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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What is your interpretation of the title of T. S. Eliot's The Love Song of J. Alfred Prufrock?

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The title of T.S. Eliot's poem, The Love Song of J. Alfred Prufrock, suggests incongruity between its content and traditional poetic expression.

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The title of The Love Song of J. Alfred Prufrock by T. S. Eliot itself suggests the incongruity of traditional poetic expression with the modern world. The notion of a love song suggests a romantic poem, perhaps along the lines of a Petrarchan sonnet, in which the lover portrays his longing for the beauty and charms of his beloved. On the other hand, the form of the name J. Alfred Prufrock is precisely the opposite of romantic, evoking formal modes of address that might be used in the signature of a business letter or on a business card. This presents to the reader an image not of a romantic youth who is the typical protagonist of love songs, but rather of a rather old fashioned fussy middle-aged man, the character as he is described in the lines:

"My morning coat, my collar mounting firmly to the
     chin,
My necktie rich and modest, but asserted by a
     simple pin ..."

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