ANALYSIS OF THE POEM – “THE LOVE SONG OF J. ALFRED PRUFROCK” BY T.S.ELIOT

Analysing the poem – The Love Song of J. Alfred Prufrock by T. S. Eliot

 

T.S. Eliot was a British essayist, playwright, and literary critic of the twentieth century. His poetry includes the thematic thrust of fate of selfhood in time, loss of self and threats to selfhood.

The poem – The Love Song of Alfred J. Prufrock – is about the central character Prufrock who is a middle aged balding man. He, due to his indecisive nature, fails to profess his love to his beloved. The poem is a dramatic monologue similar to Tennyson’s ‘Ulysses’. A monologue is where – a person utters a speech that implies his story and reveals his character.

Prufrock brings in the element of procrastination that to everything there is a season and a time to every purpose under heaven. It can be stated through the line:-

“And indeed there will be time

To wonder Do I dare?”

This confused nature of his of what to do and not to do can be sharply contrasted with Shakespeare’s ‘Hamlet’. It also states that the language is vernacular and superficial as it can’t bear the burden of meaning. Moreover, he suffers from split personality. One part of him is romantic with heroic aspirations such as ‘Prince Hamlet’, Italian painter ‘Michelangelo’ and Jesus’ greatest follower ‘Lazarus’. The other half is self deflating and calculating as he gets paralyzed with timidity, inadequacy and self consciousness. Thus, he is polyphonic in nature. Moreover, he judges himself rather than being judged by the society that highlights the issue of class and appearance. As the poem remarks:-

“To prepare a face to meet the faces that you meet;

There will be time to murder and create.”

It thus unveils the idea of appearance versus reality as Prufrock cannot face the world directly and there is a need for disguise. So, I feel that the poem rather than love is a psychological journey as Prufrock is the product of his environment which is full of fear. The poem is a kind of elegy for what might have been there had Prufrock been equal to the challenges of his milieu.

It is indeed one of my favourite poems by Eliot. What are your thoughts on it?

Hamlet by William Shakespeare

William Shakespeare was an English poet, playwright and actor. He wrote a total of nine tragic plays, out of which Hamlet is the longest one. The play is divided into five acts and is set in Denmark. It dramatizes the revenge of the central character Prince Hamlet. His uncle, Claudius, had murdered his own brother and seized the throne by remarrying his deceased brother’s widow Gertrude.

The story begins when one day Hamlet’s friend Horatio encounters a ghost of the late King Hamlet. The ghost reveals to Hamlet that it was Claudius who murdered him in order to usurp the throne. The ghost then asks Hamlet to take the revenge on his behalf. Therefore, Hamlet takes on the ‘antic disposition’ to find out whether Claudius killed his father or not. However, he gets too involved in faking his madness that he hurts Ophelia’s feelings, Polonius’ daughter and the love of his life. And Ophelia, hurt by his remarks, commits suicide by drowning herself. Further, he blames and insults his mother for his condition. Later, Hamlet, accidently, kills Polonius instead of Claudius which makes Polonius’ son, Laertes ectremely furious. Laertes then, conspires with Claudius to kill Hamlet through the poisoned wine and sword. However, the poisoned wine gets consumed by Gertrude and she dies. Later, all the three – Claudius, Laertes & Hamlet die in the act of killing each other. But before dying, Hamlet names Fortinbras, the Norwegian prince, his successor and the play ends.

Hamlet, is scene as a hero who struggled a lot with his psychological conflicts. The play also contains a psychoanalytic angle of ‘Oedipal Complex’, a famous theory stated by psychoanalytic critic Sigmund Freud. The “Oedipal Complex” has been projected through the relationship that Hamlet shares with his mother. It highlights his repressed thoughts about her. He adores her in sexual terms but is also furious at her. Hamlet begs his mother not to sleep with Claudius but she refuses. This is similar to D.H.Lawrence’s ’Sons and Lovers’ where the mother refuses his son’s request of not to sleep with the father.  Moreover, Hamlet calls her mother almost a ‘whore’ as she remarried without completing proper mourning of his dead husband. This incident is similar to Joseph Conrad’s ‘Heart of Darkness’ where the American mistress, after mourning the death of his lover Kurtz, goes away with another person.

