The Lovesong Of J Alfred Prufrock Allusions Essay

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The Lovesong of J. Alfred Prufrock written by T.S. Elliot, is the despondent poem of a middle-aged man named Prufrock suffering from an acute spiritual malaise due to his monotonous and tentative existence. Eliot beautifully told Prufrock's tale through careful use of literary devices. A device that appeared frequently throughout the poem was an allusion. These allusions were used to easily bring forth the impressions and characteristics conveyed by the sources alluded to, as well as creating flexibility for his readers. Hamlet, To His Coy Mistress, and The Bible are a few notable sources that Eliot alludes to within the poem.
Eliot particularly favored the poet Andrew Marvell, the renowned author of To His Coy Mistress. To summarize blatantly, it is a poem about a man trying to convince a woman to sleep with him. The underlying message however is to seize the day. Marvell’s poem is alluded to multiple times throughout The Lovesong of J. Alfred Prufrock. The two poems contrast with each other in their character and in meaning. While Prufrock remains strongly self conscious and questions his own existence, the man in Marvell’s poem is portrayed as a confident bachelor ready to make the most of the time he has. This contrast makes allusions
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Alfred Prufrock are an echo of To His Coy Mistress’ “Let us roll all our strength and all / Our sweetness up into one ball” (41-42). Here an allusion is made to bring forth that contrast between the two characters. With only two lines, Eliot is able to draw a potent connection between the difference in the characters. The inclusion of this allusion can also be interpreted in a myriad of ways that is dependent on the reader and their understanding of the source alluded to. Eliot may not have wanted to address a certain issue directly so he shifted the responsibility of interpretation to the
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