Doubling is not simply the use of a persona; Eliot knew about the psychology and had doubles in his poetry long before "Prufrock." He did not need a clue from Dante. See many poems in IMH. Nor do I understand what you can mean by "Eliot's habits of mind."

>>> Chokh Raj 02/01/10 9:54 PM >>>
Peter, going by Eliot's habits of mind (ref. Southam), the epigraph may have provided him with a clue, the all-important starting point, for conceiving this dramatic monologue as a disguised mode of confession [a la Montefeltro in Inferno] -- putting on the persona of a middle aged man. Apart from what "persona" denotes in the epigraph, it could easily suggest to Eliot the technique of "persona" as a masque for a character other than the poet himself. 

Thanks & regards,


--- On Mon, 2/1/10, Peter Montgomery wrote:

Let us not over look Dante's use of the word PERSONA in Eliot's epigraph
of the poem.