Abstract

Abstract:

Discussions of Eliot's "The Love Song of J. Alfred Prufrock" have focused on alienation and anxiety or the poem's formal elements. However, there seems to be a gap in explaining how these two aspects relate to each other. Throughout the monologue, Prufrock's attempts to assert his (idea of) masculinity seem to be related to how the poem uses and frustrates the sonnet form. If the sonnet is understood as an inherently masculine form and if its appearance (fully or partially) within the poem points toward an attempt to fulfil the social constraints of masculinity, then the poem will allow gender and structure to enter in dialogue, which suggests that Prufrock's inability to perform as masculine is related to his inability to both create and manipulate the sonnet structure.

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Additional Information

ISSN
1529-1464
Print ISSN
0022-281X
Pages
pp. 65-76
Launched on MUSE
2019-01-03
Open Access
No
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