Prince Hamlet is supported by loyal followers such as Prufrock, himself happy "to start a scene or two" (116) and to remain "Deferential, glad to be of use" (118). omen are presented in a series of stereotypes of the social set -- they sip tea, talk about art, eat marmalade, and live among porcelain as they pretend that they are more influential than they are. For Prufrock, the singing of the mermaids is a key image identifying the attracting of women as a vital element of youth so that the loss of this ability is a sign of age and decline.
Several references are made to the women as they move through the room:
In the room the women come and go
Talking of Michelangelo (35-36).
The women serve as consumers of art rather than artists themselves, and the reference to Michelangelo is a reference to the great Italian master…… [Read More]
Love Song of J. Alfred Prufrock" by T.S. Eliott
The opening epigraph from Dante's Inferno in T.S. Eliott's "The Love Song of J. Alfred Pruforck" suggests that Prufrock, like Count Guido da Montefeltro, is giving a visitor a tour of his own personal hell. Also, at the beginning and end of the first stanza, Prufrock invites the reader to go with him to find the answer that he is trying to find. However, it's not yet quite certain what the question really is in the very beginning. Only later does it become clear that Prufrock is seeking to understand the meaning of life and love.
In the first stanza, the references to "half-deserted," "muttering," "restless," "cheap," "tedious," "insidious" suggest Prufrock's isolation and inner turmoil. "Like a patient etherized upon a table" (3) serves two purposes. First, it conveys a patient, someone who is need of help. Secondly, it represents paralysis,…… [Read More]
Love Song of J. Alfred Prufrock, by T.S. Eliot, and the Road Not Taken, by Robert Frost are two poems that imagine how life might be if the narrator had acted differently. However, the two poems are almost opposites in their intent and impact. Eliot's poem is a lamentation over a life not lived, over a failure to act. Frost's poem is a celebration over an unconventional life bravely and boldly. Whereas Eliot's narrator is in despair over his inability to do what he dreams of, Frost's narrator is an inspiration who, after having taken his journey of life, assures us that "Two roads diverged in a wood, and I -- / I took the one less traveled by,/And that has made all the difference."
Eliot's poem begins with the narrator suggesting a walk through the evening streets, apparently with the woman he loves. However, his despair and images of…… [Read More]
The mood is not unlike the effect of the lotus, being a state of languor. The landscape is lush and detailed, the sort of landscape that would be appealing on its own and that visitors would not want to leave for its own sake.
Such description begins as the ship apperoaches the land and Ulysses tells his men to have courage:
In the afternoon they came unto a land
In which it seemed always afternoon.
All round the coast the languid air did swoon,
Breathing like one that hath a weary dream.
Full-faced above the valley stood the moon;
And, like a downward smoke, the slender stream
Along the cliff to fall and pause and fall did seem. (lines 3-9)
Tennyson says this is "A land of streams!" (line 10) and describes those streams and their effects in some detail. After making the appeal of the land clear, Tennyson notes…… [Read More]
New Criticism and Eliot's Prufrock
Eliot's use of tone, imagery and symbol in "Prufrock" allows him to create a poem that does two things at once: on the one hand it mocks modern culture and on the other hand it impresses upon the reader the fact that it is okay to reject all of this and search for the deeper somethingness -- that higher question that no one seems to want to ask. This paper will show how the poem uses irony, tone, image and symbol to convey a sense of the emptiness of modern culture to the reader using a seductive, fun, hypnotic way with words.
