Allusions In The Lovesong Of J Alfred Prufrock

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Present in a preponderance of literary works, allusions serve as a device to further enhance the emotional and intellectual value of the writing. They are indirect references to a person, place, thing or idea of historical, cultural, or literary significance. By including allusions in pieces of writing, readers can make connections between the writing and the reference, allowing them to grasp the context through something familiar. In his poem, T.S. Eliot alludes to three well-known figures: Michelangelo, an artist, Lazarus, a biblical figure, and Hamlet, a Shakespearean character. T.S. Eliot’s use of allusions helps the poem, The Love Song of J. Alfred Prufrock, by providing a clearer understanding of the message being conveyed to the reader. In lines 94-95, Eliot writes “To say: ‘I am Lazarus, come from the dead. Come back to tell you all, I shall tell you all’. A biblical reference to the raising of Lazarus, the lines are alluding to the Gospel of John 11:1-46 in…show more content…
T. S. Eliot’s use of allusions is meant to easily communicate an idea through the use of familiar references the reader may catch on. In the poem The Love Song of J. Alfred Prufrock, Eliot alludes to Michelangelo, Lazarus, John the Baptist, and Hamlet, each adding to the notion that Prufrock struggles with social anxiety and love. Perhaps the most significant purpose of incorporating Biblical allusions is to invoke emotions and ideas that a reader, especially one with a religious background, may associate with a particular passage. His allusions also emphasize the theme of death and also seem to purposely undermine Prufrock’s self-worth. The presence of allusion referencing biblical and other literary works helps freshen the theme and message about Prufrock while altering the perspective of the text, creating not only and understanding but emotional mood for the
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