Summary Of The Love Song Of J. Alfred Prufrock

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T.S. Eliot’s “The Love Song of J. Alfred Prufrock” is a dramatic monologue. In the same vein as Robert Browning’s “My Last Duchess”, this poem is represents modernity – it can be considered a modern metaphysical poem – and a long for the past. This is especially suggested through the use of allusions in the poem. The title is ironic, as the poem is not, nor is it similar to, a love song. J. Alfred Prufrock is additionally ironic in that it is an anti-heroic name that can be considered an amalgamation of the words ‘prude’ and ‘frock’ – frock being a pastor’s wear. The narrator, presumably the eponymous J. Alfred Prufrock, is a complex man who, through this ‘love song’, discusses the things he sees as he attends what is seemingly a party. This essay analyses two poetic techniques that show Prufrock to be intelligent, frightened, and lacking self-esteem. These traits are shown through the use of metaphor and metonyms, and allusions. In some lines of this poem, metaphors become metonyms. The first of these, “(t)he yellow fog that rubs its back upon the window-panes” (15), shows a cat a...
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