The Love Song of J. Alfred Prufrock Allusion Activity

  • 8 pages
  • Subject: Allusion, Lesson Plans and Educational Resources
  • Common Core Standards: RL.11-12.4, RL.9-10.1, RL.9-10.4, RL.9-10.9

Additional The Love Song of J. Alfred Prufrock Resources

Product Description

T.S. Eliot published “The Love Song of J. Alfred Prufrock,” his first major poem, in 1915. It marked the start of Eliot’s career, as well as the onset of modernism, a movement of artists whose work was intensely self-reflective. In his essays, Eliot expressed his opinion that a poet must absorb the entire literary canon before attempting to create something new. “The Love Song of J. Alfred Prufrock” exemplifies this method. Eliot’s poem is a dramatic monologue that unfolds from the perspective of the titular Mr. Prufrock, a shy and indecisive man adrift in the streets of London. Its lines, brimming with allusions from Hesiod to Dante, display Eliot’s vast learning.

Skills: analysis, drawing inferences from text, close reading, identifying the relationship between words

About This Document

The Owl Eyes Allusions activity gives students an opportunity to practice identifying and analyzing allusions. Allusions broaden the scope of a text and imbue passages of the text with deeper meaning by subtly drawing on literature, history, science, geography, philosophy, mythology, or other cultural sources. The main components of this activity include the following:

  • A contextualized paragraph of the text
  • A handout defining “allusion” with examples from classic works
  • A list of tips for spotting allusions
  • A step-by-step guide to activity procedure
  • An example answer

In completing this activity, students will be able to identify, analyze, and interpret allusions, thereby accessing deeper meanings within the text.