Goodreads helps you keep track of books you want to read.
Start by marking “The Cocktail Party” as Want to Read:
The Cocktail Party
Enlarge cover
Rate this book
Clear rating
Open Preview

The Cocktail Party

3.71  ·  Rating details ·  1,425 Ratings  ·  124 Reviews
'Eliot has attempted here something very daring and well worth doing. He has taken the ordinary West End drawing room comedy convention - understatement, upper-class accents and all - and used it as a vehicle for utterly serious ideas.' Observer
Paperback, 167 pages
Published 1949 by Faber Faber
More Details... edit details

Friend Reviews

To see what your friends thought of this book, please sign up.

Reader Q&A

To ask other readers questions about The Cocktail Party, please sign up.

Be the first to ask a question about The Cocktail Party

Community Reviews

(showing 1-30)
Rating details
Sort: Default
|
Filter
Mari
Nov 13, 2009 rated it it was amazing
"We die to each other daily.
What we know of other people
Is only our memory of the moments
During which we knew them. And they have changed since then.
To pretend that they and we are the same
Is a useful and convenient social convention
Which must sometimes broken. We must also remember
That at every meeting we are meeting a stranger."


TS Eliot said of The Cocktail Party, "Whatever you find in it depends on what you bring to it." Which, of course, applies to much of his work. How much The Cocktail Pa
...more
Fatema Hassan , bahrain



من هنا اقتبس إليوت فكرة المسرحية
( الخفافيش ترسل أصواتًا عالية أثناء طيرانها حتى تهتدي بها الخفافيش الأخرى )

جئت مسرح ت س إليوت باحثة عن صيته كأديب ناقد في المقام الأول، فطاب لي المقام
;D

وجدت مسرحه يمتاز بتماسّه للواقع و يعجّ ب شخوص تعتبر كنماذج درامية قابلة للتكرار من حولنا بطرق تفكيرهم و ردود افعالهم وتضليلهم الآخرين بمشاعر مستعارة و طافية تخنق حقيقة مشاعرهم الحقيقية التي تخجل عن الإعلان التام عن جنونها و غوغائها، تناوله الدرامي شابهُ الإفصاح المحدود و الإيجاز المغيظ في الفصول الأولى من المسرح
...more
Tony
Feb 04, 2015 rated it really liked it
Shelves: drama
THE COCKTAIL PARTY. (1949). T. S. Eliot. ****.
First off, I have to brag that I bought this book at a used book sale for $2. When I got home and checked it out, I discovered that it was a British first edition. Not bad for a two-dollar investment. Now…This play is an early example of the Theater of the Absurd – almost. It’s full of crackling dialog and witty repartee. Suddenly, however, by the middle of the second act it has a true purpose in life. It’s about a cocktail party (doh) hosted by Edwa
...more
Mostafa
نمایشنامه در سه پرده
طرح داستان درباره خودشناسی و شناخت اطرافیان و همچنین نحوه برخورد در روابط
با تم روانشناسی درباره طبیعت انسان
خوب بود، پرده سوم یه مقدار افت میکنه
ترجمه خوبی داشت


این که شما خودتونو مسخره ببینین، هیچ صدمهای به شما نمیزنه، خودتونو بسپرین به همون دیوونهای که هستین.



..اخیرا به نقطهای رسیدم که دیگه حقارت هم توان تحقیرکردن منو نداره. آدم به جایی میرسه که احساسش متوقف میشه، اونوقته که اندیشهشو بیان میکنه
...more
Sketchbook
Dec 17, 2012 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: currently
"Bosh sprinkled with mystic cologne," tooted a drama critic when this play opened NYC, 1950, and won Best Play (Tony) and ran a year. Broadway then. Broadway now : honking vulgarity aimed at tourists. Thoughtful New Yorkers today prefer creative cuisine and restorative sex.

Remember the TS El craze? It went on and on. Receiving the blessing of Lucempire, TS made the TIME cover, March 5, 1950, shortly after his platitude opened. (Others equally blessed : Stephen King, Erma Brombeck, Neil Simon, M
...more
Jenny (Reading Envy)
Jun 08, 2013 rated it it was amazing
I re-read this play every other year or so, it just never stops having meaning for me. I first went to a performance of it in college, and I went back the night after, and the night after that. I couldn't get enough!

I think the theme that resonates with me the most, and the reasons change, is that of relationships with others. Can you ever be known? Are you always alone?

"I have ceased to believe in my own personality"

"What is the reality of experience between two unreal people?"
Hussam H Aql
Jul 27, 2017 rated it really liked it
Shelves: plays
Everyone's alone - or so it seems to me.
They make noises, and think they are talking to each other..
They make faces, and think they understand each other.
And I'm sure they don't. Is that a delusion?
Jemma Dixon
May 15, 2017 rated it really liked it
'The Cocktail Party' feels like a strange mix between the theatre of the absurd and a comedy of manners. It's a nostalgic work, a confused work, and a work that doesn't necessarily answer its own questions so much as it articulates what it feels like to feel loss, craving, aversion, helplessness, regret, acceptance.

