J Alfred Profrock and Waiting for Godot

Discuss whether Prufrock is or is not a “modern man,” in T. S. Eliot’s poem, “The Love Song of J. Alfred Prufrock. ” With T. S. Eliot’s poem, “The Love Song of J. Alfred Prufrock,” it’s important to identify the concept of “modern” during the early 20th Century. The modernist literary movement addressed the… … idea of individualism, mistrust of institutions (government, religion), and the disbelief of any absolute truths. Things which were considered traditional were now viewed as outdated. By some, T. S. Eliot’s poem is considered the first of the modernist literary movement; it… … xplore[s] the peculiarly Modernist alienation of the individual in society to a point where internal emotional alienation occurs… Georg Simmel, a sociologist, summarizes societal concerns during this time: The deepest problems of modern life derive from the claim of the individual to preserve the autonomy and individuality of his existence in the face of overwhelming social forces, of historical heritage, of external culture, and of the technique of life. Eliot’s image of “a patient etherized” gives the reader a sense that as this man and his companion go out, they are like sheep, moving along passively as if they had been anesthetized.

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The two pass through a dingy part of town with “cheap one-night hotels,” perhaps alluding to clandestine rendezvous—where things are done in secret, e. g. , meetings, conversations, etc. As the two continue, they enter a place where women are having discussions about sophisticated topics such as Michelangelo, and later we learn there is tea and talk of novels—modern women? Prufrock compares how he sees himself to how others might see him. He is uncertain as to how he should proceed: “Do I dare? ” Can he move forward in this unfamiliar territory or should he turn back?

The end of the poem reflects Prufrock’s feelings as he prepares to meet a woman for tea; the images of coffee spoons may hint that Prufrock has been in many of these situations before: cups of coffee over extremely awkward, socially painful conversations. Without getting over this discomfiture, Prufrock may be destined forever to be alienated from society and the company of a woman—a wife and marriage… a “modern” life. In this poem, I see in Prufrock a struggle between individualism and a sense of alienation. Some people are strong enough to be individuals and to fight against the tide of umanity to find their own unique place in the world. However, for the person that does not thrive being alone—who feels more comfortable with life in a “pre-modernist” society—the sense of loneliness must be overwhelming. I find that Prufrock is trying to walk the line between what society has become (where he is extremely uncomfortable) and the old world which was comfortable for him, but makes him feel like an outcast. One source notes: [Eliot’s] early poetry, including “Prufrock,” deals with spiritually exhausted people who exist in the impersonal modern city.

Prufrock seems spiritually exhausted. This “modern man” is only that because of the time in which he lives. He does not feel at ease in this “impersonal modern city” where people defy the norms of the past and look to isolation brought about by a new to be one’s own person and a “mistrust of [government and religion]. ” Prufrock is uncomfortable in trying to be a “modern” man. Prufrock is a representative character who cannot reconcile his thoughts and understanding with his feelings and will. In “The Love Song of J. Alfred Prufrock,” by T. S.

Eliot, why is the speaker so confused? Regarding T. S. Eliot’s work in general, and “The Love Song of J. Alfred Prufrock,” one source notes: His early poetry, including “Prufrock,” deals with spiritually exhausted people who exist in the impersonal modern city. When I read the poem, if the speaker is confused, I believe it is a result of fear: the fear of not fully living or feeling one’s life, and/or of challenging the norms of society. For instance, at the beginning of the poem, Eliot writes: Let us go then, you and I, When the evening is spread out against the sky

Like a patient etherized upon a table… One under the influence of anaesthetic cannot feel the world or be aware of what goes only around him. Perhaps what confuses the speaker is that people around him seem to be living meaningful lives —going through the motions—like the women who drink tea and read novels, who speak of famous artists —seemingly meaningful things: In the room the women come and go Talking of Michelangelo. However, the speaker talks to his companion (“you”), comforting [I assume] her that there will be plenty of time… ut not for meaningful experiences, but to put on the face of acceptability: There will be time, there will be time To prepare a face to meet the faces that you meet… How is it possible, then, that while they look to congregate with those they know, that they cannot seem to find something or someone of substance with which to spend their time? In the third full paragraph, the speaker lists things there will be time for; this list seems to echo the Biblical passage taken from Ecclesiastes 3:1, which begins: “To everything there is a season… And indeed there will be time For the yellow smoke… There will be time, there will be time To prepare a face… There will be time to murder… Time for you and time for me… And as the poem continues, we get the sense that this “going out” may not represent simply one night, but perhaps many nights—even a lifetime, as the signs of aging appear: Time to turn back and descend the stair, With a bald spot in the middle of my hair– [They will say: "How his hair is growing thin! "]

