Prufrock Allusions

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In “The Love Song of J. Alfred Prufrock,” Eliot utilizes several of his past occurrences to better enhance the meaning of the story. The allusions help the reader understand more about Prufrock’s beliefs and culture. For example, Prufrock states, “And I have seen the eternal Footman hold my coat, and snicker, / And in short, I was afraid” (85-86). This statement provides that the narrator is afraid of death (sometimes known as the eternal Footman). He fears that death mocks him for not being able to approach the woman and believes that he is going to die in this apprehensiveness. Throughout the poem, Eliot alludes to several different works to give the reader a better of understanding of the extremely anxious Prufrock along with society as a whole. First off, not only do the illusions help the reader form an opinion about Prufrock, but it also reveals how Prufrock sees himself. He thinks, “No, I am not Prince Hamlet, nor was meant to be” (111). Based off this thought, the reader knows that Prufrock looks down upon himself. He constantly degrades his own abilities and appearance and continually attempts to persuade himself out of the current situation. Also, Prufrock states, “I am no prophet-and here’s no great matter” (83). When the narrator states that he is no prophet, he is referring to John the Baptist. Prufrock is…show more content…
The various allusions throughout the poem inform the reader what Prufrock thinks of himself. For instance, Prufrock complains about his loss of hair and growing age continually. He uses allusions from other works in which that character is in a similar quandary. Additionally, these references educate the reader on Eliot’s background and the society he has been exposed to. All in all, Eliot is seeking to depict mankind as superficial and judgemental through his many
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