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

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 3,013 words
(approx. 8 pages at 400 words per page)
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Lines 1-6:

This epigraph is taken from Dante's Divine Comedy. It reads: "If I thought my answer were to one who could ever return to the world, this flame would move no more; but since no one has ever returned alive from this depth, if what I hear be true, without fear of infamy I answer you." The words are spoken by a lost soul, damned to Hell for the attempt to buy absolution in advance of committing a crime. This correlates with Prufrock's need to know the answer to the question he wants to ask as a condition of asking it. Or perhaps in order for Prufrock to be able to ask the question he would have to not care what the answer would be; in that case, the answer wouldn't matter.

Lines 7-9:

Prufrock, the persona of the poem, issues his invitation to an unspecified "you...

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This section contains 3,013 words
(approx. 8 pages at 400 words per page)
Buy The Love Song of J. Alfred Prufrock Study Guide
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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.