In that the two go out to mingle with others, and because Eliot wrote specifically about “spiritually exhausted people who exist in the impersonal modern city,” I can imagine that the confusion for the speaker is what path to follow. Do we follow the masses of these “spiritually exhausted people,” forever searching for meaning in an environment that doesn’t have the wherewithal to inspire because it is “impersonal” in its modern-context? Or do we find ourselves to be individualists that do not follow the masses, but “march to the beat of a different drummer? Do we defy convention: To wonder, “Do I dare? ” and, “Do I dare? “… Do I dare Disturb the universe? The speaker notes that he could be like Lazurus, to seemingly return from the “dead”—from a life of “spiritual exhaustion”—to tell his truth, to share what he has realized about life, and “disturb the universe. ” He alludes also to Hamlet, seeing himself not as a “procrastinator” but a man of action. The speaker may be confused about whether he wants to shake up the world around him by being different: what is the right way to live?

However, I get a sense from the poem that he is thinking things through here, and will ultimately have to speak his truth, regardless of how those around him feel. In “La Belle Dame Sans Merci,” how was the knight deceived by the lovely lady? If we examine the poem carefully we can see that the fairy-lady that the knight meets and is so taken by is responsible for deceiving the poor, unsuspecting knight by clearly leading him on and pretending to have more affection and love for him than she actually feels. Note what the following stanza reveals about her behaviour towards the knight: She loooked at me as she did love,

And made sweet moan. This is one example of the way in which the lady gave the knight expectations of her love and desire for him. Note the way that there is almost a sexual connotation in “made sweet moan” which, through its onomatopoeia, seems to capture the sexual desire and frisson between the pair. Of course, as the rest of the poem shows, this is just a deception designed to entrap the knight in the lady’s snare, which is evident by the fact that the knight is still wandering around, suffering from unrequited love, when nature itself is abandoning the scene.

In “La Belle Dame Sans Merci,” please give me the description of the knights of unfortunate conditions. I am not entirely sure whether I understand your question correctly. By asking about the “knights of unfortunate conditions,” are you refering to the other knights that the knight who tells us about his experience with the lady dreams about? These figures are seen by the knight as he falls asleep with his lady, and obviously there appearance foreshadows the impact that his love for the lady will have on him and also gives the reader an mportant warning about the dangers of being taken in and deceived by a femme fatale figure. Note how these figures are described in the poem: I saw pale kings, and princes too, Pale warriors, death-pale were they all: They cried–“La Belle Dame sans Merci Hath thee in thrall! ” I saw their starved lips in the gloam With horrid warning gaped wide, And I awoke, and found me here On the cold hill side. Note the way that these figures are described as being “pale” and “death-pale,” which should make us think of the way that the knight of the poem is described in the first stanza as “Alone and palely loitering. Not too the way that “their starved lips” are pictured as another sign of the distraction that they suffer. They are so focussed on love that it appears they have little appetite and are slowly wasting away. In spite of this timely warning, the knight has become yet another victim to La Belle Dame Sans Merci, and is suffering in the same way as a result from the sickness of unrequited love, as so many men have done before him. Who is Godot and who are the characters in Waiting for Godot? As the dramatis personae at the beginning of the text indicates, there are five characters seen on stage in Waiting for Godot.

Vladimir and Estragon are two clowns (in the colloquial sense of the word). They spend their days in idle banter waiting for a mysterious Godot — who neither man has ever actually met or seen, but whom both (at times) are convinced will be arriving at the tree on the corner of a road where they currently reside. Midway through the first act, a loudmouthed slave-driver named Pozzo arrives. Didi and Gogo mistakenly believe Pozzo to be Godot, but he soon assures them in no uncertain terms that this is not the case. In the second act, Pozzo returns and appears to have suffered a strange twist of fate.

