Eliot begins this poem with a quote from Dante which translates to mean: If but I thought that my response were made/ to one perhaps returning the world/ this tongue of flame would sense to flicker/ But since from these depths no one has yet/ returned alive if what I hear is true/ I answer without fear of being shamed. Prufrock, the narrator in this poem, is talking of a woman. You get the sense throughout the poem that Prufrock wants to be with this woman and possibly have a relationship, but he does not have the nerve to ask her. Instead, he sits in room where women are constantly coming and going talking about Michaelangelo. Instead of ever saying anythin, Prufrock just sits and watches. As he sits and watches, he gets older and farther away from the possibility of finding love himself. This poem was written in free verse and had a randomly scattered rhyme scheme.
Eliot used some intersting allusions throughout this poem. One of the ones used frequently was the women talking about Michaelangelo. Michaelangelo was a renaissance painter, most widely known for his painting on the ceiling of the sistine chapel. He was one of the most widely known painters of his time. Eliot mentioned him because of his status. The women are all in love with Michaelangelo, not Prufrock. Another person mentioned in this poem was Lazarus.Lazarus is a character from the bible who is first mentioned in the gospel of John. He was the brother of Mary and Martha. He is famous for being risen from the dead by Jesus Christ himself. I think that Eliot uses the story of Lazarus to tell the readers that Prufrock is the kind of character who may wait around until he dies, but he may not have the chance to be risen again. Lastly, Eliot uses the immagery of Hamlet. We all know the story of Hamlet, the prince who set out to take revenge on his uncle for the murder of his own father. Prufrock says that he is no prince Hamlet. I didn't take this literally to mean that he was going to take revenge on his uncle, but I took it to mean that he doesn't believe himself to be worthy, such as a prince may be. He doesn't hold himself to those high standards that a pince may.
Prufrock was a character who didn't have the confidence in himself to act on any of his whims. Instead, he sat, as he got older, and waited for nothing to happen.