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The Love Song of J Alfred Prufrock by T.S Eliot
Transcript of The Love Song of J Alfred Prufrock by T.S Eliot
Talking of Michelangelo. Lines 37-41 Line analysis lines 42-44 lines45-48 lines 59-61 and pictures Lines 70-72 LET us go then, you and I,
When the evening is spread out against the sky
Like a patient etherized upon a table;
Let us go, through certain half-deserted streets, The muttering retreats
Of restless nights in one-night cheap hotels
And sawdust restaurants with oyster-shells:
Streets that follow like a tedious argument
Of insidious intent Lines 1-4 Lines 5-9 To lead you to an overwhelming question….
Oh, do not ask, “What is it?”
Let us go and make our visit. Lines 10-12 In the room the women come and go
Talking of Michelangelo. Lines 13-14 The yellow fog that rubs its back upon the window-panes,
The yellow smoke that rubs its muzzle on the window-panes
Licked its tongue into the corners of the evening,
Lingered upon the pools that stand in drains,
Let fall upon its back the soot that falls from chimneys, Lines 15-19 Slipped by the terrace, made a sudden leap,
And seeing that it was a soft October night,
Curled once about the house, and fell asleep. Lines 20-22 And indeed there will be time
For the yellow smoke that slides along the street,
Rubbing its back upon the window panes; Lines 23-25 There will be time, there will be time
To prepare a face to meet the faces that you meet;
There will be time to murder and create,
And time for all the works and days of hands
That lift and drop a question on your plate;
Time for you and time for me,
And time yet for a hundred indecision,
And for a hundred visions and revisions,
Before the taking of a toast and tea. Lines 26-34
And indeed there will be time
To wonder, “Do I dare?” and, “Do I dare?”
Time to turn back and descend the stair,
With a bald spot in the middle of my hair—
(They will say: “How his hair is growing thin!”) My morning coat, my collar mounting firmly to the chin,
My necktie rich and modest, but asserted by a simple pin—
(They will say: “But how his arms and legs are thin!”) Do I dare
Disturb the universe?
In a minute there is time
For decisions and revisions which a minute will reverse. For I have known them all already, known them all;
Have known the evenings, mornings, afternoons,
I have measured out my life with coffee spoons;
I know the voices dying with a dying fall
Beneath the music from a farther room.
So how should I presume? And I have known the eyes already, known them all—
The eyes that fix you in a formulated phrase,
And when I am formulated, sprawling on a pin,
When I am pinned and wriggling on the wall, Then how should I begin
To spit out all the butt-ends of my days and ways?
And how should I presume? And I have known the arms already, known them all—
Arms that are braceleted and white and bare
[But in the lamplight, downed with light brown hair!]
Is it perfume from a dress
That makes me so digress?
Arms that lie along a table, or wrap about a shawl.
And should I then presume?
And how should I begin? Lines 62-69 Shall I say, I have gone at dusk through narrow streets
And watched the smoke that rises from the pipes
Of lonely men in shirt-sleeves, leaning out of windows? . . . Lines 73-74 I should have been a pair of ragged claws
Scuttling across the floors of silent seas. Lines 75- 80 And the afternoon, the evening, sleeps so peacefully!
Smoothed by long fingers,
Asleep . . . tired . . . or it malingers,
Stretched on the floor, here beside you and me.
Should I, after tea and cakes and ices,
Have the strength to force the moment to its crisis? Lines 81- 86 But though I have wept and fasted, wept and prayed,
Though I have seen my head (grown slightly bald) brought in upon a platter,
I am no prophet–and here's no great matter;
I have seen the moment of my greatness flicker,
And I have seen the eternal Footman hold my coat, and snicker,
And in short, I was afraid. Lines 87- 98
And would it have been worth it, after all,
After the cups, the marmalade, the tea,
Among the porcelain, among some talk of you and me,
Would it have been worth while,
To have bitten off the matter with a smile,
To have squeezed the universe into a ball
To roll it toward some overwhelming question,
To say: "I am Lazarus, come from the dead,
Come back to tell you all, I shall tell you all"
If one, settling a pillow by her head,
Should say, "That is not what I meant at all.
