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Analysis of the Love Song and My Last Duchess

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In analyzing both poems 'The Love Song of J. Alfred Prufrock' by T.S. Eliot and "My Last Duchess' by Robert Browning. Both poems are monologues and are led by very powerful narrators. The poems get into the minds and personalities of the characters; throughout the poems Prufrock and the Duke show their fears, weaknesses and desires. These two characters display very similar emotions and techniques.

In 'The Love Song of J. Alfred Prufrock' the main character invites the reader into the mysterious world of seduction in the opening stanza. Prufrock seems to open up in the inner city, because he describes 'Let us go, through certain half-deserted streets.'. Prufrock tires to get the attention of the reader away from lonely streets and onto the next visit.

'In the room the women come and go talking of Michelangelo.'. This is a room possibly in a friend's house as he is clearly there for some sort of social gathering. We know this is a social gathering by the description of women 'coming and going and the talk of Michalangelo' . Is probably the idle gossip the women are indulging in. Once in the room he shrinks away alone to look out of the window on to the dingy streets and he begins to describe what he sees. Prufrock is thinking of the question he is preparing and of the possibility of spending a night with a woman. As he is now sensually aroused, Prufrock begins to describe the smog enveloping the streets of the city comparing it to a moving creature. The 'creature' (p. 712) he describes moves in an arousing, seductive way as Prufrock uses words like, 'licked', 'lingered', 'slipped' and 'curled' (p. 712). He is comparing the fog's movement to the woman and it makes him think of the hotels outside, which he has passed, where he wants to take her.

Prufrock becomes very doubtful by saying 'Do I dare? and, do I dare?' (p. 713). Prufrock ponders over his cowardice and the difficulty of making contact. The question of the woman is overwhelming him; he wants to take her to a hotel for a night together but he also wants more than just a one-night stand. Asking the question will leave him vulnerable, ' when I am formulated, sprawling on a pin,' (p. 713) and also open to attack and rejection. However, as great as his fear of rejection, so is his fear of being misunderstood.

Prufrock is very insecure, He is despairing about losing his hair, going bald; 'shall I part my hair behind?' (p. 713) and growing incapable of doing things for himself. He is very afraid of rejection and of his pride being damaged.

'My Last Duchess' is also a monologue, the Duke is the narrator in the poem he is talking to his visitor about the 'Last Duchess' which now she is only preserved on a painting. The Duke leads the visitor to where the painting is located, which is in a parlour



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