|Musing upon the king my brother’s wreck|
|And on the king my father’s death before him.|
This line refers to Shakespeare’s The Tempest. The magician, Prospero summons a storm to wreck his brother’s ship. Prospero takes revenge on his brother who abandoned him on an island so that he can be king.
This reference expresses Eliot’s view on the modern world, hopelessness and stranded. People can turn their backs on others, even their family, to satisfy their needs.
|Sweeney to Mrs. Porter in the spring.|
This is yet another criticism of Eliot about how people treat each other. People can do immoral things to each other to satisfy their anger. They do not consider the cause of their actions. These two lines refer to The Parliament of Bees – a story of Diana (a hunting Goddess) and Actaeon. This is another tragic story revolving about revenge. But this time, vengeance is resulted from anger. Actaeon presents himself at the cave’s entrance, where Diana is taking her bath. Diana dashes the water into Actaeon face with a curse, "Now go and tell, if you can, that you have seen Diana unapparelled." Immediately, Actaeon turns into a stag. With the lost of his speech and appearance, his dogs and his friends do not recognize him – they hunt him down. It is not until the dogs torn his body apart that the anger in Diana is satisfied.