The tone of Eliot's "Prufrock" is overwhelmingly ironic: the poem plays up the tone of triviality while simultaneously skewering the triviality of the characters it describes. The poem lures the reader to the precipice of sanity -- pointing out the insanity and utter…… [Read More]
The mere fact that these people interact as much as they do is a sign of the blurring of class signs. Also, the image of Gatsby as essentially nouveau riche, is itself a statement indicating interclass mobility. Unlike Steinbeck's story, Fitzgerald's is much more concerned with individual prejudices and stereotypes. In Gatsby, the prejudgments are of the working class against the leisured class. The work also speaks to the utter aimlessness of someone like Gatsby - a man who lives it seems, just for the sake of inoffensive pleasure, but who, at the same time, contributes nothing to the overall society. The unbelievable disconnect between Gatsby's set, and the rest of humanity is captured in an offhand remark of one of his guests, who just happened to find himself in the library, "I've been drunk for about a week now, and I thought it might sober me up to sit…… [Read More]
The image of the fog is significant because the protagonist is comparing himself to the fog in that he skirts along the outside of what is happening. If he is like fog, moving slowly and quietly, he does not have to become involved but can still see what is going on. hen he writes that there will be time to "prepare a face to meet the faces that you meet" (27), he is simply avoiding the issue by putting off the inevitable. The protagonist convinces himself that there will be time to do all that he wants to do, such as "murder and create" (28), and "drop a question on your plate" (30). Allan Burns suggests that the images are important to the reader in that they "underscore Prufrock's low self-esteem: he identifies with the lonely working class men" (Burns 47) and the image of his dead being chopped off…… [Read More]
Miller and Eliot on Beauty
Comparing and Contrasting "Beauty" in Miller and Eliot
Arthur Miller and T.S. Eliot are two 20th century American playwrights. hile the latter is more commonly noted for expatriating to Britain and writing some of the most memorable poetry of the early 20th century, the former is noted for his famous depiction of the common man's struggle to find meaning and fulfillment in Death of a Salesman. As distinct as the two writers may seem, they both conceive of and treat the theme of beauty -- Miller analyzing its absence in Salesman, and Eliot analyzing its abandonment in several poems like "The Love Song of J. Alfred Prufrock" and "The asteland." This paper will compare and contrast both writers and show how they deal with the theme of beauty in their works.
The Absence of Beauty in Salesman and "Prufrock"
Beauty is missing from illy Loman's…… [Read More]
Gatsby had been feeling guilty for letting Daisy go in favor of him getting the chance to upgrade his social position. Fitzgerald cleverly relates to this at the moment when Gatsby is left behind for a few moments by those was going to have dinner with, leaving Daisy alone and vulnerable. This is proof that time is yet again fleeting, with Gatsby having lost Daisy all over again because of the seconds it took him to get his coat from inside the house.
Time is without doubt passing fast and the best that people can do is to enjoy it while they can. If one were to behave similarly to Gatsby and Prufrock, dedicating all of their time to the search for love, they might never come across it at all. hat is more troubling is that they will not even take advantage of the opportunities that they might get…… [Read More]
God, the World, and Literature: The Concept of Social Morality in Modern Literature
Literature, as the primary source of information of people in witnessing and experiencing realities interpreted by the author/writer, is more than a medium that extends messages of reality and experience. Literature is, first and foremost, an expression of thoughts and ideologies that may or may not be agreed upon by the author or his/her characters in the said work. The concept of social morality is such example of these ideologies extended thru literary works. Through literature, writers are able to provide people with varying themes related to the discussion of social morality, offering people avenues wherein morality can be created and developed by the society, and adapted by the individual.
Modern literature boasts itself of this kinds of art -- literary works that depict the life of individuals who were directly affected by their own or…… [Read More]
However, in line with the Paz prompt at the outset of this discussion, Keats merely uses this tradition as a bridge on which to extend toward motivation on behalf of the evolving form. The subject matter is where this work takes a step toward modernity. The manner in which Keats describes the reality of dying is startling for its time primarily because it lacks religiosity. In describing death, the poet tells, "where youth grows pale, and spectre-thin, and dies; / here but to think is to be full of sorrow / and leaden-eyed despairs; / here beauty cannot keep her lustrous eyes, / or new Love pine at them beyond to-morrow."
The notion of discussing death from a decidedly humanistic rather than spiritual perspective is more daring and innovative than perhaps we are won't to give credit for. It is remarkable that the poet would invert a steadfastly traditional form…… [Read More]
The interpretation of the poem, like the speaker's interpretation of the statue, will likely depend on what he or she feels at the time about his or her own life.
