A short note on the epigraph of the poem “Marina” by T.S.Eliot

The epigraph of the poem “Marina” by T.S.Eliot is taken from the play Hercules Furens by the celebrated Roman dramatist, Seneca. The English sense of the epigraph is-“What is this place, What country, What region what quarter of the world ?” These are actually the first words uttered by Hercules on waking up after his dreadful deed of killing unknowingly his own wife and children in a fit of madness. That play presents a situation in which Hercules, the legendary Greek hero, under a spell of madness, brought on him by the jealousy of Juno, the queen of Heaven, kills his own wife and children. After the execution of that horrible deed, he falls asleep and when he awakens in his right mind, he is about to recognize the enormity of his sin. He is shown to question where he is, with what state is he confronted, and what deed he has done.

Eliot’s poem is found full of questions, though they are related to Pericles about Marina. But the fundamental question is of the immensly spiritual significance-“Can that lost innocence, represented by Marina, by the acts of earthly misdeeds, be restored through faith, as the lost daughter to the grieving father.”

Also read; Bring out the elements irony and sarcasm in Eliot’s “The Love Song of J. Alfred Prufrock.”