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Alfred Lord Tennyson's The Lady of Shalott and Mariana.

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Introduction

Alfred Lord Tennyson's The Lady of Shalott and Mariana However strange it may sound, I believe that Tennyson's 'The Lady of Shalott' and 'Mariana' are both very similar but also completely different. Both of Tennyson's characters are isolated, but for different reasons. One, is presumed to be under a curse and cannot look down to Camelot, whilst the other is waiting for her lover who is never going to come. Both are tragic and melancholy. In 'The Lady of Shalott' you get the image of water all around as she is on an island and on the other side of the water is grass and fields swaying in the sun. You imagine that if you look a little way off you will see a town or the village of Camelot. Empathising with the Lady you can feel that would be longing to go outside and enjoy the day. She knows she cannot so she sits at her loom looking in the mirror longingly seeing and outside world that she cannot be apart of. ...read more.

Middle

Tennyson has put his character under an unknown curse in this piece of poetry making her unable to look down to Camelot. The only way she can see the outside world is through a mirror that is opposite her. 'She has heard a whisper say A curse is on her if she stay To look down to Camelot' To pass the time she weaves the mirror's magic sights (line 65). 'But in her web she still delights To weave the mirror's magic sights' She finally looks down to Camelot when she sees Sir Lancelot, but when the mirror cracks she knows that the curse is upon her. It starts raining over 'tower'd Camelot' when The Lady of Shalott comes down. She finds a boat and starts floating down the river towards Camelot, but she is dead before she reaches the shore. In the second to last stanza it describes a gleaming shape floating by which I like to think is her ghost finally at Camelot. ...read more.

Conclusion

She isolates herself and concentrates all her thoughts on her lover. She does nothing to her house so it is going to ruins. I think as time goes on the lady realises that her lover is never going to come and realises that she has wasted her time and life, unfortunately there isn't a lot she can do about it. In this piece there is more archaism in each stanza, especially the last 4 lines of each stanza. 'She only said, 'My life is dreary, He cometh not,' she said; She said, 'I am aweary, aweary, I would that I were dead.' It is important to know what these archaistic words mean because the last 4 lines of the stanza have the most impact. Again immense amounts of imagery are used to set the scene and create an effect. I personally think that it is describing the changing of the seasons. I like the fact that this poem could have several different interpretations but I don't like the way that you don't learn that much about the lady herself. . By Hayley Wilson ...read more.

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