The subjectivity of perception is also evident in the "Love Song of J. Alfred Prufrock" by T.S. Eliot. The speaker of this poem casts his decision to declare or not declare his love in heroic terms, even while he mourns the smallness of his existence, measured out in coffee spoons, in rooms where dull women come and go and talk about the great Leonardo in polite terms. The women, including his beloved, only see the speaker as a balding man, rather than the Hamlet he wishes to be, at the center of a great drama -- and because they see him as a fool, he feels like a fool. However, the contrast between inner and outer reality seen in Rilke…… [Read More]
This darkness is the poem is the suggestion of death, which Eliot's character contemplates throughout the poem. In fact, the last lines of the poem refer to death. Eliot writes, "We have lingered in the chambers of the sea / By sea-girls wreathed with seaweed red and brown / Till human voices wake us, and we drown" (Eliot). Eliot's character knows his life is ending, and love and courtship are far behind him. Marvell's character also contemplates death. Marvell writes, "Time's winged chariot hurrying near; / And yonder all before us lie / Deserts of vast eternity. / Thy beauty shall no more be found, / Nor, in thy marble vault, shall sound / My echoing song: then worms shall try / That long preserved virginity, / And your quaint honour turn to dust, / And into ashes all my lust: / The grave's a fine and private place, /…… [Read More]
Eliot's "The Love Song of J. Alfred Prufrock." Specifically, it will choose one instance of abstraction in the work, and describe what the author is trying to "get at," through that abstraction. What is he trying to suggest? What methods is he using to do so? Does it "work" for you? Why or why not?
Abstraction in Poetry
In "The Love Song of Alfred J. Prufrock," T.S. Eliot writes in many abstractions, but there is one at the end, which is especially poignant and full of meaning. "I have heard the mermaids singing, each to each. / I do not think that they will sing to me. / I have seen them riding seaward on the waves / Combing the white hair of the waves blown back / When the wind blows the water white and black. / We have lingered in the chambers of the sea / By sea-girls…… [Read More]
Minor Characters and Themes
Minor characters in any play act as supporting foils and help to advance the plot. Without these foils, it would be impossible for the play to progress in the way that playwright has envisioned. Besides carrying the play forward, they also help in highlighting the major themes of the literary piece. In almost every piece of fiction, whether a play or short story or novel, we come across certain important minor characters that are minor because while they lend support to the plot, they are not directly influenced by the intentions of the author. The people who remain in the forefront and bear the brunt of all action are the major characters, and thus their in the story is obvious and needs little discussion. However it is the minor characters that need to be closely analyzed or discussed to see why they have been placed in…… [Read More]
The poet is in turmoil and he turns from his love in order to prevent tarnishing or "spoil" (Pound 2) her because she is surrounded by a "new lightness" (3). This poem reflects upon the importance of experience. Like the poets mentioned before, this poet wants us to consider every aspect of our actions. e should not only think of what we want to do but also how that desire and acting upon it will alter our lives. Robert Frost is focused upon the experience of nature. In "Dust of Snow," the poet brings poetry to life as if it were music. hen we read:
The way a crow
Shook down on me
The dust of snow
From a hemlock tree (Frost 1-4)
Here the poet wants to explore rather than embark on some discovery. These writers are different in their individuals styles but they each desire to connect with…… [Read More]
Robert Frost "The Road Not Taken" (lines 18-20):
In the final lines of this poem, the narrator says some of the most famous lines in American poetry: "I took the one less travelled by, / And that has made all the difference" (19-20). Many have interpreted these lines as a celebration of individuality, but on closer inspection, it becomes evident that in reality, the narrator is lamenting that he has made these choices. Instead of following the path of others, he has gone on his own path. His conclusion is that it was this choice, choosing "the path less travelled by" that has marked the rest of his life. The tone of the piece is not one of self-congratulation but rather depression and despondency. He does not say that he regrets the choices that he has made, but acknowledges that his life would be very different had he made other…… [Read More]
Paired Poets." It attempts to compare and contrast the lives, personality, psychology and the work of T.S. Elliot and DH Lawrence. Furthermore, it elaborates the similarities and the differences between both the poets and also details some of the most significant work done by these poets.