That is not it, at all." Lines 99-110 And would it have been worth it, after all,
Would it have been worth while,
After the sunsets and the dooryards and the sprinkled streets,
After the novels, after the teacups, after the skirts that trail along the floor—
And this, and so much more?—
It is impossible to say just what I mean!
But as if a magic lantern threw the nerves in patterns on a screen:
Would it have been worth while
If one, settling a pillow or throwing off a shawl,
And turning toward the window, should say:
"That is not it at all,
That is not what I meant, at all." Lines 111-119 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
Advise the prince; no doubt, an easy tool,
Deferential, glad to be of use,
Politic, cautious, and meticulous;
Full of high sentence, but a bit obtuse;
At times, indeed, almost ridiculous—
Almost, at times, the Fool. Lines 120-125 I grow old . . . I grow old . . .
I shall wear the bottoms of my trousers rolled. Shall I part my hair behind? Do I dare to eat a peach?
I shall wear white flannel trousers, and walk upon the beach.
I have heard the mermaids singing, each to each.
I do not think they will sing to me. I have seen them riding seaward on the waves
Combing the white hair of the waves blown back
When the wind blows the water white and black.
We have lingered in the chambers of the sea
By sea-girls wreathed with seaweed red and brown
Till human voices wake us, and we drown. Lines 126-132 The author wants to slip into a sort
of dream state. The author invites this unknown character
to a sketchy, rundown area He instructs her to
just go with him. And walk by faith. He wants him to trust her and not ask him where their going Alfred Prufrock is in a room feeling ignored and invisible. Again Alfred is lonely because none of the women are talking to him The speaker is getting lonely as the day begins to turn into night. Evening has come and like a cat, the speaker has found a comfy place to wind down Even with twilight emerging the speaker plans to make this night eventful The speaker is not holding back. In his mind the night is full of endless possibilities. He is readying himself for action The speaker is pondering on a prediction about growing old. He knows this day will come but he still worries about how others will perceives him. As sharp as ever, age wont wear him down. Even at his most classy state there are critics. the speaker is debating on taking action with the night Prufrock remembers all the trials
in his life There is one specific problem stands out in his mind an aroma drew his attention away from the
problem on his mind. The stunning image distracts him. He wonders if this is someone he can pursue. Prufrock has been through alot, but he looks up and sees he is not the only man in hard times He wishes he had more fight in him. The world is big like the sea, and he had always needed sharper claws After tea, he feels lazy that he is not sure he has the strength to ask an overwhelming question which will produce a big decision. He is now struggling with the decision to take a chance with this woman Although he does the same things as a prophet but he emphasizes he is not one. As if he knows he is not worthy of the title. Prufrock debates if it would have been worth it to ask her the important question, he then compares it “to have squeezed the universe into a ball” describes the impossibilities of the matter.He imagines what it would be like to say he is Lazarus (a person raised from the dead) and how it would be to ask his important question when he has already died. Prufock thinks of the worst case scenario; he asks her the big question and she responds to him by implying that she has been misunderstood. This will lead him to believe that he shouldn’t ask her because he doesn’t want to feel rejection. He is still thinking in the worst case scenario, and imagines if it would have been worthwhile after they experience simply pleasure of everyday life. But then he cannot finish his thought which shows his hesitation with asking the question. Now he has come up with the right words to say or ask the question. It’s as if the words locked in his "nerves" were being projected by a "magic lantern" onto a screen for him to read. But even as he has found the right words to say, she replies by saying she has still been misunderstood, therefore he doesn’t want to ask the question anymore.
Prufrock is in denial about his decision making. He doesn’t believe he is procrastinating about the topic. Prufrock specifically says he is not like Prince Hamlet but more like the Lord attendant but he is more like Hamlet than he can see. The more he talks about his denial the more he realizes that it is true. Regardless of how much thinking you put into something times is going to continue to move and the chance might not still be there when you feel the time is right. Chances don’t last forever.
Cant regain what you have lost. Prufrock is attempting to make smaller decisions quickly even though he already lost his chance for the big and important decision.
Prufrock knows he miss an opportunity and now feeling bad for himself he doesn’t even think people will acknowledge him or do anything for him, he feels he messed up that bad He imagines a nice scene of him by mermaids in the open ocean, but quickly it turns into a sorrowful mood. It acts as if he is living in a dream and when real human voices speak and wake him, it brings him to reality and in time, death.