T.S. Eliot's Life and Works

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10 Questions

What is the primary theme of T.S. Eliot's poem 'The Waste Land'?

The dilemma of modern man living in the modern world after WW1

What literary form is 'The Love Song of J. Alfred Prufrock' by T.S. Eliot written in?

Dramatic monologue

What does the epigraph at the beginning of 'The Love Song of J. Alfred Prufrock' allude to?

Dante's 'Inferno'

Where did T.S. Eliot attend university from 1906-1910?

Harvard

What is the primary emotion that Prufrock grapples with in 'The Love Song of J. Alfred Prufrock'?

Fear and self-doubt

What does the epigraph quoted passage suggest about Prufrock?

He is metaphorically a damned soul speaking because he is sure no one will hear him

What type of place is described in the poem?

A desolate and eerie setting with half-deserted streets and one-night cheap hotels

What are the thematic characteristics of modern poetry discussed in the text?

Anxiety, oppressive nature of time, and alienation of modern man

How does the poem reflect the characteristics of modernist poetry?

Through fragmentation, discontinuous narrative, and intertextuality

What does Prufrock's behavior in the poem suggest about him?

He is a passive and indecisive individual struggling with societal expectations

Study Notes

T.S. Eliot's Poetry

  • The primary theme of 'The Waste Land' is disillusionment and spiritual decay in modern society.
  • 'The Love Song of J. Alfred Prufrock' is written in modernist, free verse style, characterized by stream-of-consciousness narrative and fragmented structure.
  • The epigraph at the beginning of 'The Love Song of J. Alfred Prufrock' alludes to Dante's Inferno, indicating Prufrock's sense of being trapped in his own personal hell.
  • T.S. Eliot attended Harvard University from 1906-1910.
  • The primary emotion that Prufrock grapples with is anxiety, specifically the fear of rejection and inadequacy.
  • The epigraph quoted passage suggests that Prufrock is unable to fully express himself or connect with others.
  • The poem describes a modern, urban setting, marked by a sense of alienation and disconnection.
  • Thematic characteristics of modern poetry discussed in the text include disillusionment, spiritual decay, and the fragmentation of modern life.
  • The poem reflects the characteristics of modernist poetry through its use of free verse, stream-of-consciousness narrative, and experimentation with traditional poetic forms.
  • Prufrock's behavior in the poem suggests that he is indecisive, hypersensitive, and struggles with social interactions.

Test your knowledge of T.S. Eliot, an American poet living in London, his education at Harvard and Oxford, and his notable works including 'The Waste Land' and 'The Love Song of J. Alfred Prufrock'. Explore the themes and impact of his modernist poetry and essays on criticism.

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