eliot plays the part of a satirist who can purge his readers mind; partly dramatically, partly simply, and sometimes in a sharp and pungent manner of speech which arouses hatred or laughter or indignation. The intermingling of satire and humour can be easily noticed in the early poems of
Eliot. When Eliot’s poems appeared during the war, they were read, as an odd kind of vers de society; only gradually was it discovered that this slender volume was to have the effect. The satire embedded in humour is a satire of the ridiculous. Satirical intentions behind the humour call upon the reader to agree to the existence of a clearly defined standard, identically visible to all thinking men. In the poems of 1915, Eliot tries to put the events and objects of the daily life more closely in touch with the metaphysical facts of life in our modern world. The use of myth as a comic device was one of the favourite methods of Eliot to produce humour. This study is an attempt to see the under streak of humour in the poetry of T. S. Eliot who was generally regarded as a very serious poet.