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An Analysis of The Love Song of J. Alfred Prufrock Essay

Assignment id 1002477
Discipline Biology
Assignment type Essay
Words 2243
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The editors of anthologies containing T. S. Eliot's "The Love Song of J. Alfred Prufrock" invariably footnote the reference to Lazarus as John 11:1-44; seldom is the mention footnoted as Luke 16:19-31. Additionally, the reference to John the Baptist is invariably footnoted since Matthew 14:3-11; never have I seen that the benchmark footnoted as an allusion to Oscar Wilde's Salome. The resources that one cites could profoundly affect requirements of this poem. I believe that a correct reading of Eliot's "Prufrock" necessitates that one cite Wilde, along with Matthew, and Luke, in addition to John, as the sources to the John the Baptist and Lazarus being referenced. What's more, the citation of these sources can help clarify Eliot's allusion to Dante's Guido da Montefeltro. By a suitable reading of "Prufrock," I suggest a reading consistent with the fundamental subject of the poet's perception made mute because the poet lives in a civilization of unbelief - that is, the "silence" of the poetic imagery in modernity. Prufrock renounces his inherited, romantic role as "poet as prophet" and renounces poetry's role as a successor to faith. The future of poetry may have once been immense, but that future no longer exists for Prufrock, who's faced not only with the certainty of this rejection of his poetic vision but also with a scenario where there are no grounds for rhetoric: "This is not what I intended at all. / That isn't it, whatsoever." Fear of rejection contributes Prufrock into the ultimate silencing of the prophet and hero in himself, to being "a pair of ragged claws." He cannot talk about his poetic vision of life: to do so would threaten the very existence of that life. Paradoxically, not to share his light, his "words among mankind," compromises the reduction.

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