T. S. Eliot: The Love Song of Alfred J Prufrock - Essay Example

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Of Puritan New England tock, he was born in St. Louis, Missouri on September 26, 1888. He was educated at Harvard at a time when Charles W. Eliot, a…
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T. S. Eliot: The Love Song of Alfred J Prufrock
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Download file to see previous pages His first volume of verse appeared in 1917 and created a stir.
“This book of poetry was immediately hailed as a new trend in English literature. The subject matter was strange; the technique was puzzling; the style, alternately sonorous and discordant, elaborately obscure and conversationally simple – was harshly criticized and widely imitated.” (Untermeyer, 1942: 481)
“Prufrock”, written when T.S. Eliot was still a student at Harvard is his first and most famous work. It is adjudged a highly allusive picture of decadence against the background of a sterile society. It is also a most vital commentary, concentrating on moments of intensity. Eliot depicts a tired world through the eyes of a futile dilletante. The title, “The Love Song of J. Alfred Prufrock” sets the mood for the poem with its contrast between the alluring love song and the unromantic business signature of J. Alfred Prufrock.
We shall now venture to analyze Eliot’s poem – the words love song taken from the title suggests conventional sentiment to readers, but this is immediately questioned by the curious name, J. Alfred Prufrock. This name is generally associated with a business card, not with a love song. There is some kind of secrecy and pretentiousness in the initial J, especially followed by the good old Anglo-Saxon Alfred which is frank, honest and open. The Pru in Prufrock points to prudence; while frock hints at formality as in frock coat, as suggested by the author later in the poem. At any rate, the name Prufrock is both strange and dubious in a love song.
We pause at this point to discuss the physical aspects of the love song. The entire poem consists of twenty stanzas of diverse length and following no definite meter (although the predominant beat is iambic pentameter. Take the first stanza. It has 12 lines, two of which do not rhyme. The third and the tenth and the lines that do, have the rhyme scheme aa, bb, ...Download file to see next pagesRead More
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