The Love Song of J. Alfred Prufrock Questions and Answers
by T. S. Eliot

The Love Song of J. Alfred Prufrock book cover
Start Your Free Trial

In the poem "The Love Song of J. Alfred Prufrock" by T.S. Eliot, how are sound devices used?  

Expert Answers info

Wallace Field eNotes educator | Certified Educator

briefcaseTeacher (K-12)


calendarEducator since 2016

write7,429 answers

starTop subjects are Literature, History, and Arts

T.S. Eliot employs end rhyme, which refers to when the words at the ends of lines rhyme with one another.  For example, in the first grouping of lines, the words at the ends of lines 1-2, I and sky, rhyme.  Then, the words at the ends of lines 4-5, street and retreats, rhyme.  Likewise, hotels and shells, the words at the ends of lines 6-7 rhyme.  The words argument and intent rhyme, at the ends of lines 8-9.  Finally, it and visit, the words at the ends of lines 11-12, rhyme.  In other words, then, every line in the first group of twelve lines rhymes with another line except for line 3, "Like a patient etherized upon a table," and line 10, "To lead you to an overwhelming question."  This makes these two lines stand out.  Eliot sort of trains our ears to expect the end rhyme, and so when these lines fail to rhyme with others, it makes them conspicuous.  It seems likely, then, that Eliot is drawing our attention to these lines, and so we ought to ask ourselves why he does that.  

In the first...

(The entire section contains 2 answers and 579 words.)

Unlock This Answer Now


check Approved by eNotes Editorial

Rebecca Hope eNotes educator | Certified Educator

calendarEducator since 2016

write1,505 answers

starTop subjects are Literature, History, and Law and Politics

Further Reading:

check Approved by eNotes Editorial