They are like Prufrock in that they look upon a scene but do not become part of it.
He expresses his thoughts about the dull, uneventful, mediocre life he leads as a result of his feelings of inadequacy and his fear of making decisions.
Unable to seize opportunities or take risks (especially with women), he lives in a world that is the same today as it was yesterday and will be the same tomorrow as it is today.
The speaker and the listener will walk through lonely streetsthe business day has endedpast cheap hotels and restaurants with sawdust on the floors.
(Sawdust was used to absorb spilled beverages and food, making it easy to sweep up at the end of the day.) The shabby establishments will remind the speaker of his own shortcomings, their images remaining in his mind as he walks on.
Eliot took the last name of the title character from a sign advertising the William Prufrock furniture company, a business in Eliot's hometown, St. Only the narrator, talkshence the term monologue, meaning "single (mono) discourse (logue)." During his discourse, the speaker intentionally and unintentionally reveals information about himself.
The main focus of a dramatic monologue is this personal information, not the speaker's topic.
(lines 13-14): Eliot borrowed most of this line from the Uruguayan-born French poet Jules La Forgue (1860-1887).
In one of his works, La Forgue wrote (in French): Dans la piece les femmes vont et viennent / En parlant des matresde Sienne.
The words are spoken by Count Guido da Montefeltro, a damned soul in the Eighth Circle of Hell in Dante's Divine Comedy (Inferno, Canto 27, lines 61-66.) : Eliot opens "The Love Song" with this quotation from Dante's epic poem to suggest that Prufrock, like Count Guido, is in hell.
But Prufrock is in a hell on eartha hell in the form of a modern, impersonal city with smoky skies.