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What Is The Nature Of The Human Condition Of Prufrock, Depicted In The Poem "The Love Song Of J. Alfred Prufrock" By Eliot, T.S. 1917, And How Has The Composer Succeeded In Presenting That Condition?

907 words - 4 pages

"The Love Song of J.Alfred Prufrock" is a dramatic monologue. It is a speech of a person which illustrates a story and reveals his character. Although the transitions are seemly illogical and violent, it is not just random lines of prose. The Love Song of J.Alfred Prufrock is a magnifying glass which presents the readers with his human nature, able to give an impression of his character even from a superficial reading.
The human nature of J.Alfred Prufrock is not expressed by the subject himself, but by the author, T.S. Eliot. He did so in a way which Prufrock could not have done himself, thus placing Prufrock into an objective view, presenting the actual condition of Prufrock without bias. By not commenting on Prufrock directly himself, Eliot gives the reader an opportunity to draw his or her own conclusions from the monologue, adding meaning to the poem and rewarding the reader. The use of an Epigraph from Dante's 'Inferno' further shows that Prufrock cannot speak in real life, as he does in this poem.
"S'io dredesse che mia reposta fosse
A persona che mai tornasse al mondo,
Questa fiamma staria senza piu scosse.
Ma perciocche giammai di questo fondo
Non torno vivo alcun, s'I'odo il vero,
Senza tema d'infamia ti rispondo." - Epigraph for "The Love Song of J.Alfred Prufrock"
When translated, the quote says that if the speaker knew that his words would carry on to be heard outside of his death, he would not have spoken it. Placing the rest of the poem into context, the quote suggests the notion that Prufrock cannot speak about his troubles in real life which depicts his insecurities and shows his human condition of being afraid of the gossip of others.
The poem itself is set as a monologue. "Let us go then, you and I. - line 1" The you in the quote may refer to both the reader, or the better part of his ego, a figure with who he can share his secrets with. Either way, the 'you' involves the reader, and lets the reader know that what is being said in the poem is not mere chitter-chatter but actual substance being presented to another person. Here, Eliot hints to the reader on how to interpret the poem, which gives them clues on the Prufrock as a monologue typically shows the traits of its narrator. It also shows that Prufrock is afraid of the contents of his speech getting out, highlighting his insecurities and fears of being seen in a negative light by other people which demonstrates the nature of his human condition.
The repetition of the phrase "In the room the women come and go, talking of Michelangelo. - line 14-15" This line brings to mind a scene of academics, talking about various cultured subjects...

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