Pozzo is flanked by Lucky, an elderly bag-carrier who appears at first to be deaf-mute and almost subhuman. Pozzo swears that Lucky taught him everything he knows, which confuses Didi and Gogo, and Lucky later launches into a nonsensical monologue, which only serves to further confuse the two travelers. The final character who appears onstage is “the boy,” an apparent messenger from Godot himself. The boy brings news to the men from the unseen Godot. Like Pozzo and Lucky, the boy appears once in each act of the play. Godot is never seen onstage.

His identity remains largely a mystery, both to the characters and to the audience. Some have suggested that the etymology of the character’s name indicates that he is, in fact, a “God”(ot) — while others have argued that the character is merely symbolic of an eternity spent waiting for any unseen reward. From the characters perspective, Godot has sent for them (or so they believe), and has promised to arrive at this predestined spot at this predestined time (but again, they are increasingly unsure of the validity of this information as the play unfolds).

What are the crises and complexities regarding the characters in Waiting for Godot (and how are they involved in their progress)? In Samuel Beckett’s play, Waiting for Godot, the crises come from the continued vigil two of the characters play while they wait for Godot, who (to the best of their knowledge) never shows up. The crises also arise in that Estragon and Vladimir, who live miserable lives seemingly wasting each day waiting for the myterious man who never appears to them. The following day, the start over again. … they are now homeless, debilitated, and often suicidal.

They often contemplate why they choose to live. They sped their days together and share their memories: perhaps each day is not as bad as each man thinks. However, if there is any doubt, Pozzo and Lucky arrive. If Estragon and Vladimir find themselves depressed, Pozzo’s messages are always fill with darkness and gloom—the “glass”is half-empty for them. Little hope is attached to them. The complexities of the characters rest with Estragon and Vladimir who seem to have little to live for, but who manage to return to the same spot each day to find something to hope and wish for: Godot.

On the other hand, Pozzo and Lucky rob others of the possibility of optimism and hope. Pozzo is unkind to Lucky, but Lucky will not leave him. He is so attached to the nasty Pozzo, that Lucky attacks others rather than be separated from Pozzo. As time goes on, Pozzo and Lucky deteriorate until Pozzo is blind and Lucky is mute. While Estragon and Vladimir believe they have missed Godot each day, perhaps in life’s small blessings—as well as their dedication to each other, even as they suffer—they have the ability to  make a good things happen.

They are still poor monetarily, but they are in better shape than Pozzo and Lucky. Perhaps “Godot” is God, and that while they are faithful in waiting, perhaps they never look to what surround them each day. For Godot (God) may have been with them all along, and all they needed to do was open their eyes, see blessings around them and be thankful for that they have. how is waiting significant for them? The waiting is symbolic, or metaphorical. They are just whittling away their lives. However while they wait, they are interacting with each other and with a few other brief characters.

The meaning of life is that there is none. Life is just life! Describe Arms and The Man as a modern play? Arms and the Man can be described as a modern play, even though it was first produced in 1894 (and followed the Naturalistic characteristics Shaw used in writing), by looking at the themes focused upon in the play. One theme highlighted in the play is the romanticism of love. regardless of what era you live in, romantic love is always prevalent. Many people have been charged with falling for the wrong person. This idea has traversed time.

Another theme which could be recognized as a modern theme is class discrimination. As forward thinking as ones society believes it to be, class discrimination is still prevalent. It seems that people have always, and will always, look down on those they deem below them. Finally, the theme of idealism verses realism has been a topic upon the minds of even the greatest people for centuries. Literary and artistic movements have developed around these ideals and still bring about great conversations. What is the subject matter ; plot of Waiting for Godot?

In Waiting for Godot, Vladimir and Estragon discuss how they are waiting for someone named Godot who never arrives. They know that they should wait by the tree, but are not entirely sure if they have the right tree. Time is presented surreally in the play, with a sense that the scene of waiting is repeated infintely in a worlld in which time and place are constructed in the minds of the characters rather than as external objective realities. The characters do not really know who Godot is and might not recognize Godot if they see him.

A boy is used as a messenger to inform the characters that Godot will not appear “today” but may appear “tomorrow. ” Two other characters, the master Pozzo and the slave Lucky, enter in the second act and are initially mistaken for Godot. Although Pozzo is in theory the master, he (in a parody of Hegel) is increasingly shown to be dependent on his slave Lucky. Godot symbolizes the God of Messianic religion, who is expected at some time in the futuire as the salvation of the characters, but never actually arrives.

