Love Song Of J Alfred Prufrock Analysis

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T.S. Eliot is known to be the most influential writer of the twentieth century due to his wide-ranging contributions to poetry, criticism, prose, and drama (Explanation of: “The Waste Land”). In this case, his work becomes stronger as his allusions contribute to help convey the meaning of each poem.
The Love Song of J. Alfred Prufrock seems to start out as a love poem when he tells someone, “Let us go then, you and I” (Sound and Sense, 284). Farther on though, it starts to stray to Prufrock and his insecurities. His words come off as anxious and self- conscious. He continuously asks “Do I dare?” almost as if he believes he isn’t worthy enough to live or to find love. He repeats this line three times, exaggerating the reflection of the depth
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Later in this poem, he alludes to many different people in different times. The first evident person he talks about is when they go to “make our visit. In the room the women come and go talking of Michelangelo.” Michelangelo is a historical reference to the art world during the Renaissance. This reference adds to the meaning because the women are talking about an artistic and intelligent topic quite at odds with his inner turmoils (Explanation of: Love Song of J. Alfred Prufrock). Next he mentions the eternal Footman who holds his coat and snickers. Then he says how “No!” He is “not Prince Hamlet, nor was meant to be” (Line 121). This alludes to Hamlet's inner monologue of “To be or not to be?” This question plays on words because even though Prufrock does not believe he is like Hamlet, his situation applies to the question. He references to Lazarus when asking if it was worth it “to roll it toward some overwhelming question, to say ‘I am Lazarus, come from the dead, come back to tell you all, I shall tell you all’-If one, settling a pillow by her head, should say ‘That is not what I meant at all; That is not it, at all.’ (93-98)” This adds effect to the poem because Lazarus is the story of a dead man raised to life. Prufrock uses it to compare their lives …show more content…
Sweeney’s fragmented story is hinted at in other poems of Eliot’s. In this poem though, Sweeney is portrayed as having slain a prostitute in the tub because he had grown tired of her pestering. The title is an allusion because another word for nightingales is philomel, which derives from another greek story of Philomela. Philomela saw her brother, Tereus, committing a horrible crime and to keep her from revealing him, he cut out her tongue. However, Philomela and her sister made a tapestry showing his crime. As revenge, he tried killing her, but the gods turned her into a nightingale, making her a symbol of revealing immoral and evil crimes. In the poem, when the women and the nightingales are mentioned, we can infer that Sweeney will be punished for his crime. Sweeney unknowingly “guards the horned gate”, or the gates of hell, in which the Raven, alluding to death, guides Sweeney down a river to pay for his crimes. Orion and the Dog are constellations, “veiled; and hushed the shrunken seas”, which means that the stars are hidden behind dark clouds while the sea is soundless. Rachel nee Rabinovitch is one of the women mentioned, who “tears at the grapes with murderous paws.” The word usage makes her sound vicious and aggressive, and not someone who should be messed with. Her presence in the poem with Sweeney alludes to the plans she has for punishing him. Wisteria, a purple plant representing power, is used when

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