The Love Song of J. Alfred Prufrock: A Dramatic Monologue

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The title of the poem is for ironical purpose. The type of the poem is dramatic monologue.

The poem starts with an Italian quotation. This quotation is about hell. Dante is asking Guido; what types of sins you have committed. The poet refers to this exact quotation because they are living 'the poet and Dante' is living in similar Hell; one is physical hell and the second is Metaphysical hell. This poem is like a confession of his sins.

The poem is a reference to allusion. In stanza 4 we see how it is an allusion to 'his coy mistress' by Andrew Marvel. The poem is about Alfred Prufrock who is physically weak 'thin leg and arms'. He is in the middle aged man with a bald spot in the middle of his hair. He dresses according to the latest fashion. He lacks a sense of self-confident as he always cares of what people will say about him. He is a womanizer. He is not attractive to women. He is careless, irresponsible and doesn't know the value of time. He is timid and coward who keeps repeating 'Do I dare'. He cannot take decisions. He is not a man of action. His words are louder than his actions. He is a man of word. He is a hypocrite living among hypocrites. The setting of the poem is modern city life; 'half deserted streets', 'one night cheap hotel', 'saw dust restaurant', 'Museums, large big hall'. It is interesting to see Prufrock from 'The Love Song of J. Alfred Prufrock' by T.S. Eliot compare himself to Hamlet. Of course, Prufrock immediately rejects the idea, claims he is nowhere as important as Hamlet, and returns to his usual self-criticism. He suggests that he would be a minor character in a play, not the protagonist. However, Prufrock's denial in being similar to Hamlet is somewhat more ironic than true because he does, in fact, resemble him. Similar to Hamlet, Prufrock's greatest flaw is his indecisiveness as well as his self-deprecation. Although Hamlet and Prufrock have completely different situations – one hesitating to murder his uncle and the other hesitating to ask a girl out – these two characters prove to the readers that the way they act (or don’t act) upon these dilemmas are exactly the same.

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