The play also adopts nuances from Christian ideology as Hamlet talks about the impermanence of life and karma. Hamlet’s decision of not killing Claudius in the praying form depicts his knowledge about sins. Also, he remains in a confused state of “To be or not to be”, throughout the play. But, ultimately, Hamlet kills Claudius in the end and becomes a sinner himself.

 

Shakespeare’s The Tempest – A Critical Reading

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The Tempest was Shakespeare’s last play via which he bid adieu to the stage. It is considered to be one of his shortest plays ever written. But, as they say – small but extremely influential. The Tempest was written in 1610-11. And, like his other plays, Shakespeare always had a lot to comment upon through his plays. We saw in Othello, how Shakespeare touched the topic of interracial marriage or in Hamlet, he talked about the impermanence of life, revenge, Karma, etc. Continue reading “Shakespeare’s The Tempest – A Critical Reading”

10 Must Have Books Every Booknerd Should Possess!

What are the prerequisites of being a booknerd? Well, if you consider yourself a big booknerd or want to be a booknerd, then you must own these 10 books. Yes, here I am listing out 10 must have books that every/wannabe booknerd should possess. If, you do not own these gorgeous babies, then I declare you a no booknerd! And, if you want to quaify as a true booknerd then, buy & read the following list of books ASAP. For your convenience, I am leaving the links from where you can buy these must have books. Thank me later 🙂 Let me begin the list now:

Either one or all of Shakespeare’s play

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This is the top requirement. You must have read and possess at least one of the plays by William Shakespeare. I mean there aint no booknerd born ever who do not possesses at least either one or all of Shakespearean plays. For starters, read/buy either Othello or Hamlet.

To Kill a Mocking Bird by Harper Lee

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Every literary/nerdy conversation is gonna start with discussing this classic novel by Harper Lee. If, you never read this book, it’s a shame!

One Jane Austen novel

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You must possess one of the books by this precious female author. Be it Pride & Prejudice or Persuasion, a book by her is extremely significant to know the struggles of female writing in the Victorian Era. Also, you will learn a great deal about the conventions of Victorian age.

Jane Eyre by Charlotte Bronte

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This is almost like the first feminist novel. You have to have this in your book stack. This book deals with female sexuality; how it is controlled by the patriarchal society. Remember the “mad woman in the attic” discussion? Guess what, this novel started it. This book also has a prequel, Wide Sargasso Sea written by Jean Rhys. So, if you are going to read Jane Eyre, you must read Rhys novel as well.

One African novel

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Third world literature gives you an insight on the life before and after colonization. The best book I could recommend is Things Fall Apart by Chinua Achebe.

One Russian novel

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You must read Crime & Punishment by Dostoevsky to understand the intricacy of  inner conflicts & significance of confession. Also, Fathers & Sons by Turgenev will inform you about nihilism & Bolshevik revolution.

One Virginia Woolf novel

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Come on, you got to read Mrs Dalloway, which is a story about one day in the life of a woman, to understand the psychological aspect in literature. You will learn a great deal about ‘stream of consciousness’; the difference between mind-time and the clock time.

One from the Queer canon

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The LGBTQ struggle is even more painful & darker than the struggle of gender equality by females. You can either read Sexing the cherry by Jeanette Winterson or Funny Boy Shyam Selvadurai.

One Agatha Christie novel

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Agatha Christie is the Queen Bee of Crime novels. You just need to read atleast one from her detective Poirot series.

One from the Contemporary canon

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You must own the contemporary (sci-fi, fantasy, romance, horror, thriller) novels to read with the time and compare it with the earlier novels. Also, read one novel from your own culture.

