illustration of a woman holding a glass of wine and a man, Prufrock, standing opposite her

The Love Song of J. Alfred Prufrock

by T. S. Eliot

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In lines 125-128 Why might he be so fascinated by these mythological creatures. And what might they represent to him?

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The fascination that such creatures may hold for Prufrock is that they are a form of escapism for him. He imagines himself with them, away from his lonely, boring, stifling everyday life in the modern city. The mermaids and the whole element of the sea represents romance, glamour, mystery and excitement, all qualities that are notably absent from his real life. He finds solace only in dreaming in this way, but the final line of the poem acknowledges that such dreams cannot last and he has to wake once more to dull everyday reality, which is imaged as kind of death, by drowning.

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