The Love Song of J. Alfred Prufrock

How does Prufrock suffer?

How does he suffer and why?

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Paralysis, the incapacity to act, has been the Achilles heel of many famous, mostly male, literary characters. Shakespeare's Hamlet is the paragon of paralysis; unable to sort through his waffling, anxious mind, Hamlet makes a decisive action only at the end of "Hamlet." Eliot parodically updates Hamlet's paralysis to the modern world in "The Love Song of J. Alfred Prufrock." Parodically, because Prufrock's paralysis is not over murder and the state of a corrupt kingdom, but whether he should "dare to eat a peach" (122) in front of high-society women.

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