Eliot is vague in his suggestion of Prufrock’s audience, only referring to the listener once using “you and I;”(1) however, by analyzing Eliot’s intertextual inclusion of the passage from Dante’s Inferno and Prufock’s character one can speculate that the listener is Prufrock himself, and one step further, that it is an internal and mental debate. The passage from Dante’s Inferno acts as a chilling introduction to Prufrock’s mind:
"If I thought I were answering someone
who could ever return to the world,
this flame would be still;
but since no one has returned alive from this depth,
if what I hear is true, I respond without fear of ill repute."
This quote suggests that Prufrock is telling his traveling companion the most intimate details of his existence; that what is said in the poem is said in all verity. However, there is no suggestion anywhere in the poem that Prufrock’s character would be comfortable engaging with anyone, let alone tell them of his greatest shortcomings and fear. It seems very unlikely that the ‘I’ referred to in the poem is another person, and equally as unlikely that Prufrock has said the words aloud at all. Concerned that his smallest actions and mu...
... middle of paper ...
...], and [he] drown[s].”(131)
By classifying “The Love Song of J. Alfred Prufrock” as a symbolic exploration of the id, ego, and super ego of Prufrock, a deep and complex character is revealed. With constant tension the id seems to drive Prufrock forward towards engaging in conversation with a woman, while the ego attempts to satiate these desires and remain in a limbo without making decisions about anything important. The super-ego moderates this hostility and ensures that Prufrock remains in his indecision. T.S. Eliot’s pessimistic poem serves as encouragement to take advantage of opportunity and find the question.
Eliot, T.S. "The Love Song of J. Alfred Prufrock." The Harbrace Anthology of Literature. 4th ed. Eds. Stott, Jon C., Raymond E. Jones, Rick Bowers, and William Connor. Toronto: Thomson Nelson, 2006. 225-230. Print.
Need Writing Help?
Get feedback on grammar, clarity, concision and logic instantly.Check your paper »
- T.S. Eliot's The Love Song of J.Alfred Prufrock Works Cited Not Included The Love Song of J. Alfred Prufrock, a poem by T.S. Eliot, provides an abundant source of material for applying Freudian analysis. Specifically, it is the character Prufrock who supplies this rich source. Although many Freudian themes could have been addressed in relation to Prufrock, in this paper it will be narrowed to the prevalent themes of ambivalence and cultural frustration found in Freudπs work and the contributing role the super-ego plays in their occurrence.... [tags: Eliot Love Song Prufrock Essays Papers]
2532 words (7.2 pages)
- TS Eliot's Prufrock The ironic character of "The Love Song of J. Alfred Prufrock," an early poem by T.S. Eliot (1888-1965) in the form of a dramatic monologue, is introduced in its title. Eliot is talking, through his speaker, about the absence of love, and the poem, so far from being a "song," is a meditation on the failure of romance. The opening image of evening (traditionally the time of love making) is disquieting, rather than consoling or seductive, and the evening "becomes a patient" (Spender 160): "When the evening is spread out against the sky / Like a patient etherized upon a table" (2-3).... [tags: essays research papers fc]
1422 words (4.1 pages)
- The Love Song of J. Alfred Prufrock by T.S. Eliot The poetry of the modernist movement is characterized by an emphasis on the alienation of the individual from the broader community in which he or she exists. In the works of T. S. Eliot, this alienation is expressed as a symptom of spiritual and moral decay within communities, societies, and entire civilizations. Eliot’s modernism, which was strongly influenced by his conversion to Anglo-Catholicism, is a harsh critique of the pervasive self-obsession of the modern secular world.... [tags: Love Song Prufrock T. S. Eliot Essays]
1537 words (4.4 pages)
