Prufrock

do_i_dare_prufrock_poster-r9542587cda154a8b98646690e71e4522_z0p_400You can hear Eliot himself reading ‘The Love Song of J. Alfred Prufrock’ here. Or, if you prefer, you can listen to Anthony Hopkins reading it instead. You can also find an excellent selection of criticism on ‘Prufrock’ on the Modern American Poetry website.

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6 Responses to Prufrock

  1. ‘The Love Song of J. Alfred Prufrock’
    In this poem, the use of allusions mostly creates an ironic contrast between a glorious past and sordid present. I would like to talk about the allusion to the prince Hamlet. To declare his inferiority or sense of triviality in comparison to a heroic figure Hamlet, Prufrock says, “No! I am not Prince Hamlet, nor was meant to be” (111), which could be interpreted in many ways. First of all, this is ironic if Prufrock accuses himself of inactivity since Hamlet is well known for his inability to act. Prufrock repeatedly asks the question “Do I dare” and “Do I dare to eat a peach”, which shows his paralysis in making decisions, in communication and sexuality, as “peach” symbolizes female genitalia, and he cannot even talk to a woman. Prufrock claims his incompetence in narrating his inner world to his listener while Hamlet is the master of speech. The allusion to Prince Hamlet shows an ironic contrast between a glorious past and sordid present. However, this allusion also refers to a failure in both past and present when Prufrock compares himself to Polonius “an attendant lord”, a failed guide. By this comparison, Prufrock may imply his failure in guiding the readers to his inner hell or misguiding himself to a sordid, lonely end.

  2. It is a highly modernist poem and considering the allusions to Dante, Michaelangelo and Hamlet, it is very similar to the “Waste Land”. The fragmentation, which is a quality of modernist poetry, can be seen both in the form of the poem with the breaks in the poem and in the fragmented description of the woman body. The gloomy failure of artistic production is reduced to the sexual failure of a man. Just like the anbiguity of the future of Europe in “The Waste Land”, Prufrock is discouaged from taking any action in order not to fail as a lover. He doubts his own capacity, “Do I dare to eat a peach?”. He is darkly doubtfull and gloomy. As a result, the poem carries all the characteristics of “The Waste Land” and that can be considered as the style of T.S. Eliot as it is his most famous poem.

  3. muzmul says:

    I preferred to listen to the poem from Anthony Hopkins’ voice, firstly because I am a fan of his and secondly I always find his voice very mysterious and attractive. I think his voice is very suitable for this poem because the poem examines a modern man’s tortured psyche who is over-educated, moving, neurotic and emotionally moved. It is a highly modernist poem and somehow hard to follow because he uses the stream of consciousness technique. He also uses many allusions such as readings from Dante whom Eliot was heavily influenced. He also makes several references to the Bible and some literary works such as Shakespeare’s plays Henry IV Part II, Twelfth Night, and Hamlet and also to some poets like John Donne, and the nineteenth-century French Symbolists. It was hard to read and follow the poem but I really enjoyed it in the end because it carries a lot of thoughts of feelings in it I would appreciate personally.

  4. b20801711y says:

    This poem is a great example of modernist poetry. Its allusions to some important literary works such as Hamlet, is makes this poem very similar to the “Waste Land”. Both poems contain fragmentation in their artistic styles and this is a feature of modernist poetry.The breaks in the poem and also fragmented portrayal of the female body makes the poem very innovative in terms of its style and context.

  5. b20801711y says:

    This poem is a great example of modernist poetry. Its allusions to some important literary works such as Hamlet, makes this poem very similar to the “Waste Land”. Both poems contain fragmentation in their artistic styles and this is a feature of modernist poetry .The breaks in the poem and also fragmented portrayal of the female body makes the poem very innovative in terms of its style and context.

  6. artun352 says:

    I think ‘The Love Song of J. Alfred Prufrock’ is a good example to show the perceived damaged, fragile psychology of western civilization as a result of continuous wars and conflicts of 20th century. Prufrock is a character who is locked up in his own hell by denying any interaction or even basic communication with the rest of the society. We can say that in the poem, the function of the allusions to Dante and Lazarus is to mirror Prufrock’s psychology by presenting doubles to him. Dante who is mentioned in the epigraph visits the hell and come across with Guido who confides Dante all his blasphemy believing that his secrets are safe with Dante since no one can return to earth from hell. We can interpret the epigraph through characterizing Prufrock as Guido. Prufrock condemns himself in his own hell of inaction and lack of communication and he can never return to the world, which is the world of interaction with society since he is afraid of being exposed to their judgments
    “The eyes that fix you in a formulated phrase. In the same way Lazarus is another messenger from hell. Although Lazarus gets Jesus’s help and is saved from hell to interact with people and unite them in their fear of what is expecting in the afterlife. He fails to have a unifying effect or even engage in any interaction based on mutual understanding. “That is not what I meant at all / That is not it, at all.”’. Here we can see that Prufrock, Lazarus and Dante are all locked up in their own hell and trapped in a world of inaction They are rendered unable to get out and make interaction possible.

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