Humour is used as a means to destruct; the instability of the self is reinforced as we are - from moment to moment - always changing. "We die to each other daily. What we know of oth
...more
بسام عبد العزيز
مسرحية نفسية (إن جاز التعبير) .. مناقشة لفكرة العلاقات الإنسانية و بالأخص فكرة الحب..
هل هناك حب فعلا؟ أم هى مجرد رغبة شخصية؟ مجرد أنانية؟ هل تتواجد الحياة بين الأزواج بدون حب؟ هل يمكن الحياة أصلا بدون حب؟ هل يمكن اعتبار الأشخاص الذين لا يمتلكون عاطفة الحب أشخاصا سوية أم مريضة؟

المسرحية تدور احداثها من خلال زوجين يعانيان من أزمة نفسية تؤدي لانفصالهما.. و المحاولة التي يقوم بها طبيب نفسي لإصلاح الشقاق بين الزوجين.. و نكتشف مع تتابع الأحداث الأسباب الحقيقية للخلاف بين الزوجين وهى التي يتضح لنا كونه
...more
Mairéad (is roaming the Undying Lands)
***Read for University***

2.5 stars actually.

At first I thought this play would be like the many others I've read (this excludes Shakespeare because he's in a category of his own in a sense to me) and well, I've must say I don't have very much luck with a play I've read for university most times. However thankfully, while this one did start out rather brain numbing for me, it sort of grew on me. The prose is lyrical and poetic, and in free verse, but I have to say that's pretty much what I liked
...more
Ahmad Sharabiani
Cocktail Party, T.S. Eliot
مهمانی کوکتل: امیر فریدون گرگانی، انتشارات سروش، تهران (۱٣۵۴
Characters: Edward Chamberlayne, Julia (Mrs. Shuttlethwaite), Celia Coplestone, Alexander Maccolgie Gibbs, Peter Quilpe, An Unidentified Guest later identified as Sir Henry Harcourt-Reilly, Lavinia Chamberlayne, A Nurse-Secretary, Caterer's Man

Act I. Scene 1
The drawing room of the Chamberlayne's London flat. Early evening. EDWARD CHAMBERLAYNE, JULIA SHUTTLETHWAITE, CELIA COPLESTONE, PETER QUILPE, ALEXANDER MACC
...more
Marie
Jul 19, 2014 rated it really liked it
I think somehow Exiled and The Jeweller's Shop fit perfectly with this one. The crisis of marriage, infidelity, and a sense of sin that apparently needs to be buried in the age of psychological analysis. Refreshing, brilliant and ever relevant, this has been my first reading of T.S. Eliot's literary production, and I'm not one bit disappointed. To be able to read human nature this well only can be possible for someone like him. Classical in nature and conception, since it mostly respects Aristot ...more
J.Aleksandr Wootton
Jun 28, 2011 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: best-of
Acts I & II are easily the most important work on human relationships (or, if you like, on hell) that I have come across. One of a few books I would universally suggest everybody read, as soon as they are old enough to understand it.

Act III adds nothing of importance, and as such, detracts from the work overall - especially since it comes at the end. If you have the self-discipline to stop reading at the end of Act II, do it. You won't be missing anything, and you leave yourself with a much
...more
Basant
Dec 23, 2015 rated it really liked it

"Work out your salvation with diligence."

Olivier Aarieux
Mar 08, 2017 rated it it was amazing
When I told my director-friend how much I liked it he said, "I should've known you'd like Eliot," but he brings me a sour note as I don't act in his productions nor water his flower bed.

Nonetheless, in laughter I felt opened, by joy and revelry. Then, mr Eliot shot an arrow into my open rib cage before it had the slightest idea to protect itself. Carry on.
Kareem Brakat
Mar 12, 2017 rated it liked it
Shelves: شعر
حوار ممتع على المستوي السيكولوجي
وان عابه بعد التكرار
Susan
I don't know how to rate this. It was depressing, though things were better by the end. I didn't really know what it was about when I started reading it--it was definitely more than I bargained for.

Celia to Edward:
Oh, don't think that you can humiliate me!
Humiliation--it's something I've done to myself.
I am not sure even that you seem real enough
To humiliate me. I suppose that most women
Would feel degraded to find that a man
With whom they thought they had shared something wonderful
Had taken the
...more
Traci
Dec 17, 2011 rated it did not like it
This was one of my attempts at reading more "literary" works, and while I did read it, I have to say that I didn't enjoy it much. I waded my way thru Eliot's "The Wasteland" back in my college days, so I'm not sure why I thought a play by him would be any better. Luckily, it's short.

The whole thing is written in free verse, which I am not a fan of. And as to "what" the play is about, good luck with that, too. It starts off normally enough with a scene set in the drawing room of Edward and Lavini
...more
Dan Geddes
Nov 06, 2013 rated it really liked it
The Cocktail Party is a twentieth century morality play, one that argues that people must accept their burdensome roles as decision makers. Unlike medieval morality plays, which upbraided audiences to choose good deeds and shun evil, The Cocktail Party simply places its characters in the crucible of choice, and diagnoses their indecision as a malaise. Eliot means to demonstrate that it is the burden of the human race to face tough choices, and live with the consequences.