- Explication of T.S. Eliot's "The Love Song of J. Alfred Prufrock" In T.S. Eliot's "The Love Song of J. Alfred Prufrock," the author is establishing the trouble the narrator is having dealing with middle age. Prufrock(the narrator) believes that age is a burden and is deeply troubled by it.. His love of some women cannot be because he feels the prime of his life is over. His preoccupation with the passing of time characterizes the fear of aging he has. The poem deals with the aging and fears associated with it of the narrator.... [tags: TS Eliot Alfred Prufrock Song Essays]
934 words (2.7 pages)
- The Use of Symbolism in T.S. Eliot's, The Love Song of J. Alfred Prufrock A well-written poem is built out of levels. Each level alludes to the next until the ultimate discovery of the poet's message. "The Love Song of J. Alfred Prufrock," by T. S. Eliot, provides a perfect example of a well-crafted poem comprised of sequential levels, also known as a framed story. At the level just below the very surface, the poem obscurely tells the story of a failed lobster prophet, resurrected from the dead to warn other lobsters of the cruel fate that awaits them in the event of their capture.... [tags: Love Song J. Alfred Prufrock]
1466 words (4.2 pages)
- Frustration and Disillusionment in T.S. Eliot's 'The Love Song of J. Alfred Prufrock' T.S. Eliot, a notable twentieth century poet, wrote often about the modern man and his incapacity to make decisive movements. In his work entitled, 'The Love Song of J. Alfred Prufrock'; he continues this theme allowing the reader to view the world as he sees it, a world of isolation and fear strangling the will of the modern man. The poem opens with a quoted passage from Dante's Inferno, an allusion to Dante's character who speaks from Hell only because he believes that the listener can not return to earth and thereby is impotent to act on the knowledge of his conversation.... [tags: The Love Song of J. Alfred Prufrock]
740 words (2.1 pages)
- Eliot's Inferiority Exposed in Love Song of J. Alfred Prufrock and Sweeney Among the Nightingales "The Love Song of J. Alfred Prufrock" tells the story of a single character, a timid, middle-aged man. Prufrock is talking or thinking to himself. The epigraph, a dramatic speech taken from Dante's "Inferno," provides a key to Prufrock's nature. Like Dante's character Prufrock is in "hell," in this case a hell of his own feelings. He is both the "you and I" of line one, pacing the city's grimy streets on his lonely walk.... [tags: Love Song J. Alfred Prufrock]
1167 words (3.3 pages)
- Human Insecurity in T.S Eliot's The Love Song of J. Alfred Prufrock T.S Eliot's The Love Song of J. Alfred Prufrock is an examination of human insecurity and folly, embodied in the title's J. Alfred Prufrock. Eliot's story of a man's "overwhelming question", his inability to ask it, and consequently, his mental rejection plays off the poem's many ambiguities, both structural and literal. Eliot uses these uncertainties to develop both the plot of the poem and the character of J. Alfred Prufrock.... [tags: Love Song J. Alfred Prufrock]
1130 words (3.2 pages)
- Emotion in T.S. Eliot's The Love Song of J. Alfred Prufrock In his poem “The Love Song of J. Alfred Prufrock,” T.S. Eliot subtly conveys a wide variety of Prufrock’s emotions; he creates pathos for the speaker by employing the “objective correlative,” which Eliot defines as “a set of objects, a situation, a chain of events [that] shall be the formula of that particular emotion” (“Hamlet and His Problems”). The first stanza introduces Prufrock’s isolation, as epitomized metaphorically by “half-deserted streets” (4): while empty streets imply solitude, Eliot’s diction emphasize Prufrock having been abandoned by the other “half” needed for a relationship or an “argument” (8).... [tags: Love Song J. Alfred Prufrock Essays]
1454 words (4.2 pages)
- Analysis of T.S. Eliot's The Love Song of J. Alfred Prufrock 'The Love Song of J. Alfred Prufrock' demonstrates the effects of social and economic pressure in the life of a Victorian man. T.S. Eliot shows us, in an ironic monologue, how the reality of age and social position paralyzes his character with fear. The poem opens with six lines from Dante?s ?Infernio?. This particular stanza explains that the speaker is in hell and the message can only be told to someone else in hell. The speaker tells us that it is OK for the listener to hear the message, since in order to hear you must already be in hell and no one ever returns from there.... [tags: Love Song J. Alfred Prufrock Essays]
1428 words (4.1 pages)