I have a few questions about your recent post:
> Why Michelangelo? Why not (other than that it doesn't 'scan' poetically):
>In the room the women come and go
>Talking of Sir Isaac Newton (or Rembrandt or Monet, etc.)
Doesn't this assume that Eliot was somehow bound by the first line? (In the room the women sashay / and dutifully discuss Monet)
>Again, perhaps the reason is that Michelangelo is an artist known for his
>passion about the male form and for his passion about the relationship
>between man and God. Michelangelo's art explicitly reflected these passions,
>and Prufrock's "love song" will explore these ideas as well.
It seems you are reducing Michelangelo to a single quality, and really only to a single quality which best lends itself to your reading; Michelangelo is still better known for the Mona Lisa and the Sistine Chapel (the signs in the Vatican direct you to Michelangelo's Chapel, not the Sistine Chapel). Isn't it more logical to dicount the more likely associations of Michelangelo before making the rather loose association of Michelangelo painted the male form well = suggestion of homosexuality = Prufrock is homosexual, or envious of homosexuality?
For instance: Michelangelo evokes the Mona Lisa, suggesting her enigma, which presents further, and better, evidence, of Prufrock's confused, virginal, thwarted, aching heterosexuality. This will also fit my reading of the mermaids, which you cast thus:
>As he contemplates the mythical mermaids who heterosexual men found
>irresistible, he knows that it is not the sirens that hold such power over
>I have heard the mermaids singing, each to each.
>I do not think that they will sing to me.
When I read the finish this way, all the pain I have always heard in these lines is lost, and it's supplanted by a sly wink and a nudge. Am I misunderstanding you? Is Prufrock gay but wishes he wasn't and therefore still laments that the mermaids wouldn't waste their wiles on him? Do their not singing give him confidence, since he is immune to the sirens' spell, and can pass by these islands neither lashed to a mast or ears a-plug? If not, why all the attention he gives to all the women? Why the spent ink on their hair, their singing, their domeciles, their clothes (seaweed-wreathed and nothing else)? Why the specific attention to the women earlier, their perfumes / dresses / lightly downed arms? I noticed you seemed to read the arms as ?evidence? of masculenity. Did I understand you correctly? So, wait, are we no longer dealing with mere homosexuality but also transvestitism? Or are you saying that merely the attention to hair on the female form is indicative of Prufrock's desire for the masculine? In that case, we are associating based on stereotypes (which is fine), but if so, why are they "downed" with the "light brown" hair? Why are they white (virginal) and bare (naked or quite young)? Don't these details further present them as feminine, or feminized?
By the way, has the list ever dealt with the issue of hair in the poem? The word appears five times, plus other words are conscious of it, notably the "bare" arms of the women, especially their proximity to Prufrock's balding head.