Introduction to Poetry Week 4 (Imagination, Satire, Speakers and Imagery)
Introduction to Poetry Week 4 (Imagination, Satire, Speakers and Imagery) ENGL 11300
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This 3 page Class Notes was uploaded by Jared Fink on Monday February 15, 2016. The Class Notes belongs to ENGL 11300 at Ithaca College taught by James Swafford in Spring 2016. Since its upload, it has received 23 views. For similar materials see Introduction to Poetry in Foreign Language at Ithaca College.
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Date Created: 02/15/16
Introduction to Poetry Professor Swafford 2/12/16 Week 4 T. S. Elliot, “The Love Song of J. Alfred Prufrock” The epigraph is from Dante’s Inferno: o “If I thought my answers were given / to anyone who would ever return to the world, / this flame would stand still without moving further. / But since never from this abyss / has anyone ever returned alive, if what I hear is true, / without fear of infamy I answer you.” o This could be a commentary on the speaker, the voice of a tormented soul who’s telling his story in hell to another damned soul Prufrock seems to constantly compare his life to other literary characters Very self-degrading, saying he isn’t Prince Hamlet, and is “… Almost, at times, the Fool.” “I should have been a pair of ragged claws / Scuttling across the floors of silent seas.” Questions to consider: Is this a “love song” or not? Where does the speaker think about going, and what would he do there? Does he go anywhere? What might hold him back? What sort of self-image does he have? Why does he wish he were here, of all things, “a pair of ragged claws” (line 73)? At the end of the monologue, has he found a way of coping with growing old? o It is the real people who drown you, and don’t let you live your escapist life A Satirical Challenge In response to Swift’s “The Lady’s Dressing Room” Who is being satirized? o Celia? Strephon? The narrator? Why does Strephon sneak into the dressing room? Should he be horrified? Is the narrator on Strephon’s side? Does the reader take any of this seriously? Any indication that this is supposed to be funny? Funny? Disgusting? Infuriating? A reflection on the male perception of female hygiene in 1730 The speaker and Strephon seem to be on the same side, with the speaker attempting to keep Strephon from seeing too much (“No, Strephon, not the commode!”) The use of classical poetic techniques IMAGINATION: A faculty more celebrated some times than others th Early 19 century: o We should value feeling, spontaneity, intuition o The individual point of view is unique and precious o Imagination can create what is truly new thImagination can reach toward the transcendent and infinite 18 century: o We should value reason, logic, common sense o The individual is at his best as part of the social order o The “fancy” (imagination) may well obscure the reality/truth of the world we live in
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