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Critical Analysis Of "The Love Song Of J. Alfred Prufrock"

3555 words - 15 pages

 
  Critical
 Analysis
 of
 “The
 Love
 Song
 of
 J.
 Alfred
 Prufrock”
 
  The
 title
 of
 the
 poem
 is
 Eliot's
 first
 hint
 that
 this
 is
 not
 a
 traditional
 love
  poem
 at
 all.
 "J.
 Alfred
 Prufrock"
 is
 a
 farcical
 name,
 and
 Eliot
 wanted
 the
 subliminal
  connotation
 of
 a
 "prude"
 in
 a
 "frock."
 (The
 original
 title
 was
 "Prufrock
 Among
 the
  Women.")
 This
 emasculation
 contributes
 to
 a
 number
 of
...view middle of the document...

 He
  wrote
 in
 his
 essay
 "Tradition
 and
 the
 Individual
 Talent"
 that
 the
 "progress
 of
 an
  artist
 is
 a
 continual
 self-­‐sacrifice,
 a
 continual
 extinction
 of
 personality."
 He
  crystallized
 his
 ideas
 about
 how
 to
 achieve
 this
 extinction
 of
 personality
 in
 another
 

Regan
 
 2
  essay,
 "Hamlet
 and
 His
 Problems":
 "The
 only
 way
 of
 expressing
 emotion
 in
 the
 form
  of
 art
 is
 by
 finding
 an
 'objective
 correlative';
 in
 other
 words,
 a
 set
 of
 objects,
 a
  situation,
 a
 chain
 of
 events,
 which
 shall
 be
 the
 formula
 of
 that
 particular
 emotion."
  Simply
 put,
 the
 objective
 correlative
 -­‐
 a
 tangible,
 concrete
 thing
 -­‐
 assumes
 the
  emotional
 significance
 in
 a
 work
 of
 art;
 Eliot
 largely
 does
 away
 with
 abstract
  emotional
 ruminations.
 The
 examples
 and
 ramifications
 of
 the
 objective
 correlative
  in
 "Prufrock"
 will
 be
 discussed
 later.
  Eliot
 first
 achieves
 the
 extinction
 of
 his
 personality
 by
 setting
 "Prufrock"
 in
  the
 poetic
 form
 of
 a
 dramatic
 monologue.
 In
 this
 form,
 the
 speaker
 addresses
  another
 person
 and
 the
 reader
 plays
 the
 part
 of
 the
 silent
 listener;
 often
 the
  dramatic
 monologue
 is
 freighted
 with
 irony,
 as
 the
 speaker
 is
 partially
 unaware
 of
  what
 he
 reveals.
 Robert
 Browning,
 the
 undisputed
 master
 of
 the
 dramatic
  monologue,
 exploited
 this
 possibility
 in
 his
 most
 famous
 dramatic
 monologue,
 "My
  Last
 Duchess";
 the
 reader
 learns
 much
 about
 the
 Duke
 that
 he
 has
 not
 intended
 to
  expose.
  The
 dramatic
 monologue
 fell
 out
 of
 fashion
 in
 20th-­‐century
 Modernism
 after
  its
 19th-­‐century
 Victorian
 invention.
 Eliot
 was
 a
 great
 believer
 in
 the
 historical
 value
  of
 art;
 in
 "Tradition
 and
 the
 Individual
 Talent,"
 he
 argued
 that
 "the
 poet
 must
  develop
 or
 procure
 the
 consciousness
...

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