The utilization of ironic insertion of other poets is used to help set the tone of the poem. This originates with an epigraph from Dante's Inferno, which instills an impression of conversing with the damned, or being ensnared in some semblance of hell. This is ironic due to the message "being carried from the abyss to our ears" (Bloom, 17), symbolizing the realization of his stagnant existence. That a more prolific life exists is the advertence of Hesiod's Works and Days a description of rural life (Department of Literature). Prufrock's works and days are not deeds of heroism, but a "hundred indecisions" (32) (Contemporary Literary Criticism, Vol 6, 163). The "overwhelming question" is from The Pioneers by James Fenimore a book Eliot adored since childhood (Lozano). Eliot exerts an element of parody as a type of chorus from Laforgue who wrote "In the room the women come and go/Talking of the masters of the Sienne School" (Lozano). "And indeed there will be time" (Lozano), and "squeezed the universe into a ball" (Bloom, 18), from Andrew Marvell's To His Coy Mistress. From Shakespeare's Twelfth Night, Eliot uses "a dying fall" (Lozano) a comparison to Hamlet and Polonius. Prufrock sees himself... [continues]
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