Alfred Prufrock," is the interior monlogue of a truly tragic character. It is interesting that Eliot presents the downfall of a man in such a light and humerous manner. The beginning of the poem is very light-hearted as we see an old man trying desperately to escape the effects of aging. This playful tone is evident through Eliot's use of lyrical rhyme and comic imagery. As the poem progresses there is a shift in tone that reveals a much darker nature. The lyrical rhyme is interrupted and the sorrowful imagery creates a somber tone. It is the contrast of these two natures that reveal the tragedy of Prufrock.
Prufrock is not confident with himself mentally or his appearance. He is terrified of what will occur when people see his balding head or his slim and aging body. He believes everyone will think he is old and useless. They will talk about him behind his back. .
[They will say: "How is hair is growing thin!"].
My morning coat, my collar mounting firmly to the chin,.
My necktie rich and modest, but asserted by a simple pin-- .
[They will say: "But how his arms and legs are thin!"] .
This insecurity is definitely a hindrance for him. It holds him back from doing the things he wishes to do. This is the sort of characteristic that makes Alfred into a tragic, doomed character. However, the imagery here is presented in such a way that the reader cannot help but laugh at Prufrock's preoccupation with his appearrance. It is almost inevitable that the reader will picture an old man that is desperately trying to comb over his bald spot and dress the part of a dashing young man. The rhyme scheme creates a lyrical song reminiscent of childhood that allows the reader to find humor in Prufrock's predicament.
While lightening the perspective of the reader, the rhyme scheme Eliot uses in this poem also depicts the disenchanted and confused mind of the narrator. The poem is written using a non-uniform meter and rhyme.