Epigraph In The Love Song Of J. Alfred Prufrock

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The poem The Love Song of J. Alfred Prufrock by T.S Elliot is introduced with an epigraph, which is a short excerpt from Dante’s Inferno. Dante’s Inferno is a long poem, which depicts the journey of a man named Dante who is guided through the nine levels of hell. The excerpt from the poem roughly means that the speaker has no fear and will speak freely because nobody who has crossed this far into Hell has ever made it back to earth to spread his story. Elliot has been known to greatly admire The Divine Comedies and reference them to enhance and set the mood that he plans for his own poetry. The purpose of this epigraph is that it states the tones of cynicism and hopelessness in regards to Dante going through Hell and the speaker hinting that …show more content…
By starting with a Romantic sounding intro only for the tone to be ruined by ordinary, non-beautiful settings seems like a sarcastic response to Romantic poetry, which was extremely popular at the time. A little later, Eliot uses zoomorphism to also enhance a sarcastic vibe towards Romantic poets. He describes the traits of an agile and mischievous cat that could be considered graceful, yet the inanimate object is an unctuous yellow fog. The zoomorphism of the fog only makes it more tangible and apparent in every crevice of …show more content…
He talks of his dreams and how ones dream and fantasies can be whatever one makes it to be. Prufrock starts to fantasize about walking along the beach and running into some Sirens, however even these heartless creatures – who just sing to seduce men and kill them – will not sing to him. Eliot does not cliché his poem by adding a glimmer of hope or euphony in the conclusion for the readers to find happiness upon. Rather he continues with the spiral of depression and ends on the darkest note of the inability to find happiness in a fantasy to mimic

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