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How does Tennyson create the mood in "Marianna".

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Introduction

´╗┐The mood in Tennyson?s poem is reflective of the state of mind of Mariana. Mariana, taken from Shakespeare?s Measure for Measure, is despondently isolated as she waits and waits for her lover, Angelo, to arrive. But he never does, hence the abandoned and derelict tone. In Marianna, Tennyson represents Mariana?s state of mind through using objective correlatives ? the surrounding objects around Marianna symbolise Mariana?s internal state ? and in particular, by using pathetic fallacy, these surrounding inanimate objects are given human feelings, signifying Mariana?s feelings. In the first stanza, the ?broken sheds look?d sad and strange.? The fact that even these inactive objects are given negative feelings creates a negative mood. A depressing mood is also created in the first stanza as the details are exaggerated. The ?blackest moss? creates a deathly and depressing mood, and the superlative exaggerates this. But also the internal rhyme between ?thickly crusted,? (which describes how the flowerpots were covered with moss) and the ?rusted? nails draws attention to the derelict and desolate landscape. ...read more.

Middle

Therefore the rest of the poem merely elongates this image of a melancholic loneliness. The helplessness of Mariana?s situation in the poem is signalled in the third stanza. The idea of the ?moated? grange, which is repeated from the epigraph, reinforces the sense of entrapment ? Mariana is surrounded by water, and alone. The fact that there is ?a sluice with blacken?d waters? proves this stagnation of the water, and how everything is in a state of slowing, as Marianna is. The caesura before ?without hope of change? emphasises this further, as not only is she physically trapped as she is surrounded, but also that she is trapped in the repetitive nature which her life seems to be leading, and at last, she has given up hope that something will change from this norm. The lack of change in tone with the change in the time of the day emphasises Mariana?s stagnating life. In terms of the plot, nothing actually changes ? Marianna is still in the same place at the end as she was at the beginning. ...read more.

Conclusion

This idea is furthered as the image is one of the day drawing to a close; ?And the day Was sloping toward his western bower?. This suggests that the sun is moving away from Mariana and setting, and moving towards Angelo. In particular, light has connotations of live and vitality ? and so the lack of light creates a drained mood ? reflective of Mariana?s mood. In the last stanza the refrain is different to the rest of the poem, which changes the tone entirely. Mariana appears to accept her fate, as she says ?He will not come?, rather than ?He cometh not? which means her only sense of purpose, to wait for him, has been destroyed. Rather than ?I were that I were dead!?, which is repeated in the rest of the poem, the last line is ?Oh God, that I were dead!? This line has the added impact of the intensifier ?Oh God?, which creates a mood of desperation - far more poignant than in the rest of the poem. It is as though, as the poem draws to a close, Mariana?s life does too. ...read more.

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