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The Lady of Shallott Analysis

  • Submitted by: azaka20
  • on October 20, 2013
  • Category: English
  • Length: 1,125 words

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Below is a free excerpt of "The Lady of Shallott Analysis" from Anti Essays, your source for free research papers, essays, and term paper examples.

How does Tennyson present the two main characters in the Lady of Shalott?
'The Lady of Shalott' is a poem written by Alfred Tennyson in the 1830s. The 1830s consisted of a patriarchal society therefore, society was dominated by the male gender compared to the women who were subservient. 'The Lady of Shalott' focuses on the plight of a Lady who is imprisoned within a tower overlooking Camelot. However, she is cursed to never look out of the window as the curse will awaken. Despite this warning and knowledge of her possible destruction, once the Lady sees Sir Lancelot ride by, she abandons her fear and looks down. Inevitably, she is then struck by the curse that causes her to leave the tower and travel down to Camelot by boat before killing her.
The Lady of Shalott's setting is gloomy and colourless whereas the setting in which Sir Lancelot is presented is bright and radiant. The Lady is imprisoned in a tower with "four gray walls and four gray towers" which immediately sets up the image of a prison-like atmosphere. Moreover, the word "gray" emphasises her tedious mundane routine. The "four gray towers" seem to "overlook a space of flowers" which accentuates the lifeless setting of the Lady as the flowers are not described by a colour but are 'overlooked' on by "four gray towers" as if they are held prisoner. The inflexible and dull colour reinforces the repetitive life of the Lady in comparison to Sir Lancelot who has light gleaming in each stanza of his description. Immediately, as Sir Lancelot appears "the sun came dazzling thro' the leaves" and suggests that the setting brightens as Sir Lancelot in introduced in the poem. In addition to the intense verbs, "flamed" and "sparkled," the word "dazzling" associates light with Sir Lancelot compared to the Lady's "gray towers." The narrator further describes the bright nature of the setting by explaining how the "gemmy bridle glitter'd free, like to some branch of stars."   This simile comparing the horse's bridle to a...

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