The Love Song of J Alfred Prufrock Essay

691 WordsJan 6, 20143 Pages
“The Love Song of J. Alfred Prufrock” “The Love Song of J. Alfred Prufrock” ,written by T S Eliot ,is a modernistic poem in the form of a dramatic monologue. The term “modernism” refers to a movement that began in the late 1800’s, merging with WWI, and continued to be influential after WWII. Modernist poets such as Eliot were concerned with breaking rules and traditions and finding a contemporary way of expression through variations of form and style. Such poets attempted to describe the world they saw before them in poetry, rather than create a fictional world for their readers. “The Love Song of J. Alfred Prufrock” is the first masterpiece of modernism; it is typically a modernistic poem in form, content and in representing the modern man. This poem contains several Formal Characteristics of modernism. Firstly, the poet uses Open form and free verse . He doesn't follow a certain rhythm or rhyme scheme. The stanzas aren't organized in a certain way either. Secondly, there is the Discontinuous narrative; The narrative can go from discussing Prufrock’s bald spot and clothes to time and the universe. Thirdly, Eliot is constantly making references to historical or fictional characters, places or things. For example, "There will be time " (line 23) is an allusion from “To His Coy Mistress” by Andrew Marvell. In Marvell’s poem, the speaker encourages the mistress to seize the moment, and take advantage of youth. Prufrock on the other hand, can’t even approach a woman and keeps deluding himself that “there will be time”. “to have squeezed the universe into a ball” (line 92) is a variation of a line written by Andrew Marvell as well. Eliot also refers to Shakespeare's Hamlet in " I am not Prince Hamlet " (line 112); Prufrock-the speaker- is indecisive like Hamlet. He also refers to the Bible as when Prufrock said “I am Lazarus, come from the dead.” Eliot is
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