Lucky, as a thinker, attempts metaphysical knowledge of God, but his speech fades to nonsense. Vladimir and Estragonwait by the tree (the tree of the Gareden of Eden which is typologically the cross) and discuss religious and other themes, but don’t actually understand what they are waiting for or why. Like many of Beckett’s plays, this is a deeply pessimistic portrait of the futility of human existence, and the failure of Messianic religion to save humanity from an absurd and indifferent universe. Do they meet God?

There is no mention of God specifically in the play Waiting for Godot. Research tells us that Samuel Beckett (the author) had already dismissed the existence of God in the world when he wrote this play. One writer explains that Godot may refer in some sense to “God,” while… Less Francophile readings have insisted it should scan as ‘Go. dot’, a reference to the mental and physical movement that must result from Existential inertia. In this case, “God” is completely lost, and this reference would signify that there is no place in the play for “God. However, it is ironic to note that Beckett was (strangely) suspicious of words—that they could not be controlled… implying that Beckett had a desire to do just that (and what his audience thought along with that, perhaps). [Bec[Beckett]ntually dismissed language itself as a reliable source of security. Ironically, this man of words ultimately mistrusted them. He knew that the word could never be counted on to convey meaning precisely and that linguistic meaning was always an approximation. One of the “natural beauties” of literature (thank God… or Godot…? is that no one can control what a reader thinks. In a search for understanding of Beckett’s puzzling play, we are able to decide whether God is there or not. The eNotes summary on themes in the play states: [Vla[Vladimir and Estragon]e without amenities, find joy in the smallest of victories, and are ultimately quite serious about their vague responsibility to wait for this mysterious figure who may or may not come… Perhaps the sadness of the story, which can be as true for you and I as readers, as Beckett’s perceptions were to him, is that God was there all the time—they just never noticed Him.

The “smallest victories” the men experience in their desolation may be God’s way of trying to speak to them, but they listen instead to the hopeless words of Pozzo: The tears of the world are a constant quantity. For each one who begins to weep, somewhere else another stops. When Pozzo and Lucky leave, a boy arrives and says that Godot won’t come today, but will tomorrow. The men continue into the second act, doing much the same as they had in the first: waiting. Pozzo and Lucky return: Pozzo is blind and Lucky is mute. And still nothing changes for Vladimir and Estragon.

After all this time has passed, the boy arrives again and tells them they must wait until tomorrow for Godot. Is the boy symbolic of an angel? Is he telling them that God will not be there that day because the men do not believe? Is the boy, however, offering hope that they can find God tomorrow if they wish to? Beckett may have believed there was no God, but he cannot control how an audience perceives his play. He may want the reader to believe that the waiting of the men is pointless and that God is an illusion. However, it is quite possible to believe that the illusion is simply that there is nothing around them in the first place.

Sometimes we sit and fail to notice our surroundings. All of a sudden a bird’s call or the buzzing of a bee may attract our attention to what is right there in front of us: the miraculous palette of nature’s colors and creations. Vladimir and Estragon don’t find God, but it may be from the lack of trying: for failing to open their eyes and see him in the smallest things, believing the pessimistic ravings of Pozzo, and the foolishness of Lucky (while he may still speak). Describe the symbolic meaning of waiting in the drama Waiting for Godot?

I think that one of the basic elements that helps to bring out the symbolic meaning of waiting is the condition of paralysis that results as a part of it. The characters who “wait” demonstrate a type of paralysis that precludes them from actually being able to take action when it might be warranted. At the end, when it is present that Godot is not coming, Vladimir and Estragon can only wait. It is the only thing they know how to do. While they go through it together, they have lost the ability to take action. It is here where the full force of the symbolic meaning of waiting is brought out.

Beckett draws out a human condition whereby the true problem of waiting is one where individuals become accustomed to it, no longer understanding what it means to take action. This human  condition becomes fully evident when it is evident that the only thing the characters in the drama know how to do is wait. Even when it is evident that nothing is going to be gained from waiting, the sense of paralysis that results from waiting is one whereby individuals lose the understanding and the capacity to take action. It is here where the true meaning of waiting can be fully seen.


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