A Summary and Analysis of T. S. Eliot’s ‘The Burial of the Dead’

By Dr Oliver Tearle (Loughborough University)

‘The Burial of the Dead’ is the first of five sections that make up The Waste Land (1922), T. S. Eliot’s landmark modernist poem. What follows is a short analysis of this opening section, with the most curious and interesting aspects of Eliot’s poem highlighted. You can read ‘The Burial of the Dead’ here. What we intend to do is provide a brief summary of what happens in ‘The Burial of the Dead’, but we’ll stop and analyse those features which are especially significant as we go, and point out the meaning of the most important allusions.

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