The play centers around t
...more
Amanda
Mar 09, 2013 rated it really liked it
"An awareness of solitude.
But that sounds so flat. I don't mean simply
That there's been a crash; though indeed there has
been.
It isn't simply the the end of an illusion
In the ordinary way, or being ditched.
Of course that's something that's always happening
To all sorts of people, and they get over it
More or less, or at least they carry on.
No, I mean that what has happened has made me aware
That I've always been alone. That one is always alone.
Not simply the ending of one relationship,
Not even si
...more
Jillian
Dec 27, 2012 rated it liked it
Shelves: classics
I read that this was Vivien Leigh's favorite play, so I was intrigued. After reading a bit about her troubled marriage to Olivier, it makes sense that this would resonate with her. I found it more of a tragedy than a comedy overall, but it was very clever. I can't say that I "liked it" but I respected it:)
Tasniem Sami
Mar 28, 2013 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: theatre
Everyone's alone — or so it seems to me.
They make noises, and think they are talking to each other;
They make faces, and think they understand each other.
And I'm sure they don't. Is that a delusion?
Can we only love
Something created in our own imaginations?
Manda
Jul 18, 2016 rated it did not like it
Shelves: classics, fiction
Initially I was interested but as it continued both that and my understanding faded. I tried to read between the lines and felt like there was some great, deep message that was floating along above my head and I simply couldn't decipher it.
Ksenia
Mar 30, 2013 rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: grad-school
The psychiatrist needs to get off his soap box. So do the other characters.
Bryn (Plus Others)
If I were rating this purely on the beauty of the poetry, I would rate it higher, but the horrible colonialism & racism in the 3rd Act mar it for me. It is a very strange play, and seems very Eliot to me, although I do not know that I have the ground to make such a claim. It occurs on two levels; there is the plot which is summarised everywhere, a troubled marriage and a cocktail party and (view spoiler) But a ...more
Melissa Goodnight
Nov 05, 2017 rated it really liked it
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Jane
Sep 16, 2017 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Spare prose packs a philosophical punch! A morality play that begins at a cocktail party gone awry because the hostess has left her husband. As the play unfolds, characters reveal their desires, doubts, and insecurities in as much as they confide as what they conceal. Lots of psychoanalysis, mysterious organizations, and a love parallelogram to keep the audience engaged. Julia and Alex provide some comic relief, but overall, more an existential rumination bordering on tragedy rather than comedy.
Kaylee
May 10, 2017 rated it it was amazing
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Paul LaFontaine
Oct 19, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
English couple having problems in their relationship host a cocktail party where everyone is unhappy. Through the intervention of a psychologist over the course of two years, they come to face the meaning of their lives. The play ends with another cocktail party, with each of the characters at peace with each other, and themselves.

The couple who throw the party are interesting and their journey is complex with a satisfying endpoint. The other characters less so. The play was long and seemed to
...more
Cary Morris
Jul 13, 2017 rated it it was amazing
I really enjoyed this play. The beginning introduces very quirky characters and outlines the dilemma of the situation, that Edward's wife has left him. As the play unfolds, there are still some secrets that the audience has to wait and find out for, which gives more layers to the story. Each character has their own role and purpose for the story, which adds great dimension. Also, I enjoyed the intense dialogue between Edward and his wife, who really break down who they were in the relationship o ...more
« previous 1 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 next »
There are no discussion topics on this book yet. Be the first to start one »
  • Androcles and the Lion
  • The Screens
  • The Doctor and the Devils
  • J.B.
  • Short Eyes: A Play
  • Collected Plays 2 {The Lion and the Jewel; Kongi's Harvest; The Trials of Brother Jero; Jero's Metamorphosis; Madmen and Specialists}
  • Helen
  • Caligula and Three Other Plays
  • The Playboy of the Western World and Other Plays
  • Selected Poems and Two Plays
  • The Emperor's Three Questions
  • Stories
  • Four Great Plays: Ghosts / The Wild Duck / An Enemy of the People / A Doll's House
  • Broken Glass
  • A Tranquil Star: Unpublished Short Stories
  • The Complete Plays: The Hostage / The Quare Fellow / Richard's Cork Leg
  • Chapter Two
  • One Christmas
18540
Thomas Stearns Eliot was a poet, dramatist and literary critic. He received the Nobel Prize in Literature in 1948 "for his outstanding, pioneer contribution to present-day poetry." He wrote the poems The Love Song of J. Alfred Prufrock, The Waste Land, The Hollow Men, Ash Wednesday, and Four Quartets; the plays Murder in the Cathedral and The Cocktail Party; and the essay Tradition and the Individ ...more
More about T.S. Eliot...
“We die to each other daily. What we know of other people is only our memory of the moments during which we knew them. And they have changed since then. To pretend that they and we are the same is a useful and convenient social convention which must sometimes be broken. We must also remember that at every meeting we are meeting a stranger.” 1203 likes
“It will do you no harm to find yourself ridiculous.
Resign yourself to be the fool you are...
...We must always take risks. That is our destiny...”
207 likes
More quotes…