Are there any intertextual references between lines 28-41 of "The Love Song of J. Alfred Prufrock"?

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accessteacher eNotes educator| Certified Educator

The only allusion or example of intertextuality that I am aware of in the section of the poem you have indicated comes in line 29, which says:

And time for all the works and days of hands...

The phrase "works and days" comes from the title of a long poem by the Greek poet Hesiod which consists of a description of the life of farmers and a call to work on the fields and to toil. Of course, with every allusion in this poem, which includes so many of them, it is important not just to spot and identify the allusion but go on from there to consider why Eliot included the allusion and what he is suggesting. The line comes as part of a stanza concerning time and how there will always be time for "a hundred indecisions, /And for a hundred visions and revisions." Placing the allusion in the centre of this verse seems to stress the eternity that is pointed towards by referencing time and how there will always be time. Refering back to the early Greeks seems to reinforce this theme of eternity.

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The Love Song of J. Alfred Prufrock

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