J. Alfred Prufrock Literature Terms

Epigraph
a quotation at the beginning of some piece of writing
Ex:The quotation of “Dante’s Infermo” in “The Love Song of J. Alfred Prufrock” is an example of an epigraph.

dramatic monologue
a poem in which a speaker addresses a silent listener
Ex:The first real line, “Let us go then, you and I” of “The Love Song of J. Alfred Prufrock” address a silent listener; the reader.

Persona
the speaker, voice, or character assumed by the author of a piece of writing
Ex: T.S. Eliot uses J. Alfred Prufrock as the persona of “The Love Song of J. Alfred Prufrock”.

Diction
the manner in which something is expressed in single words
Ex: In “The Love Song of J. Alfred Prufrock”, T.S. Eliot uses the words “combing”, “blows”, “lingered”, and “wreathed” as strong examples of diction.

Couplet
a stanza consisting of two successive lines of verse
Ex: The lines 120-121 in “The Love Song of J. Alfred Prufrock” are a couplet:
“I grow old…I grow old…
I shall wear the bottoms of my trousers rolled.”

Exact Rhyme
perfect rhyme, such as buzz and fuzz
Ex: The words “old” and “rolled” in “The Love Song of J. Alfred Prufrock” are examples of exact rhyme.

Feminine Rhyme
latter two syllables of first word rhyme with latter two syllables of second word (ceiling appealing)
Ex:The words “indecisions” and “revisions” in “The Love Song of J. Alfred Prufrock” are examples of feminine rhyme.

Masculine Rhyme
final syllable of first word rhymes with final syllable of second word (scald recalled)
Ex: The words “dare”, “stair”, and “hare” in “The Love Song of J. Alfred Prufrock” are examples of masculine rhyme.

Allusion
passing reference or indirect mention
Ex: “The Love Song of J. Alfred Prufrock” alludes to “Dante’s Infermo” in the beggining of the poem.

Anaphora
repetition of a word or phrase as the beginning of successive clauses
Ex: The repetition of “Do I dare?” and “How should I presume?” in “The Love Song of J. Alfred Prufrock” are anaphoras.

Consonance
the repetition of consonants (or consonant patterns) especially at the ends of words
Ex: The line, “When the wind blows the water white and black” in “The Love Song of J. Alfred Prufrock” has several examples of consonance by repeating the “w” sound.

Assonance
the repetition of similar vowels in the stressed syllables of successive words
Ex:The line, “I have seen them riding seaward on the waves” from “The Love Song of J. Alfred Prufrock” has examples of assonance in it by repeating the “a” sound.

Alliteration
use of the same consonant at the beginning of each stressed syllable in a line of verse
Ex: The line, “When the wind blows the water white and black” in “The Love Song of J. Alfred Prufrock” has examples of alliteration because many of the words start with the same consonant “w”.