Life and Personality of T.S. Elliot and D.H.Lawrence
Thomas. Stearns. Elliot; a poet, editor and a critic was born on 26th September 1888 in St. Louis Missouri. His father; Henry are Eliot was the president of the Hydraulic-Press Brick Company and his mother Charlotte Champe Stearns, a former teacher, an amateur poet and a social work volunteer at the Humanity Club of St. Louis. Born into a prosperous old New England family, Eliot was the youngest of the seven children. Afflicted with a congenital double hernia, he was in the constant eye of his mother and five older sisters. (notablebiographies.com)
Eliot was initially educated…… [Read More]
Q3. Explain the importance of the Fisher King in Modern Literature.
The Fisher King is the wounded king that motivates Sir Galahad to find the Holy Grail to heal him and his people: the quest narrative is one of the most significant narratives in all of literature, and the Moderns despaired of finding a quest in the modern, faithless, directionless world. The Fisher King's wound symbolizes his lack of fertility, which leaves his kingdom hungry and barren. T.S. Eliot's poem "The Wasteland" suggests that modern life is like the Fisher King's kingdom.
Q4. Explain the importance of WWI trench poetry and the works of Wilfred Owen
While some of the early poets celebrated patriotism, or eulogized the fate of the common soldier with quiet despair, Owen's poetry was harsh, gritty and realistic. In his poem "Dulce et Decorum est" Owen takes the familiar Latin phrase that it is sweet to…… [Read More]
Shakespeare's Hamlet and Herman Hesse's Siddhartha meet the words Eliot's "Little Gidding"
One of T.S. Eliot's most famous poetic protagonists, that of J. Alfred Prufrock, may lament that he is not Prince Hamlet, only a fool like Yorick or Polonius of the tragedy that bears the prince's name. But a closer examination of Shakespeare's play highlights the fact that the noble Prince Hamlet, is not really so noble at all, but begins the play in a state of adolescent moodiness, mourning his dead father, even though in the words of his uncle Claudius "your father lost a father, and your father lost his." Hamlet begins the play, not a young anointed king-to-be but a man angered at the limited, fleshy nature of human existence as well as the dissatisfactory reconstruction of his own family.
Hamlet sees falseness wherever he goes. He sees his mother whom once followed like "Niobe, all…… [Read More]
Herein is composed a character who captures the internal conflict that would identify America on its path to Civil ar.
In Twain's work, Huck emerges as a figure whose behavior and ideology are stimulated by a discomfort with the circumstances constraining him. Though painted as a portrait of one young man, the adventures which give the novel its title are actually a series of events wherein Huck brazenly flouts the standards which had given the pre-Civil ar delta its cultural outlook. His flight to freedom is guided by the juxtaposed but equally inapt incarcerations which he endured both at the pious hands of the idow Douglas and the abusive hands of his drunken father. Certainly, his staged death and his river-raft escape here would be explicit forms of active protest to the church-going morality of the former and the violent authority of the latter. In both, we see the religious…… [Read More]
T.S. Eliot: Still Modern Today
When he died in 1968, an article in Life Magazine proclaimed, "Our age beyond any doubt has been, and will continue to be, the Age of Eliot" (qtd. Brooker xiii). Although T.S. Eliot has been dead for over fifty years, this statement is still true in 2011, because in many ways, the basic issues and problems that formed the background for Eliot's works are still present in today's world, although the specific reasons and forms of those problems have evolved over the years. The period of Eliot's earliest artistic production, in particular, has many parallels to today. As with Eliot himself, young people coming of age today have strong familial and cultural traditions to which they are expected to conform, but which seem foreign to them. As during the writing and publication of Eliot's first major works (The Waste Land, 1922, and The Love Song…… [Read More]
Fern Hill (Dylan Thomas)
The "Poetry Explications" handout from UNC states that a poetry explication is a "relatively short analysis which describes the possible meanings and relationship of the words, images, and other small units that make up a poem."
The speaker in "Fern Hill" dramatically embraces memories from his childhood days at his uncle's farm, when the world was innocent; the second part brings out the speaker's loss of innocence and transition into manhood. This explication will identify and critique Thomas' tone, imagery (including metaphors) and expressive language (as it contributes to the power of the poem). ("Fern Hill" uses 6 verse paragraphs; there are 9 lines in each paragraph.)
