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In a message dated 4/4/03 6:37:44 PM EST, [log in to unmask] writes:

> Duly chagrined; typing faster than thinking.
>  Good of you to blame it on
>  friday.  Nonetheless, I hope you'll respond
>  to the larger point, that Mikey
>  was not best known for painting men.
>
>  Justin

But think of the Sistine Chapel -- It is a scene in which man reaches towards
God. "Do I dare disturb the universe?" -- Do I dare go against God? That's a
major question that Prufrock is agonizing over. And think of Michelangelo's
David statue -- a tribute to the male form. Those are some of the major
images that come to mind when contemplating Michelangelo, all consistent with
my Prufrock reading.

  One thing that has not been mentioned in the discussion so far is this
point about the "overwhelming question":

  Streets that follow like a tedious argument
  Of insidious intent
  To lead you to an overwhelming question...

It is the STREETS that LEAD to the "overwhelming question" -- the
half-deserted streets, the seedy part of town. That is, the "overwhelming
question" is wholly intertwined with the seedy streets, inseparable from
them. That's a major reason (from the text) why I think 'Prufrock' is
fundamentally about a man struggling with his sexuality. The streets lead him
(in the section set apart by asterisks) to the "lonely men in shirtsleeves".
All this (and other clues) add up (in my reading) to the "overwhelming
question" being about the decision of whether or not to openly live a
homosexual lifestyle, and, in doing so, risk damnation from society, but more
importantly, to risk eternal damnation from God.

-- Steve --