Introduction & Overview of The Love Song of J. Alfred Prufrock by T. S. Eliot

This Study Guide consists of approximately 34 pages of chapter summaries, quotes, character analysis, themes, and more - everything you need to sharpen your knowledge of The Love Song of J. Alfred Prufrock.
This section contains 243 words
(approx. 1 page at 400 words per page)
Buy The Love Song of J. Alfred Prufrock Study Guide

The Love Song of J. Alfred Prufrock Summary & Study Guide Description

The Love Song of J. Alfred Prufrock Summary & Study Guide includes comprehensive information and analysis to help you understand the book. This study guide contains the following sections:

This detailed literature summary also contains Further Reading on The Love Song of J. Alfred Prufrock by T. S. Eliot.

Segments of "The Love Song of J. Alfred Prufrock," often called "the first Modernist poem," appeared in the Harvard Advocate in 1906 while Eliot was an undergraduate. He later read the poem to Ezra Pound in England and Pound arranged to have it published in the prestigious American journal Poetry in June 1915. It was included in Prufrock and Other Observations, Eliot's first book of poetry, in 1917.

Eliot's interest in music is made evident in the title, but the term "love song" is used loosely here. The poem centers on the feelings and thoughts of the persona, J. Alfred Prufrock, as he walks to meet a woman for tea and considers a question he feels compelled to ask her (something along the lines of "Will you marry me?"). In fact, in this poem he never arrives at tea, let alone sings to the woman. The poem is composed of Prufrock's own neurotic-if lyrical-associations. Indeed, over the course of the poem, he sets up analogies between himself and various familiar cultural figures, among them Hamlet. This establishes a connection with Hamlet's famous soliloquy ("To be or not to be? That is the question"). Prufrock's doubt that he deserves the answer he desires from this woman transforms the poem into a kind of interior monologue or soliloquy in which "To be or not to be?" is for Prufrock "To be what?" and "What or who am I to ask this woman to marry me?"

Read more from the Study Guide

This section contains 243 words
(approx. 1 page at 400 words per page)
Buy The Love Song of J. Alfred Prufrock Study Guide
Copyrights
Poetry for Students
The Love Song of J. Alfred Prufrock from Poetry for Students. ©2005-2006 Thomson Gale, a part of the Thomson Corporation. All rights reserved.