So, a few words of analysis about this enchanting poem may help to clarify things. Four gray walls, and four gray towers, Overlook a space of flowers, And the silent isle imbowers The Lady of Shalott. Or at the casement seen her stand?
The strangeness of the story and the mystery surrounding the main character seem to call for an explanation. In other words, the poem may be regarded from a purely aesthetic viewpoint.
However, owing to its vague allusiveness, the poem seems to compel the reader to furnish an interpretation. Poetry is interpreted in infinite ways on account of its suggestiveness, as Tennyson once said: Every reader must find his own interpretation according to his ability [ The philosophical view is the first and fundamental approach to be taken toward any work of art for it consists of the way human beings see themselves in relation to reality.
For Plato, there exist two levels of reality. First, there is a superior and intelligible world, and then there is this sensible world in which we live.
However, this level consists, in fact, of a mere reflection or shadow of the unique, universal and perennial reality. Very briefly, he depicts some men who have lived in a den since their childhood with their hands, legs and neck chained so that they cannot see the outside world but have only access to it through its shadow projected on the wall of the cave.
Nature described around her symbolizes the infinite Reality: In the myth of the cave, it is represented by the sun. Moreover, the poet creates a mysterious and puzzling aura around the Lady: Further on, the atmosphere surrounding her becomes almost vaporous: This may be an allusion to the fact that no one can save us but ourselves, because the others are equally helpless.
The prisoners are ultimately the only ones upon whom the decision whether or not they go out of the cave resides. This seems to be referring to the fates of classical mythology, which are represented by the three goddesses that shape, weave and finally cut the threads of human destiny.
Further on, the reader learns that the Lady is under a curse: In the same manner, the curse for the prisoners is to be restrained inside the cave. However, they think that the curse rather consists of the opposite for if they are forced to look directly at Reality, the sharp luminosity of the sun blinds them and they strive to come back into the obscurity of the cave.
|Alfred Tennyson by Andrew Lang - Full Text Free Book (Part 1/4)||Tremble in the water chilly, Round about Shalott. The original conclusion was distressing; we were dropped from the airs of mysterious romance:|
|Alfred Tennyson||The fourth of twelve children, he was the son of a clergyman who maintained his office grudgingly after his younger brother had been named heir to their father's wealthy estate.|
|Polyphony in Poetry: Tennyson's "The Lady of Shalott"||We learn that her alienation results from a mysterious curse: It was common for weavers to use mirrors to see the progress of their tapestries from the side that would eventually be displayed to the viewer.|
|Why did this block occur?||You have got me on one of my favorite poets and a favorite poems.|
Plato explains this difficulty in his allegory: Moreover, the magic web that the Lady is weaving alludes to the material wealth and worldly fame human beings strive to obtain and which seem magic and glittering, but actually constitute the very seed of the illusion or the curse.
In the next stanza, the most telling detail emerges: These lines clearly reveal the Platonic philosophy according to which the sensible world constitutes a reflection of the realm of Ideas, which is another word for Reality.
Similar to the prisoners, the Lady can only see Reality through the mirror. Then, she pronounces the most ambiguous statement of the poem: This passage evinces that, first, she is aware that her world is only made of shadows, and second, she acknowledges that her profound nature craves for the real existence of things.
In the same way, human beings intuitively know that Reality resides only on the other side of death, and they will consequently admit that possessions and recognition are not enough to fulfill their authentic and inner needs. The third part introduces Sir Lancelot: It is he that causes her to leave her weaving and turn to the outside world: Then, as expected, the mirror breaks; this suggests that she broke her chains to look at the light.
However, she thinks that the curse is then upon her for the light of the sun is too dazzling. The figure of the knight evokes the case of the prisoner who has gone out of the cave, has seen the light and then decides to come back into the cave to enlighten his companions about the truth, such as Socrates did according to Plato.
In the fourth part, the reader witnesses the Lady leave her island, take a boat and move toward Camelot. She begins to see the light and, as it happened to Saint Paul on his way to Damascus, shells dropped from her eyes.
Finally and, for most critics, inexplicably, she dies: Why does she die just before entering Camelot? It seems that, through her death, the poet intends to convey that true knowledge or the upper world is incommunicable. The light of the sun cannot be imparted to the prisoners who still live in darkness; they have to see it for themselves.
At any rate, the fact that she dies in singing strongly suggests that she is crossing the door toward a better world. This may very well be regarded as an allusion to the beauty of the released soul in the face of the light.Similarly, “The Lady of Shalott” may be analyzed according to this viewpoint.
For Plato, there exist two levels of reality. First, there is a superior and intelligible world, and then there is this sensible world in which we live. “The Lady of Shalott” tells the story of a woman who lives in a tower in Shalott, which is an island on a river that runs, along with the road beside it, to Camelot, the setting of the legends about King Arthur and the Knights of the Round Table.
Every day, the woman weaves a tapestry picture of. The Lady of Shalott is an excellent example of Lord Alfred Tennyson's brilliant usage of verbal illusion.
The Lady is depicted as a magical being who lives alone on the island of Shalott near the town of Camelot, where she is trapped inside a tower.
She is forbidden from leaving the tower o. A summary of “The Lady of Shalott” in Alfred Lord Tennyson's Tennyson’s Poetry.
Learn exactly what happened in this chapter, scene, or section of Tennyson’s Poetry and what it means. Perfect for acing essays, tests, and quizzes, as well as for writing lesson plans.
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This poem is a Victorian ballad by the English poet Alfred, Lord Tennyson (–). It is based on an Arthurian legend of Elaine of Astolat, as recounted in a thirteenth-century Italian novella titled Donna di Scalotta.
This poem was composed in its first form as early as May, or , as.