Returning to biblical allusion, Prufrock sees himself as Lazarus, a character in hell, proposed in Luke 16 as a messenger warning mortals to change their ways. Fearful of rejection, of being misunderstood, Prufrock lies splayed on a screen, his nervous system illumined by a magic lantern. Unable to claim the tragic significance of Hamlet, Prufrock settles for Polonius, the fuddy-duddy court adviser who gets himself killed by lurking at the edge of the action. Dismayed by the effects of age, Prufrock imagines women on the beach tittering to each other, but not summoning him with their songs. In the greater scope, the overripe bachelor is merely a symptom. Too long enthralled by fancy, the modern world, like Prufrock, has lingered in romanticism and self-indulgent frolic until the realities of the modern world threaten to consume it.
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