World Book Day & Remembering Shakespeare

“A book is a gift you can open again and again.” – Garrison Keillor

Happy World Book Day guys ❤

In this digitally enslaved world, we have lost many of our readers to the technology. Almost everybody prefers to read online or watch movies instead of putting even a little effort in buying & reading a book. So, taking the advantage of this blog; a global platform, I would really want to appeal to people to buy tangible books and read as much as they can. Books are really magical. If, you are a non-reader then please take a pledge this day to read at least 1 book in your free time. Books carry the power to transport you to a land full of bliss. Trust me, once you will read a book, you will get addicted to reading. By buying books, one not only gets the opportunity to submerge her/himself in the ocean of words but also it’s a great way to encourage aspiring writers. So, buy more & more books and allow your life to be changed drastically. Once a reader, always a reader ❤ 🙂

Also, today is the death anniversary of the evergreen William Shakespeare. I would just want to quote one of my favorite Shakespearean quotes –

“We know what we are, but know not what we may be.”

P.S. – Thank you for such a heart warming response for our previous post about guest post writing. We have received and are still receiving huge amount of mails for guest posting. So, I hope, I’d be able to schedule as many guest posts as possible 🙂

My Fav Love Quotes!

“But you’ve slipped under my skin, invaded my blood and seized my heart.”

                                    – By Maria V. Snyder (Poison Study)

        “Love is or it ain’t. Thin love ain’t love at all.”

                                                     – By Toni Morrison (Beloved)

“So,” he murmured, grinning as he tilted my chin up, “Before I march off to battle, how ’bout a kiss for luck?”

                                             – By Julie Kagawa (The Iron King)

“Perdition catch my soul,
But I do love thee! and when I love thee not,
Chaos is come again. ”            

                                    – By William Shakespeare (Othello)

“If music be the food of love, play on;
Give me excess of it, that, surfeiting,
The appetite may sicken, and so die.”     

                                       -By William Shakespeare (Twelfth Night)

        

Othello by William Shakespeare

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Othello has earned the title of being – One of the most remarkable tragedies by Shakespeare.

It is a domestic tragedy of Elizabethan times, in which the character of a higher stature suffers a great downfall due to the Hamartia (defect/flaw), according to Aristotle, present in his character.

Well, this tragedy not only portrays the hamartia, present in the character of Othello (the black Moore of the Venice & the play’s hero) which eventually led to his downfall, but also the racial connotations are very much evident in the play. The play also contains the most celebrated villain of all the Shakespearean plays, i.e, Iago (villainous villains of all the times).

The plot of the play goes like this- Othello, being the black Moore, casts Cassio as his lieutenant instead of Iago, thus leading to the jealousy in the mind of Iago. Iago, in his jealousy and hatred for Othello, contrives a plot of revenge through injecting venom in Othello’s personal life. Othello has eloped with Desdemona, without taking permission from her father, Brabantio.

Thus, Iago, sows the seeds of jealousy in Othello’s mind by giving him false information about the illegitimate affair of Desdemona with Cassio. Now, Othello’s hamartia is his “gullibility”, which leads him to trust the accusations by Iago and ultimately brings about his downfall by killing Desdemona as well as himself.

Thus, the play arises the question of White (Iago) being the new black (maliciousness). And it is actually very sad to witness, that Othello trusts Iago blindly and do not even gives his wife a single chance to defend herself. Another question which arises is of, God being on the side of Iago. It seems like Iago’s every evil step is supported and whatever + however he wants to execute his plans, it happens, without any problems.

When I finished reading this play, I was so disappointed with the portrayal of helpless Desdemona and gullible, mindless Othello, who did not even tried to give Desdemona a chance to defend her innocence.

Anyways, read this play in order to get familiar with the writing style of the Great Shakespeare as well as to read beneath the lines.

You can even watch this play here-

And yes, do not forget to share what you think about the characters and the plot!