"Now as I was young and easy under the apple boughs / About the lilting house and happy as the grass was green / the night above the dingle starry / time let me hail and climb / golden…… [Read More]
Ultimately, Mrs. Dalloway's opinion of herself is highest when she is giving parties. Woolf writes, "Every time she gave a party she had this feeling of being something not herself, and that every one was unreal in one way; much more real in another" (Woolf 171). She knows she has a gift for bringing people together, and it is this gift that makes her life worthwhile. It is odd, because the entire reason for her being (at least to her) is superficial and another jab at English society by Woolf. The parties are the grounds for the wealthy to socialize and show off, while they are attended by the low-paid servants, the poor who form the backbone of English society. Ultimately, the novel condemns this society, and Clarissa Dalloway's simple character is at the forefront of this condemnation. Her simplicity and reliance on pleasing others represents all that is wrong…… [Read More]
40"Lie close," Laura said, 41 Pricking up her golden head:
42"We must not look at goblin men, 43We must not buy their fruits:
Who knows upon what soil they fed
Their hungry thirsty roots?"
46"Come buy," call the goblins
Hobbling down the glen.
48"Oh," cried Lizzie, "Laura, Laura, 49 You should not peep at goblin men."
Lizzie cover'd up her eyes, 51 Cover'd close lest they should look;
Laura rear'd her glossy head, 53 and whisper'd like the restless brook:
54"Look, Lizzie, look, Lizzie, 55 Down the glen tramp little men.
One hauls a basket, 57 One bears a plate, 58 One lugs a golden dish
Of many pounds weight.
How fair the vine must grow
Whose grapes are so luscious;
How warm the wind must blow
Through those fruit bushes."
64"No," said Lizzie, "No, no, no;
Their offers should not charm us, 66 Their evil gifts would harm us."…… [Read More]
Victorian Female Sexuality
Victorian Sexuality: George Bernard Shaw's Mrs. arren's Profession and Thomas Hardy's "The Ruined Maid"
omen in the Victorian era must have suffered enormously under the massive double standards and the shameful image of a woman who wanted to be on her own. It is clear from examining the literature of the period how much discrimination was placed on women in the era. George Bernard Shaw's Mrs. arren's Profession and Thomas Hardy's "The Ruined Maid" show the intense sexual and gender discrimination that women in the Victorian era had to endure and the extreme consequences that were reserved for them upon breaking such strict traditions on sexuality and love relationships; however, George Bernard Shaw does allow for a greater sense of freedom for his female characters as his work was written much later at the tail end of the Victorian era, as long as they avoid the contact…… [Read More]
Shakespeare's Hamlet and Herman Hesse's Siddhartha meet the words Eliot's "Little Gidding"
We shall not cease from exploration/And the end of all our exploring/Will be to arrive where we started/And know the place for the first time," writes T.S. Eliot in his Fourth Quatrain entitled "Little Gidding." In the tragedy that bears his name Prince Hamlet begins and ends in the same place, namely the court of his late father and the living King Claudius. He also begins and ends in the play in the hall of the court in a state of alienation from the rest of the court. However, while at the beginning of the play this alienation takes the form of a state of adolescent moodiness and mourning for his dead father at the end of the play Hamlet has a more reasoned and larger philosophical understanding of how his own family tragedy has a resonance with…… [Read More]
Modernist literature refers to a literary period from the first half of the 20th century, one that reacted to the external influences of an increasingly industrialized society, and one that was becoming more and more globalized. This was a population of people who had been hardened and drained by two world wars. This was a population of people who were pondering the future of humanity, human existence, the human condition and their place in the world. When compared to the romantic period, modernism appears edgier and less serene. The romantic period had more of a focus on the natural world and the experience of being; modernism focused more on the inner self, seeing more of a decline and fraught fragmentation with the external world. From a literary perspective, the period meant a subversion of typical norms: modernist prose and poetry played with structure and form in ways that readers weren’t…… [Read More]