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The Lady of Shalott by Alfred Tennyson - Research Paper Example

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“The Lady of Shalott” by Lord Tennyson portrays the story of a woman who lives in a tower in Shalott, an island on the river that runs to Camelot. There is a curse on the woman, and hence, she is not able to look directly out of the window. Therefore, she uses a mirror to…
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The Lady of Shalott by Alfred Tennyson
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Download file to see previous pages In this ride, she sees all the worldly things which were forbidden to her, and on the way, she dies. As the boat reaches Camelot, all the knights see the corpse in the boat and make the sign of cross. However, Lancelot says that she has a lovely face. In fact, this work of Lord Tennyson came under serious attack for dealing with fantasy instead of reality (Noyes 134). However, an analysis of the underlying themes of the poem reveals that it contains a more realistic picture of the society than many realistic poems do.
The most important theme evident in the work is deprivation. The deprivation appears in the work as a curse that the lady cannot look out of her window. She does not know the reason of the curse and does not care to think how to remove it. The poem says, “And so she weaveth steadily/And little other care has she” (Lord Tennyson, lines 43-44). Admittedly, various scholars give various meanings to this deprivation. To illustrate, Hollander points out that womanhood in the century is the subject (112). This seems a rational explanation because females were deprived of the right to see and interact with everyone and everything they wanted. In addition, the women of that time spent very little time thinking why this social situation prevailed. The woman, however, becomes sad and says, “I am half sick of shadows” (Lord Tennyson, line 72), when she notices that she is deprived of direct contact with all the worldly pleasures.
Yet another argument that is as strong as the first one is that the theme describes how art is deprived of realistic pictures of society (Saintsbury 28). The poem shows the lady viewing only “shadows” of the real society and portraying the same in her tapestry. Here, it is possible to argue that Lord Tennyson was lamenting of his poem’s inability to deal with reality instead of fantasy. The picture becomes clearer when the ...Download file to see next pagesRead More
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