T. S. Eliot's 'The Love Song of J. Alfred Prufrock': Poetry Analysis

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Paper 3 Assignment Option 3 T. S. Eliot's poem "The Love Song of J. Alfred Prufrock" is a dramatic monologue in which the poet Eliot speaks in the voice of a middle-aged man who is in love with a woman he is afraid does not love him back. Over the course of the poem, Prufrock pines for the woman, even while he satirizes the social circle in which the two of them dwell. The poem is both humorous and tragic. Prufrock sees the absurdity of his condition: "No! I am not Prince Hamlet, nor was meant to be; /Am an attendant lord, one that will do /To swell a progress, start a scene or two." However, because Prufrock is able to take such an ironic and detached view of himself and his affection for his unnamed beloved, it is unlikely that Prufrock will ever be able to reveal himself to the woman he loves. [THESIS]. Cowardly and afraid of taking an emotional risk, he hides behind literary references, similes and metaphors. The first lines of the poem convey Prufrock's distain for the social world in which he and his beloved circulate. "Let us go then, you and I, /When the evening is spread out against the sky /Like a patient etherized upon a table." When Prufrock says that the evening is spread out like an etherized patient, he is conveying his sense that modern society is dull and boring. The streets "follow like a tedious argument" and the women "come and go /Talking of Michelangelo." Society is humdrum, but Prufrock feels as if he has no choice other than to
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