Poem: The Journey Of The Magi By T.S Eliot Full Analysis

Poem: The Journey Of The Magi By T.S Eliot Full Analysis; This poem is necessary for students who are sitting for the following examinations and should be studied so as to stand a chance of passing the exams. JAMB, WAEC, NECO, GCE.

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The journey of the magi by T.S. Eliot.

A cold coming we had of it,

Just the worst time of the year

For a journey, and such a long journey:

The ways deep and the weather sharp,

The very dead of winter.”

And the camels galled, sore-footed, refractory,

Lying down in the melting snow.

There were times we regretted

The summer palaces on slopes, the terraces,

And the silken girls bringing sherbet.

Then the camel men cursing and grumbling

And running away, and wanting their liquor and women,

And the night-fires going out, and the lack of shelters,

And the cities hostile and the towns unfriendly

And the villages dirty and charging high prices:

A hard time we had of it.

At the end we preferred to travel all night,

Sleeping in snatches,

With the voices singing in our ears, saying

That this was all folly.

Then at dawn we came down to a temperate valley,

Wet, below the snow line, smelling of vegetation;

With a running stream and a water-mill beating the darkness,

And three trees on the low sky,

And an old white horse galloped away in the meadow.

Then we came to a tavern with vine-leaves over the lintel,

Six hands at an open door dicing for pieces of silver,

And feet kicking the empty wine-skins.

But there was no information, and so we continued

And arrived at evening, not a moment too soon

Finding the place; it was (you may say) satisfactory.

All this was a long time ago, I remember,

And I would do it again, but set down

This set down

This: were we led all that way for

Birth or Death? There was a Birth, certainly,

We had evidence and no doubt. I had seen birth and death,

But had thought they were different; this Birth was

Hard and bitter agony for us, like Death, our death.

We returned to our places, these Kingdoms,

But no longer at ease here, in the old dispensation,

With an alien people clutching their gods.

I should be glad of another death.


The Spiritual Rebirth and Renewal Theme:

The poem examines the process of the internal battles and physical trials one must endure to experience a spiritual rebirth.

Without going through this difficult process, the persona’s faith cannot be renewed or strengthened. However, the outcome justifies the means, just like with anything worthwhile.

The Influence of Historical Events on Society as a Theme:

The Magi’s Journey transcends the level of the individual. It explores the spiritual journey of the individual in quest of a renewal of faith in addition to addressing the significant impacts of historical events on entire societies and cultures.

One such consequence is the alteration of a people’s identity whenever a significant event takes place.

Thus, the birth of the Christ child did not just affect these three wise men’s lives. Additionally, it had a permanent impact on the cultures and faiths of several countries around the world.

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Only when the previous order is replaced by the new one can there be a change. And it is rare that this shift occurs without difficulty and suffering. This holds true for all aspects of a man’s life.

The narrator considers the spiritual metamorphosis he and the other participants have gone through to be worthwhile.



The literary device known as contrast serves as the foundation for the Journey of the Magi’s framework.

For instance, the sufferings and tortures the Magi first experienced in the first stanza were very different from the deep sense of fulfilment they had at the conclusion of the last verse. Poem: The Journey Of The Magi By T.S Eliot Full Analysis


The poet utilizes the biblical account of the three wise men’s visit to Bethlehem at the birth of Christ Jesus to examine his own spiritual journey toward acceptance and renewal of faith.


The phrase “and the” appears numerous times in the first stanza of Journey and the Magi as an illustration of repetition. It has the effect of highlighting the idea that suffering is a necessary component of the path to faith.


There are many references to the life of Christ Jesus, especially in the poem’s second stanza.

Running stream – living water

Vine leaves – Christ as the vine

Dicing for pieces of silver – betrayal and Crucifixion of Jesus

Empty wine-skin – the parable of the wineskin

Kingdoms – earthly pleasures and attractions in the Temptation story

Liquor, women, cities hostile, towns unfriendly – these clearly allude to the story found in John Bunyan’s book, The Pilgrim’s Progress.


Cold coming

Camel men cursing

Sleeping in snatches

Door dicing


The poem’s title alludes to a “journey.” In a metaphorical sense, this word refers to the act of moving from one location to another as well as the protracted and frequently challenging process of personal growth.

The poem “Journey of the Magi” opens with a passage from a Christmas sermon that introduces the poem’s first chorus: the Persian kings who travelled across the desert in the dead of winter to celebrate the birth of the infant Jesus. The magi discuss how the voyage was challenging for them physically, emotionally, and spiritually in the quotation, using the pronoun “we” in the plural. This passage introduces a broader explanation of the challenges encountered on the journey.

The dark night of the soul has passed, and it is now the dawn of a new day, both literally and metaphorically, as the second verse opens with a new dramatic beat. The Magi make their way down into the lush Judean Valley. The biblical references in this stanza are numerous. The manger where Jesus was born is located by the Magi.

In the third stanza, the voice is changed to that of a lone Magus who is reflecting on the journey. (In hindsight, this may indicate that the entire poem was written in the first person, although it wasn’t obvious until this.) After reflecting on the experience, he declares that he “would do it again,” but he is then perplexed by the paradox that Jesus’ birth was also his death. This death alludes to the passing of both Christ and the previous religious system, which also included the Magus’s magical abilities. He wishes for another death in the poem’s conclusion, expressing both suicidal desperation and hope for Christ’s suffering and resurrection, which would usher in a new era of Christianity. Poem: The Journey Of The Magi By T.S Eliot Full Analysis


1. summarize the poem “Journey of the Magi” by T. S. Eliot.

2. What are the biblical elements of the “Journey of the Magi”? 

3. What are the literary devices found in “Journey of the Magi” by T. S. Eliot?

4. Explain the title of the poem “Journey of the Magi” by T. S. Eliot.

5. Write a critical appreciation of the poem Journey of the Magi by T. S. Eliot.

6. What are the difficulties that the Magi encountered during their journey?

7. What are the themes in “Journey of the Magi”?

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Poem: The Journey Of The Magi By T.S Eliot Full Analysis