The journey of the magi

The Christmas theme is the theme of TS Eliot’s poem The Magi Voyage. It begins with one of the three Magi telling us the story long after the event has occurred; the Magi who symbolize the three wise men from the East who come to Bethlehem to witness the birth of Christ, the birth also of a new religion – Christianity. The announcer recounts the fatigue that seized them during their journey through the arduous, gloomy and gloomy and bitingly cold terrain, which they had to cross on camel back to reach their place of Nativity, a place where the search for a new faith has had place. led them to.

In this quest, after setting out on their journey, the tribulations they face when passing through the cold desert and rugged landscapes, their irritable camels with sore legs become almost unmanageable, and in the villages where they have to stop to rest, the hut. .. owners who charge exorbitant fees that make them decide to travel all night in the dark, only occasionally manage to take a nap, all this and more, make pilgrims wonder if their decision to undertake the trip was wrong, an act of “insanity” in the first place? They nostalgically ruminate on the joys of the summer palaces on the slopes of the hills on whose terraces they rejoiced to be served with a glass of sorbet from the hands of beautiful silk-clad maidens. But now, with no turning back, all they can do is carry on.

Approaching the end of their journey, they finally arrive through a valley of wet snow, unlike those that had crossed below freezing, to the outskirts of a city where the hostilities of nature seem to be subsiding; they can smell vegetation, hear the sweet sound of a running stream and a water mill that speaks of human habitation, just as night begins to dawn. There pass “the three trees in a low sky”, probably loaded with symbolic clouds of doubt, and the vision of three trees is a porter of your crosses in Calvery, those of Christ and the two thieves. The old white horse is an evocative image of the victorious Christ mounted on a white horse in his second coming, that is, of his mission to redeem humanity.

Later they arrive at a tavern shaded with grape leaves and find three engaged men, talking in low voices with furtive glances, playing and drinking obscenely. But they can’t understand all of this as a conspiracy that is thatched, so they moved on. These are allusions to the Communion on the tavern sheets, to the betrayal of Christ for thirty pieces of silver, to the contumelies faced by Christ before the Crucifixion, and to the soldiers dicing the robes of Christ at the Crucifixion.

Continuing on their way, the pilgrims arrive at the Nativity site at dusk, in time to witness the birth of Christ, and also the birth of a new faith. But somehow this reaching your destination with all the hardships suffered throughout the journey is not joyous, but only “satisfying.” In the following lines we learn why: why devoid of exuberance and not satiety as it should have been.

The narrator explains that this memory is of an event that happened a long time ago, and now, if necessary, he would do it all over again, “but write down / This write down / This:”, the emphatic tone almost certainly implies to his now prior knowledge of the conspiracy, this “murder” of Jesus, he ‘will sit down’, that is, he will not let it happen, and curiously wonders

“We were led to the end

Birth or death? “

“I have seen the birth and death” of Christ; this, says the Magician in retrospect, and after having witnessed the resurrection of Christ, he has succeeded in believing in the Incarnation, which was believed impossible in his old faith. They cling to the old faith that is still a part of their lives, and that Christ has come to sweep away, but the impact of the experience of ‘witnessing’ has caused their usual pleasures to stem from observing the religion of the ancients, to which even now they would return in memory, like meaningless realms. The narrator feels that his long life has already suffered a preliminary death. Their gods, who they believed in, now appear as alien gods. And now he wishes another “death” for his final release.

Because it is only through the “death” of his ancient religious faith and its myths that he can be born or become the Christian faith, and this is the liberation that he now devoutly desires.

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