This essay examines the similarities and differences of the two poems.
Elliot’s and Tennyson’s works of art are in the same way dramatic monologue poems. Both poems center on an aged character that lacks confidence and contentment in life. Ulysses, the narrator of the latter writer’s poem reveals his sorrowful feelings to an unknown listener after returning from his explorations. Similarly, Elliot’s work has only one narrator named “J. Alfred Prufrock.” He, like Ulysses, is an aging unselfconfident man who talks about his unexciting life. Yesterday is in no way different from today. As mentioned by Prufrock, his life is uneventful as ‘time passes by carefully’ (line 75). Thus, the two poems suggest a lonely theme as Prufrock believes his useless life and Ulysses years to do more explorations.
Additionally, both poems bring up the word “water.” Elliot includes the word in the line, “When the wind blows the water white and black” (line 128) as the narrator describes how mermaids’ comb their beautiful hair that intimidates him for he is bald. Moreover, Ulysses mentioning how he wants to go back to the water reveals his wanting to travel more. The two displeased speakers don’t fail to remember death as well. Elliot presents Prufrock’s grief by saying he has seen the “eternal Footman” (line 85). The footman pertains to the person who helps the soul of a dead person to go to another dimension or afterlife. Tennyson, in the same instance, reflects death on Ulysses. The speaker who is a traveler wants to sail away from death to have the chance to explore and have more adventures.
Tennyson and Elliot both use Allusion on their works. In Prufrock’s speech, he mentions “work and days” (line 29) which is exactly the title of the Greek poet Hesiod. Another allusion used is “dying fall” (line 52). The expression was popularized by Shakespeare as it was used in his work “Twelfth Night.” The words and phrases “prophet”