Publishing Prufrock's Problems

Eliot's use of allusions

Eliot's Allusive Ways

Throughout the poem, "The love song of Alfred J. Prufrock", Eliot consistently uses allusions to inform the reader just how creative and real the allusions Prufrock seems to be imagining his life to be. He uses allusions on a regular basis to give us a better picture of what the setting is within the poem, what the conditions are that are holding Prufrock back, and also to give us a creative way to reflect on what his allusions mean, then plug them into what Prufrock is feeling/going through.

Examples of Allusions

Visions and Revisions

Some examples of the allusions that Eliot tends to use throughout the poem are:


"No! I am not Prince Hamlet, nor was meant to be;

Am an attendant lord, one that will do

To swell a progress, start a scene or two,

Advise the prince; no doubt, an easy tool,

Deferential, glad to be of use,

Politic, cautious, and meticulous;

Full of high sentence, but a bit obtuse;

At times, indeed, almost ridiculous—

Almost, at times, the Fool."(111-119).

The allusion of Prince Hamlet suggests that the protagonist; Hamlet, is known to be a slow acting person and is always hesitant within the play, however, Eliot uses this allusion and refers Prufrock to Polonius as he is an unimpressive character and has no dignity as a human. Although Prufrock does not compare himself to Hamlet, he possesses Hamlet's hesitant ways and his procrastination causes his failure to act.


Prufrock's lack of self-confidence and insecurities do nothing for him but cause a hardship that cannot be overcome. He thinks that the things that normal people would find ugly and dull are the most amazing creations ever and finds jealousy in the beauty of other objects/nature around him. He often wishes that he could be those beautiful things, and then proceeds on to revisit the constant feeling of worthlessness and boredom of his life.



The yellow fog that rubs its back upon the window-panes,

The yellow smoke that rubs its muzzle on the window-panes

Licked its tongue into the corners of the evening,

Lingered upon the pools that stand in drains,

Let fall upon its back the soot that falls from chimneys,

Slipped by the terrace, made a sudden leap,

And seeing that it was a soft October night,

Curled once about the house, and fell asleep.(15-22).


The course of action we thought should happen is that instead of thinking about every situation he should just simply act on his first impulse.

Submitted by:

Mackenzie Randall & Ryan Fritz