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" The Love-Song of J.Alfred Prufrock"

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Tarissa Zeigler

on 21 September 2012

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Transcript of " The Love-Song of J.Alfred Prufrock"

By T.S. Eliot The Love-Song of J. Alfred Prufrock Lines 1-15 In the first stanza, it appears as if the speaker is asking someone on a date. It talks about going out at night/evening and going to a cheap hotel and a bar-like restaurant. The date goers discuss Michelangelo. Text Analysis In the stanza there are 2 similes
"Like a patient etherized upon a table" - compares the night to sedated person
"like a tedious argument" - the streets are compared to being harsh and possibly random and dispersed. In lines 14-15, the speaker describes a room where lower class citizens discuss upperclass affairs, pretending to be better than they are. The room appears to be like a brothel and not trafficked by the rich. Yellow fog and smoke appear to be surrounding a house and swirl to find an opening inside. It does not make inside but because it is an October night it gives up and fades quickly. Lines 15-23 The primary metaphor in the stanza involves "yellow fog" and "yellow smoke". The author employs personification to support the metaphor. The smoke/fog is given animal characteristics as it attempts to find ways inside of the house, whether through window-panes, corners, or chimneys. Lines 23-33 This stanza talks about time to do this and that, like the yellow smoke sliding along the street or preparing a face to meet the faces that you meet. It talks time to murder and create. Overall, there is time to get things done and to work before you can sit down and have toast and tea. The overall argument of the stanza is that work must be done before a break is taken. It seems in preparation for something.
In lines 32-33 it says "And time yet for a hundred indecisions
And for a hundred visions and revisions." This means that while you prepare, there is time to make up your mind and totally decide your course of action. This stanza says that there will be time to wonder and also turn back as his hair is growing thin. The speaker has a morning coat with a collar to his chin and a rich but modest necktie with a pin. Despite this, his body is thin and he worries the universe will be disturbed. Lines 37-48 We see again that these may not be the richest people, because people in the past often saw excessive weight as a sign of wealth. The speaker appears doubtful and is apparently stressed due to the thinning of his hair and limbs. He is concerned that taking any initiative could disturb his personal universe.
The speaker seems almost scared of socializing and would not be a person to just sit down and chat. He seems insecure of himself and wouldn't trust himself to talk even if he had the opportunity to do so. The speaker declares things he has known already such as evenings, mornings, afternoons. Things he knows appear to be from how he lives his life and where he lives it. He hears voices and music. Knows certain eyes and arms of people. And appears to be in the company of a woman. Lines 49-69 The repetition in the stanza includes "I have known... known them all" and "how should I presume?". This affects the flow of the poem and the statement then question from the speaker keeps the idea that he is insecure and unsure of himself.
The speaker's tone at this point seems regretful and somber as if he is having a midlife crisis. Line 51 says "I have measured out my life with coffee spoons."
This means that the speaker has always had coffee and lived a repetitive life. It seems as if he is getting bored from doing the same thing everyday. Line 51 The speaker appears to be describing a woman, possibly his lover and almost appears to be becoming bored with her. Lines 62-66 Lines 70-75 Line 66 "That makes me so digress" stands out because what appears to be a woman the speaker is romantically involved with actually cause him to turn away not become closer to her. The author talks of seeing these things in the morning. The old men in shirtsleeves and all of the rising smoke. He also compares himself to a rodent scuttling along silent seas. I think that in this/these stanzas the author tries to say that hes been around the block a few times. He also makes the reference of being a rodent. I wonder if thats his way of saying that hes like a fly on the wall. hes keyed in on a few conversations that weren't meant to be heard. In this passage, the speaker is having a peaceful moment with his so-called lover and debates whether to push the moment to a crisis. He had wept, fasted and prayed and become slightly bald. He sees his moment of greatness flicker and the eternal Footman holding his coat and snickering. He is afraid and questions if it would have been worth it. Lines 75-86 Lines 88-98 We have the focus of this stanza set on talking to one another, the two participants in this date. Theyre among porcelain now, possibly in a museum or another classy brothel. Also to have a prominent figure from the time release a statement and have that misinterpreted by the masses. The author appears to be digressing in this passage due to him requesting the moment turn to to crisis and appears doubtful.
The speaker's argument is that he must have the strength to change his situation because he is afraid his greatness will die and that when he dies, death will laugh at his face. The "eternal Footman" refers to Death. I think the author intends to delve into this relationship that he has created and discuss the meaning of it. He also wants to question what hes doing s a person, and whats going on with the higher ups or the gods. The speaker claims he isn't Prince Hamlet and wasn't meant to be. He says he is an attendant lord that will start a scene and advise the prince. He is glad to be of use and is politic, cautious and meticulous. He claims to be full of high sentence but is a bit obtuse. He is at times ridiculous and is sometimes the Fool. Lines 111-119 Our author is angry at everything that has happened so far, and is haunted by a trail of what the night has been left along the floor. I don't think that there is actually anything there, more likely that he's just drunk and on the verge of passing out and dying of alcohol poisoning. Lines 99-110 everything's worthwhile in this stanza, although were not sure exactly what everything is. The author seems angry at everything that has happened so far but seems to be bothered most by the misinterpretation of the woman's head who sets on a pillow. The speaker's primary argument appears to be that he is not indecisive as Hamlet and not cowardly ( however he seems to be throughout the poem). He wants to be known as an attendant lord that gives advise and is helpful. He wants to be known for his good qualites. Our speaker has obviously hit another stage of his drunk emotion and is now at acceptance. He sees all of the pretty girls, but is now to sad with his own self appearance to go talk to one of them. Indeed, no mermaids will sing to him today. Lines 120-125 Not very alert in perception, feeling or intellect. Overall: dull. OBTUSE lkjgiogkjuyf Lines 126-131 The author talks about aging and not being able to command the attention of the mermaids.Instead he now dresses like an old man, in his white trousers, trying to convey the cleanliness of his very dirty hands. The speaker talks about mermaids riding seaward on waves and combing the white of the waves blown back when the water is blown white and black. He says "we" have lingered in chambers of the sea and there are sea- girls with red and brown seaweed. Then human voices wake them and they drown. The speaker's final tone is somber and of death. This is important especially since this is a Love-Song" poem. He obviously does not have a positive view of love and relationships and feels that when you succumb to love, you die. Jake VonLintel and Tarissa Zeigler
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